If David Ortiz started the first 32 games of the season the way he has hit over the past 32 games, Red Sox Nation would be screaming for his head. As it is, fans should start tempering their enthusiasm in the discussion of a long-term contract extension for the uni-dimensional Ortiz.
Ortiz is a hitter and that's all. When he is hitting well, the DH is a force to be reckoned with, when he isn't, his value is limited. Now, don't get me wrong he has a great smile and seems to be a great teammate but the AL, particularly the AL East, is all about hitting.
Ortiz in his last 32 games is 26-for-100 (.260) with two homers and 21 RBI. He is slugging .420 and thanks to 21 walks he still has an OPS of .808. These numbers follow his three doubles and five RBI last night against Kansas City. In his first 32 games, Ortiz hit .292 with four homers and 16 RBI. He slugged .451 and had an OPS of .833.
Interestingly since June 14 against lefties, Ortiz is hitting .333 (11-for-33), but against righties he's gone 15-for-67 (.224). And, his only two homers have been against lefties. Ortiz last homered against a righty on June 12, off Kyle Drabek, who hasn't pitched in the majors since that game.
If there is any one pitch that is killing Ortiz, it would be the slider. Big Papi is 0-for-15 against it.
The sinker has not been his friend either, since June 14. He only has a double in 13 at bats against the pitch.
Fortunately for the Sox, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury have been red-hot, Kevin Youkilis has been steady, and Adrian Gonzalez is still my choice for the AL MVP. However, they can't be expected to remain that hot and the Red Sox need Ortiz to pick it up. But Big Papi certainly needs to pick it up if he wants the Red Sox to re-sign him in the off-season.