Ortiz concerned about Red Sox lineup behind Devers: 'I'm pitching around him'
Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz doesn't feel confident about his former team's offense behind third baseman Rafael Devers.
"If I'm facing him I'm pitching around him, regardless," Ortiz told WEEI's Rob Bradford.
"No doubt about it. You're talking about one of the most feared hitters in baseball right now. I have been there before, and if I had no one behind me they won't pitch to me."
The Red Sox signed Devers to an 11-year, $331-million extension earlier this month. The two-time All-Star hit .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs, 42 doubles, and 88 RBIs last season.
Boston allowed two skilled offensive talents in Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez to depart in free agency and is set to begin the season without Trevor Story, who is expected to miss four-to-six months following elbow surgery.
The Red Sox attempted to fill the voids by acquiring Justin Turner, Adam Duvall, Masataka Yoshida, and Adalberto Mondesi, but the losses of Bogaerts, Martinez, and Story have Big Papi worried about Devers getting enough support behind him in the lineup.
"Now you have to find a way who can consistently protect him so he can continue to keep seeing pitches," Ortiz said.
"Because he is still too young and you don't want to get to the point where you get frustrated because your production is not quite there. You have to see both sides. You have to see if they are pitching you and you are missing pitches, or if they are not pitching you and you are chasing pitches. So, we'll see. Let's see what the season brings to the table."