If you’re a fantasy player, you’re probably well aware that the Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz is one of the only players in the game with no positional eligibility: he can only play designated hitter at a utility slot.

He’s one of the few DHs so designated: others are designated third basemen (Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis), outfielders (Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales) or even catchers (Jesus Montero).

Since Ortiz only plays DH, that means he sits in interleague games played in National League parks. In last night’s game in Philadelphia, he only had one plate appearance, as a pinch hitter.

With more interleague games coming next season, the Sox could be potentially losing Ortiz’s bat for a large number of games.

Boston needs Ortiz’s bat: He’s currently leading the Red Sox in average, homers, OBP, OPS, hits and bases on balls.  Ortiz has hit at least 28 homers every season he’s been with the Sox, and had an OPS north of .850 in every year but one.

So how do the Sox squeeze Ortiz into the lineup?  Put him in the outfield!

Due to injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford that are occurring with increasing frequency, and Cody Ross day-to-day, Boston has some holes in its outfield.  Even with the acquisition of Marlon Byrd, Ryan Sweeney is the only decent hitter out there.

Bolstering the outfield and having a place for Ortiz’s bat all 162 games isn’t the only reason this move should be considered.  It would also allow the Sox to move Kevin Youkilis to DH and avoid the potential platoon situation they’re facing with Youkilis and phenom Will Middlebrooks.

Some would say that Ortiz shouldn’t be fielding, due to his well-known lack of legs.  True, Ortiz has a career minus-15.5 defensive wins-above-replacement, but that is mostly because a DH is starting with a base dWAR of minus-1.0 a season anyway.  

Ortiz has a career .989 fielding percentage, which isn’t that bad.  It’s about dead-even with Ross’ career fielding percentage and better than Byrd’s career fielding percentage, or Sweeney’s fielding percentage right now.

You’d also ask, “What happens when Crawford and Ellsbury come back?”  Well, assuming that ever happens, Boston can just make a pitching-for-hitting trade to bolster their anemic rotation and bullpen.

Bottom line: It would behoove the Sox to experiment with Ortiz in the outfield.

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