Maybe it will only be for a week or so. Maybe it will be as long as a month. Or maybe it will be something that they have to deal with, periodically, throughout the season.

But the Red Sox are going to have to find someone to take David Ortiz's at-bats as their designated hitter -- for Opening Day and probably beyond.

It's not an enviable task.

Even last year, at age 36, Ortiz had posted an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) of 1.026 when he was injured in July, a figure that topped that of Triple Crown winner and American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, who had an OPS of .999.

"There aren't five guys in the game who can do what he does," remarked a scout recently when asked about Ortiz's impact on the Red Sox lineup.

Indeed, in the testing era, when offensive numbers across the board are down and power is a rare commodity, Ortiz's value has never been greater.