Some numbers for you:
.222/.275/.324 in 185 at-bats in 2010.
.218/.291/.393 from 2008-10.
"For David to be successful -- and I see his numbers against lefties, believe me, I do -- you can’t just sit him because I don’t know if he’d have as much success against righties. I know we believe that," said Francona. "I think there are times where it’ll do him good to maybe give him a break against somebody he struggles with. That wasn’t necessarily the case [last] April. He was struggling against everybody, and we were struggling to win."
That's all well and good, but Francona can't afford to play Big Papi with regular frequency against left-handers. While likely true to an extent that facing lefties helps Ortiz in his overall preparation, if the season is halfway in and he's a non-factor against lefties, he needs to take the bench. There are plenty of platoon players in the game, and barely playing against their weak side doesn't affect them.
Mike Cameron simply needs to play, and as fourth outfielder he is going to struggle to do that. Some playing time he can receive can come as DHing against left-handers and while he will probably get to face the pitchers Francona alluded to, Tito can't afford to dilly-dally the entire season when it comes to Ortiz and left-handers. Cameron has hit lefties well his entire career and Boston needs to take advantage of that.
-- Evan Brunell