There are plenty of former Red Sox players who are much optimistic about Boston’s upcoming 2023 season. Among them, former first baseman David Ortiz believes that the Red Sox can silence doubters this year.

“You know what, I like the underdog type of thing,” Ortiz said on Friday. “Not many people pay attention to you, they focus on the big dog.

“And that’s when the underdog shows up, and they do what we have done in the past. We’ll see. I hope everybody stays healthy. That’s been an issue the past couple of years.”

Ortiz, who arrived at the Red Sox’s spring training complex on Friday to touch base with his former team, is well familiar with playing the underdog role. The three-time World Series winner entered a few seasons with the Red Sox with little to no expectations, and by the end of the year, many were left stunned at what they accomplished. For one, the 10-time All-Star led the way in the Red Sox’s World Series-winning run in 2013, which came a year after Boston finished in last place in the American League East standings with a lowly 69-93 record.

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There are also many in the Red Sox organization who see that the squad can shock the baseball world this season. For one, Red Sox manager Alex Cora has confidence that with the roster’s mix of promising talents and veteran players, they can all help the team bounce back from its sluggish 2022 campaign.

“This is a perfect group to turn the page, the kids and the veterans we’ve brought in,” Cora said last week. “You’d be amazed at how little talk there is about the past around here. Don’t take this the wrong way, but they’re not worried about Bogie [Xander Bogaerts] being in San Diego now or [Christian] Vazquez being with the Twins.

“They’ve got their own story to write.”

In the big picture, the AL East side will be looking to avoid a second consecutive losing season. They will open up their 2023 regular season schedule with a combined six straight home games against the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates.