FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With David Ortiz all but certain to spend the early portion of the season on the disabled list, manager John Farrell indicated that the Red Sox will probably use a committee of designated hitters during the slugger's absence.

"Those conversations are starting," said Farrell, "and it's just talking about the combination of guys who might be in a bench slot to more regular at-bats DH-wise. We're by no means at a point of saying, 'This is who our DH is going to be or this is who else is going to be on the roster,' but those conversations are happening more in earnest."

Daniel Nava, Lyle Overbay, Mike Carp, Ryan Sweeney, Brock Holt and Pedro Ciriaco are all players battling for roster spots and perhaps at-bats while Ortiz is out of the mix.

"We envision it as being a little bit of a rotation, so not to say one person would be strictly a DH," Farrell said. "That's an initial approach. To say that it would be a drastic shift to a player's routine or staying loose in between at-bats to what they might not otherwise be accustomed to, we haven't pinpointed one guy. We don't have another David Ortiz."

There are still too many moving parts for Farrell to have a clear idea of what his lineup will look like during Ortiz's temporary absence.

"Again, we've got competition that's going on in camp," Farrell said. "We've got probably three or four different options and combinations that we can fill that out with. Obviously it's a good question, but until we know who that personnel is, we'll respond accordingly."