Jacoby Ellsbury's day off

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t want to sit out during Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, but John Farrell’s plan for the stretch of nine road games that the Sox are currently in the middle of was to give each of his regular starters a day off. With the way Ellsbury been playing lately, he certainly needed a day to regroup.

Ellsbury was on a good track in April, hitting .283 with 11 stolen bases, but his average has plummeted to .189 this month. He has only had two stolen bases during May so far because of his poor average. Right now, he is one of the worst leadoff hitters in baseball statistically.

So you have to ask, would Ellsbury be better off in a position other than leadoff hitter? Farrell has been asking himself this as well. He said Saturday he has no immediate plans to move him, but it’s not out of the question.

AP Photo/LM Otero

At the beginning of the season, the Ellsbury-Victorino one-two punch was deadly to other teams, but now the Sox seem to need a different formula. The Sox will play in Philadelphia on May 29, so adjusting the lineup for National League rules would be a good opportunity to get Ellsbury out of the top spot and get him back to form. Terry Francona moved Ellsbury down in the order in 2009, and it proved helpful. Ellsbury got his fire back and was able to claim his spot back later in that season.

So what does this all mean for Ellsbury, as well as the Sox? Ellsbury has proved for the last few seasons that he can and should be the leadoff hitter. Just not right now. The Sox will most likely need to rearrange the order, and get Ellsbury, who clearly wants to play, determined. You can see how hard he tries at the plate, and sometimes it might be too hard. He needs to find his natural swing again.

Ellsbury probably won’t be too happy if he gets moved, but hopefully he’ll get back into form and the soon-to-be free agent will see how important he is to the Sox. We’ve already said how Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras could try to get him to strike a deal elsewhere next season, but if Farrell can work his magic on Ellsbury, maybe he can get him to stick around.

Waiting it out and not changing the lineup much seemed to work for most of the other Sox players during the slump. Not Ellsbury. He showed that he still has the ability to be a major asset early in the season, even for someone who is often plagued by injury. This seems to be a mental thing, so Farrell just needs to light the fire in him somehow, probably by changing the batting order, and he’ll be back to the top in no time.

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