July 21, 2008

Ellsbury Should Not Be Leading Off

It's time to drop Jacoby Ellsbury to the bottom of the Red Sox lineup.

Having Dustin Pedroia (.470/.500/.680 since June 22) and Kevin Youkilis (.359/.425/.709 since June 11) at the top of the order would be the best use of the team's resources right now.

Gordon Edes documents Lyndon's decline:
In his first 25 games this season, Ellsbury struck out just seven times in 92 plate appearances and walked 13 times. He had an on-base percentage of .396.

In his last 26 games, Ellsbury has struck out 22 times in 119 plate appearances, and walked just four times. ... a .234 on-base percentage ... he has just one stolen base and has been caught stealing three times in that span. ... He also has knocked in just five runs in his last 35 games.
Since June 1, Ellsbury is slugging .300 (and .267 since June 29). Ellsbury and Coco Crisp each have an 83 OPS+. By comparison, Julio Lugo is at 82.

Ellsbury hasn't attempted to steal a base since July 5. In yesterday's game, there was a perfect spot to run. The Red Sox had just grabbed a 3-2 lead. Ellsbury was on first with two outs. Crisp had stolen second earlier in the inning, the 29th consecutive steal against Angels catchers. Even after the count went to 2-0 on Pedroia, Ellsbury did not budge. Pedroia singled, Ellsbury went to third, and Drew struck out to end the inning. Francona insists that Ellsbury "doesn't seem to be pressing".

(As far as stealing bases, it isn't just Ellsbury. The entire team seems to have hit a wall on June 17. In the 25 games before then, the Sox were 24-for-29 in steals. Since then -- also 25 games -- they are only 8-for-17.)

Also: Justin Masterson has been called up as David Aardsma heads to the disabled list with a right groin strain.

In talking about possible trade deadline moves, Michael Silverman notes that Michael Bowden makes his AAA debut tonight -- and could help in the pen in September.

David Ortiz hit a tater in each of his three Pawtucket games. He begins his three-game stint with Portland tonight.

19 comments:

L-girl said...

Sad but true.

tim said...

I noticed his BA/OBP the other day, and was kind of disappointed. Def should be DP/Yook, but I remember last year that DP wasn't a fan of leading off...Yook could hit 2nd but it seems like he does best in the middle of the order...

Bottom line is that we definitely need more OBP at the top of the order.

ish said...

I won't be able to make it to Portland to see Ortiz because the very second "David Ortiz" and "Portland" were said in the same sentence, the three games sold out.

ish said...

When Flo gets back into the lineup it'll be easier to balance. Right now, without him, Youk does look better in the middle of the lineup, but Ellsbury's struggles show just how important it is to the game for the leadoff hitter to get on base.

Amy said...

It is sad, given how much of a sparkplug he was late last season at the top of the order. But I have to agree.

Jack Marshall said...

Bingo: Youk and FY at the top, at least until LBJ gets his Mojo back.

But why is Ortiz still rehabbing? I'd say three homers and three days would show he's ready. Why waste those runs in Portland?

What an awful series with the Angels. Reminded me of the bad old days, when the Big A was a house of horrors for the Sox.

redsock said...

Manny "Stop, Drop and Roll" Ramirez. Never a dull moment! ... At the end, Ellsbury is about to reach for the ball, then has second thoughts!

Courtesy of the Queen of RS Video, who wonders about a Pedroia Bear:

"... each Pedey Bear must come with a dirty uniform, a wad of chew in its cheek, a bald patch, and when you press its paw, it says, "FUCK YEAH!""

redsock said...

I should clarify: LBJ should not be leading off right now.

Maybe:

Pedroia
Yook
Ortiz
Manny
Drew
Lowell
Tek
Ellsbury
Lugo

or (this won't happen):

Pedroia
Drew
Ortiz
Manny
Lowell
Youkilis
Tek
Lugo
Ellsbury

nixon33 said...

thats what i'm saying.

9casey said...

redsock said...
I should clarify: LBJ should not be leading off right now.

or (this won't happen):

Pedroia
Drew
Ortiz
Manny
Lowell
Youkilis
Tek
Lugo
Ellsbury

I cant see him ever putting Drew and Ortiz back to back , Bill James won't allow it

9casey said...

I think the thing with Papi , not being called up has to do with the roster who goes down? Moss? or are they looking to trade Crisp still ....Or do they think the long flight to Seattle might affect his wrist? :)

L-girl said...

It is sad, given how much of a sparkplug he was late last season at the top of the order.

I meant sad only in the "L-girl hearts LBJ" sense. I doubt it's anything long-term. It's just happening now and Tito should not ignore it.

redsock said...

But why is Ortiz still rehabbing?

The Red Sox have said many times they will not rush Ortiz at all. It's not worth it.

Ortiz at Pawtucket: 3-for-9, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 4 RS and 2 K.

redsock said...

I cannot imagine them trading Crisp at this point. LBJ is sliding and MBM and OF need days off.

Jack Marshall said...

I understand the "don't rush him" point, and it's commendable. But he's a DH, and he's playing games. If he's hitting homers, what's the danger in bringing him up? Is he more subject to injury swinging a bat in Pawtucket than in Seattle? What am I missing?

9casey said...

I saw last week they relased Kielty.

Soxlosophy said...

Pedroia, who's hit about .900 over the last month, has gotten hot just in time to be deprived of all the rbi opportunities that Ellsbury's absence from the bases has uncreated.

That's a lot of non-runs they've scored.

andy said...

Yeah really about Papi. Why can't he hit a couple times a night for the big team? They can just go to the non-ortiz lineup for the late or early half of the game. Is his hamstring, or whatever leg muscle he was having issue with, still bothering him?

andy said...

he was hitting those home runs in a minor league game the grown ups were losing a couple close games.