Jacoby Ellsbury was slated for off day, but Shane Victorino not quite ready
|05.18.13 at 6:24 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell had planned to give Jacoby Ellsbury his first day off of the season Saturday night, but Shane Victorino’s back still wasn’t quite healthy enough to allow for the outfielder’s return to the lineup. Victorino would have hit leadoff and played centerfield.
Farrell did say prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Twins Saturday night at Target Field that there is some hope that Victorino is ready to return for the teams’ series finale.
“He was hopeful for today last night,” said Farrell of Victorino, who left Thursday night’s game in the ninth inning after colliding with the Tropicana Field fence. “He’s a hard guy to keep out of the lineup because he wants to get in every day and he’ll probably push it or risk it a little bit more than maybe we’re comfortable with. I think the additional day will be good.
Ellsbury is hitting .247 with a .312 on-base percentage, having stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts. Heading into Saturday night’s game, the center fielder was 2-for-15 with three walks on the current road trip. Both Twins starters for the series’ final two games — Scott Diamond and Pedro Hernandez — are left-handers.
“Still some inconstancies with the timing,” said Farrell regarding Ellsbury. ” There’s time where he’ll show good patience, he’ll work deep in the count, and the next at-bat may be a little bit over aggressive trying to make something happen. And it comes down to timing. We see him where he’s squaring up some balls, he gets on base and he’ll create some havoc. But the consistency to which he’s made himself known for is a little elusive right now. He’s a key part for us. We need him to, and we may need to work with him, to get him going everyday. But his consistency has a huge effect and a huge impact on who we are offensively.”
In other injury news, Stephen Drew experienced some pain in his back while running through some hitting, fielding and throwing drills earlier Saturday afternoon, leading to the shortstop’s exclusion from the lineup. Drew, who tweaked his back while beating out a double in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game, had been slated to hit seventh against Diamond.
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