Ellsbury not surprised by strong spring

Ellsbury not surprised by strong spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Whatever rust Jacoby Ellsbury might have had initially after playing just 18 games last season seems to have disappeared. The center fielder is off to a red-hot start this spring, continuing with Saturday's 3-for-3 performance that included two doubles and a home run.

Ellsbury is hitting .444 in 25 at-bats.

If you are surprised how swiftly Ellsbury is reacclimating to the game after last season's rib woes, he isn't.

"I knew a while ago, coming into Spring Training, that I was ready to go," Ellsbury said. "It's no surprise to me."

The leadoff man wasted no time beginning his offseason routine.

"Yeah, I did quite a bit," Ellsbury said. "Got a lot of work in. My main thing was just to be ready Day 1 of Spring Training."

Ellsbury is a big difference-maker in Boston's lineup when he's making things happen at the top of the order.

"I think it's pretty safe to say he feels good about himself at the plate," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He looks real good. And again, sometimes that comes and goes in the spring because of the sporadic play. But especially the last couple of days, he's really looked good."