{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Ellsbury starts at No. 3 spot for first time in career

Ellsbury starts at No. 3 spot for first time in career

|
Ellsbury starts at No. 3 spot for first time in career
BOSTON -- With Jacoby Ellsbury having a hard time jump-starting the Red Sox from his customary leadoff position, manager Bobby Valentine made a change for Tuesday's game against the Angels, moving his center fielder into the No. 3 spot in the batting order.

The way Ellsbury hit in 2011, he looked like a No. 3 hitter in the making, combining average, speed and power.

After missing 79 games with a right shoulder subluxation, Ellsbury has had a hard time finding a groove since his return on July 13.

In 42 games this season, he is hitting .250 with one homer and 11 RBIs.

"Just talking with the coaching staff, they feel like, in the past, sometimes he's been moved out of the leadoff spot and he's gotten a little more aggressive," said Valentine. "I took heed of that to see if we could get him a little more aggressive."

This was Ellsbury's first career start in the No. 3 spot.

Pedro Ciriaco was vaulted to leadoff, and Dustin Pedroia, who had been batting third of late, moved back to the two-hole.

If Ellsbury can return to form, it could make a profound difference in Boston's batting order, which has struggled of late with two key power bats -- David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks -- out of action.

"Just watching him come back, he's just mis-hit a lot of balls," Valentine said. "The fastball that's up and away that he takes a really good swing at often ends up behind home plate, and the breaking ball that it seems like he's right on seems like it's been a ground ball to second or first. To me, in the simplest form, means he's that much out in front of the breaking ball and that much behind the fastball. But maybe it's more than that.

"I can't make the comparison. They look like really good, full swings. He's hitting a little off the end, and they're going down to the right side of the infield -- or really good, full swings, and the balls are going straight back."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español