So what are the Red Sox waiting for?
"Probably the first-step quickness, the explosiveness either in a stolen base or getting a read on a route in the outfield," manager John Farrell said.
Ellsbury hasn't played since Sept. 5. If he returns by the last regular-season game, he'll have needed less than a month to recover from a compression fracture in his right foot.
"He's making steady progress," Farrell said. "We're hopeful that he'll be back in our lineup sometime in this coming trip."
Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.