The Red Sox outfielder was penciled in as the designated hitter on Thursday to prevent a “leg situation” from flaring up. Ellsbury was initially scratched on August 4 against the Twins with what Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine called a leg issue.
This time around, Valentine won’t sit the outfielder against the Orioles. The manager will just take advantage of David Ortiz‘s absence by sliding Ellsbury into the designated hitter spot for the second time in his career.
“The last couple of days we’ve just been concerned about a little leg situation,” Valentine told reporters in Baltimore. “This is just being overcautious and aware of the situation. And he’s fine. It’s a situation where we don’t want it to be a big thing.”
Heading into Thursday’s game, Ellsbury carried a 38-game hitting streak against the Orioles. It’s the longest streak by a Red Sox player against Baltimore, eclipsing marks set by Jimmie Foxx and Earl Averill, who each had 31-game streaks against the St. Louis Browns.
Ellsbury attempted to downplay the issue while looking to improve on his success.
“It’s in good shape,” Ellsbury told reporters. “I’ve been playing the last couple days. It’s felt good.”
Through 38 games this season, Ellsbury has 14 doubles to go with a home run and 11 RBIs.