Without Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
manager Bobby Valentine came under fire for fielding a lineup comprised of mostly
minor leaguers. Pedroia's absence was obvious, considering he suffered a broken
Valentine, however, never explained Ellsbury's situation,
especially after he played in back-to-back games against the Orioles. A day
later, Valentine defended his decision to sit Ellsbury in favor of outfielder
"I thought I was playing the team that was going to
give us a good chance to win," Valentine said. "It's a big center
field. Lin is a very good defensive player. Ells really hasn't hit that well
against left-handers and Lin got two hits last night and the first time up he
really walked but they called him out on a high 3-2 curveball so he really
would have been on base three times."
In essence, Valentine called Ellsbury a platoon player —
a far cry from being last year's AL MVP runner-up.
The Red Sox skipper cited Yankees starter CC Sabathia's arsenal for the
"CC was pitching and I saw [Ellsbury] face [Joe
Saunders] a couple of nights before with his breaking ball and I thought it was
a situation where a right-hander might be able to do better," Valentine
said. "And Lin got half of our hits so maybe that hunch was OK."
The explanation doesn't match up with Ellsbury's
season-long numbers. This season, the 29-year-old is hitting .292 against
lefties compared to his .262 batting average against right-handers. For
Ellsbury's career, he's hitting .298 against southpaws.
But Valentine could be covering up for an unknown injury.
Either way, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia believed that Ellsbury didn't
need to elaborate about his situation to anyone.
"He's been beat up, man," Pedroia said.
"He's had his share of injuries this year. This year has been tough on a
lot of guys. He doesn't have to answer anything."