Though it's only been for two games, Jacoby Ellsbury's temporary absence from the Boston lineup has been a nonfactor. That's no knock on Ellsbury either, but rather a sign that this team has a bevy of leadoff options.
Filling the gap temporarily has been Marco Scutaro, and he's done well, going 4-for-9 in the leadoff spot. The offense also hasn't taken a hit from Ellsbury's absence, with left fielder Jeremy Hermida going 2-for-6 with a pair of doubles, a walk and three RBIs in the last two games.
In the careers of Ellsbury and Scutaro, Ellsbury has produced a better batting average in the leadoff spot (.287 to Scutaro's .279), while Scutaro's on-base percentage in the top spot in the order has been a bit better (.373 to Ellsbury's .337).
While it's unfair to take away someone's job due to injury — and while two games is much too small a sample size — the question still remains: Who is the best leadoff option for the Red Sox?
There are currently three players with on-base percentages above .400: Kevin Youkilis (.429), Scutaro (.414) and Dustin Pedroia (.410). Neither Youkilis or Pedroia will move into the top spot in the lineup, but Mike Cameron's .357 OBP thus far or J.D. Drew's career mark of .391 could earn them some consideration.
Ultimately, the job will be Ellsbury's when he returns from his rib injury, but is that the best option for the Sox? Like anything else with this team, it's up to debate.
Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN's Red Sox Gameday Live or Red Sox Final.
April 13: Do the Red Sox need to play more small ball?
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