Re: Will Ellsbury Stay?
posted at 5/27/2013 1:41 PM EDT
Anything's possible, of course, but I think he goes because he is becoming redundant now that Bradley looks ready to take the next step. Both are excellent fielders who can hit, but not dingers, and Bradley is younger, cheaper, and a better outfielder. With Victorino signed for three years, I don't see the Sox committing to a totally lightweight but good fielding outfield. Actually, Nava is probably a better fit than Ellsbury for left field--less range, but a better arm and a better bat (so far this year).
I do not at all believe Ellsbury is hung up on hitting dingers. His problem is he cannot consistently hit a round ball with a round bat squarely. If he were swinging for the fences, he wouldn't hit so many grounders. He has hit to left plenty of times, but not squarely, so he either grounds out or flies out.
And just so we are straight on something else. In Bull Durham Kevin Costner points out that the difference between a .300 hitter, which Ellsbury has been, and a .250 hitter, which Ellsbury is right now, is one hit a week. Assume 500 at bats, and 125 hits is .250 and 150 hits is .300.
Right now Bradley is hitting over .300 in his first season of AAA at Pawtucket. Ellsbury is faster, but Bradley has incredible instincts for the ball and a great arm. I've always been a big Ellsbury fan, but I just don't see how he fits in right now short of the Sox unloading Victorino, which looks impossible at this point.