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A 'planned' day off for Jacoby Ellsbury

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 21, 2012 04:57 PM

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Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the lineup because it's a "planned" day off, according to manager Bobby Valentine.

Ellsbury has played in eight games since missing three months with a partially dislocated right (non-throwing) shoulder.

Will Ellsbury need more planned days off over the remainder of the season?

"I'm not sure. We'll play it by ear," Valentine said.

With Ellsbury out of the lineup, Ryan Sweeney will be in center and Daniel Nava is in right field for the first time this season.

Also:

ē Mike Aviles has "turf toe" after hitting a base awkwardly on Friday. "Those things can really get worse, so he's off his feet today for most of the day," Valentine said.

Valentine said he hoped Aviles would only need a day off.

ē David Ortiz has yet to any sort of working out as he rests his strained right Achilles tendon. Ortiz said he has felt better as each day passes. He may stay in Boston while the team travels to Texas then join up with the Sox in New York.

ē Cody Ross is DH'ing for the first time in his career tonight.

ē Josh Beckett has a 10.69 ERA in the first inning this season. It seems logical to think that perhaps he should warm up earlier, right?

Wrong. Beckett has traditionally been a pitcher who warms up very early. On days he starts, he's usually one of the first players to arrive in the clubhouse and has a pre-start routine that he times down to the minute.

"Josh warms up earlier than anybody in the history of baseball, I think. Earlier. The question should be, should he warm up later? Maybe. But this is a dog that is hard to teach a new trick to. Heís been very successful warming up as early as he warms up," Valentine said.

"Iíve never seen anybody have the break that he has in between the time he warms up and the time he goes out there. Sometimes the other pitcher is just playing catch when [Beckett] is already on the mound in the bullpen. Thatís what he does. Iím not saying itís wrong. Heís been that way."

It doesn't necessarily make sense to have Beckett warm up later. From his vantage point, 11 years of relative success outweighs 16 games of failure. Last season, for instance, Beckett had a 3.90 ERA in the first inning. Prior to this season, he had a 4.27 ERA in the first inning.

"I donít know that changing the habit is going to do anything other than give an answer to the question. Is he doing anything different? Oh yeah, heís doing something different. Big deal. Does that mean all of a sudden something is going to change?" Valentine said.

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