Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Dustin Pedroia were among the players checking into camp today.
Ellsbury talked at length about being moved to left field. He said he is fine with the idea, noting that it would take wear and tear off his legs. That is significant for a player who steals as many bases as he does.
But Ellsbury also mentioned several times that Terry Francona assured him that he would still play “quite a bit” in center field. It sounds like the Red Sox will be at least somewhat judicious in their use of Mike Cameron.
Ellsbury also is happy to get No. 2, which he wore in high school. Bench coach Brad Mills had the number before, but would not give it up. But when Mills became manager of the Astros, Ellsbury was on the phone to assistant equipment manger Pookie Jackson minutes later.
Ellsbury also expects to hit at least 10 home runs this season. He had nine in 2008 and eight last year.
Lowrie’s left wrist was the topic of conversation when we spoke to him. He has yet to take live batting practice but said a winter of strict rehab work has him feeling good about his chances. “It’s a work in progress but I feel like I’m on the right path,” he said.
Lowrie also got engaged in late December.
One other observation: It’s interesting how many players who seemed genuinely glad to see Victor Martinez. For a guy who was only with the team for a few months last season, Martinez seems to have forged some strong relationships.