Ellsbury up for a cup; Sox looking for relief

In a surprising move, the Red Sox have finally called up Jacoby Ellsbury from AAA Pawtucket, and he is starting tonight in centerfield for Coco Crisp, who is nursing a bruised thumb. After absolutely crushing AA pitching early this season, Ellsbury was hitting .277/.352/.354 for the Red Sox’ AAA affiliate. He had recently picked up his offense at the plate. Ellsbury has speed and athleticism, and is expected to be the Red Sox’ centerfielder of the future.

All signs are that management wants to let him play consistently and see what he can do. Either Crisp is hurt more than was initially thought, or a pending trade of Wily Mo Pena is in the works.

In order to make room for him, reliever Joel Pineiro was placed on the 15-day DL with a bruised ankle.  Pineiro has been disappointing this year, and Mike Timlin is struggling to regain his pre-injury form, leaving the Sox without a solid right-handed setup man.  The latest trade rumors indicate that the Sox are definitely trying to address their bullpen, as they have been looking into pitchers such as Texas’ Eric Gagne, Akinori Otsuka and now Houston’s Chad Qualls.

Gagne is friends with Alex Cora from their Dodger days, but it’s not clear whether he would accept a demotion to a setup role, especially with his contract running out at the end of this year. Getting him as a rental for this season would be more than acceptable to me, and really strengthen our run at the pennant.


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