Ellsbury tearing it up; Buchholz to pitch from the pen

Jacoby Ellsbury was a hero in last night’s game, golfing a two-out, two-run home run into the right field bullpen off of starter Roy Halladay and nearly hitting for the cycle in support of Josh Beckett and his 17th win. That was Ellsbury’s second home run in three days, after he hit just two dingers all year at triple-A Pawtucket. The energy and excitement he is bringing night after night is wonderful for a somewhat staid Red Sox team, and the production he is bringing is not bad either. Ellsbury has almost made people forget that Manny Ramirez has been absent for a week now, batting 8-12 in his absence and .452/.514/.774 on the year. Ellsbury should definitely be on the postseason roster, as a backup outfielder, pinch runner and pinch hitter.

It was also announced that Clay Buchholz would be moved to the bullpen for the remainder of the season, and he will pitch on a very structured schedule, which is to say that we will see him pitch an inning or two every five days. Despite throwing a no-hitter over the weekend, Buchholz has already pitched more innings this season than he ever has, and the Sox are worried about potential arm fatigue or damage. If his arm holds up well, I’d like to see him on the postseason roster, because he could really contribute out of the bullpen in a key spot.

Joining him in the Red Sox bullpen is 29-year old righty Devern Hansack (remember him?), who was just recalled from Pawtucket. Hansack was less than stellar in his two appearances early this year, but he recovered and went 10-7 with a 3.51 ERA in the minors. He also struck out 131 batters in 139.2 IP, so his live arm will be an asset to the Sox, who want to rest their staff for the playoffs.


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