Joe Sheehan thinks young Jacoby Ellsbury’s struggles of late are revealing a weakness in his skill set (Subscription Required):
The Red Sox lost 5-4 to the Rays
last night, falling a game and a half behind the team with the best
record in baseball. (More on them tomorrow.) The Sox lost in part
because Jacoby Ellsbury
failed to reach base in four plate appearances. The game continued what
is a brutal slump for Ellsbury; he has not reached base more than once
in any game since June 15, and his June numbers make Juan Pierre look like…OK, a slightly better Juan Pierre: .245/.265/.327, with 20 strikeouts against three walks.
I want to go back to a piece
I wrote a week ago for CBS Sportsline, which hosts the AL Tout Wars
league. In the piece, I describe a trio of trades I made in an attempt
to salvage my season, and I include the following note:
There’s something else going on here as well. I am utterly convinced
that I got the meat of Ellsbury’s season. His peripherals have spiraled
downward in June, and he has so little power than I suspect pitchers
are starting to just knock the bat out of his hands. With fewer times
on base, and what will probably be a tendency to steal less as the
season wears on, I strongly suspect that Ellsbury won’t get to 60
steals this year. I feel like I traded him at a high point.
Sheehan doesn’t think this means Ellsbury is not going to live up to expectations. Instead, he thinks this is a critical time in the young player’s career. Will he be able to make the adjustments necessary to be the next Johnny Damon. Or is he trending to
Melky 4th outfielder status?