Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FullCountPitch - Ellsbury The Front-Runner For Comeback POY

This time last year Jacoby Ellsbury was absolutely miserable. He couldn’t stay healthy, the media speculated that the team was upset with him for not playing through pain, and Ellsbury openly questioned the diagnosis made by the Boston Red Sox team doctors. There was also widespread speculation by the media that Ellsbury wouldn’t be back with the Red Sox for the 2011 season. Not only is Ellsbury back, but he’s back with a vengeance.

The Red Sox leadoff man and center fielder entered Sunday night’s play in the top ten in batting (.312), hits (89), doubles (22), runs (51) and total bases (135). In addition, he led the American League with 24 stolen bases and had an .844 OPS. Though overshadowed by new teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Ellsbury has established himself as a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate this season.

Ellsbury finished up Spring Training in 2010 in fairly good shape, with just four games missed due to a sore arm. All that changed though on April 11 when the Red Sox were two outs away from a road win against the Kansas City Royals. Mitch Maier hit a pop up towards the left field line. Ellsbury, then the left fielder, came charging hard towards the line. The only problem was third baseman Adrian Beltre, head down, was charging towards the ball too.

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