Two months later, Ellsbury back in center


Well, that sure didn't last long. Rob Bradford:

    Following the Red Sox' 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Jacoby Ellsbury confirmed what was learned by WEEI.com earlier Monday night -- that he is slated to be manning center field on a regular basis for the Sox, even with the return of Mike Cameron from the 15-day disabled list.

    Cameron, who will be activated from the DL Tuesday, had been identified as the Red Sox' starting center fielder prior to the season but was sidelined with a lower abdominal strain after playing in just 11 games.

    For Ellsbury, the news was welcomed with open arms.

    "That's where I've always played, center," said Ellsbury, who has been playing center field since returning from the disabled list last Saturday, "So, yeah, I was pretty happy about that.

    "I think that's definitely my natural position and where you would think I would play. So, yeah, they told me I was going to left and I told them basically whatever would help the team out, I would go to left. Now it's come back around and I'm fine with it."

    Part of the impetus for the move appears to be the need to put less strain on Cameron, who continues to adjust to the healing process that goes with his injury. Prior to the Sox' win, the 37-year-old wouldn't specify where he planned on spending the majority of his time.

Six of one, half-dozen the other ...

Essentially, you've got two center fielders, with the big difference being that one of them (Ellsbury) has a great more experience in left field than the other (Cameron has only three games there, and none since 2000). Well, another difference is that the older player's numbers in center field were a great deal better than the younger player's last year.

This move suggests, to me anyway, that the Red Sox have more confidence in Ellsbury's health over the next four months than Cameron's. It also seems (to me, anyway) that the Red Sox are tacitly admitting that Cameron's contract -- which runs through next season for a decent-sized sum -- isn't working out nearly as well as they'd planned. At least Darnell McDonald got to enjoy a few moments in the sun ...