Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everything you own in a box to the left...

According to the Providence Journal, Jacoby Ellsbury has been relegated to playing left field for the near future. Mike Cameron has almost exclusively been manning center field for his entire fifteen-year career, and he's good at it.

As quick as Ellsbury is - and we've all seen that speed in action, ahem, Andy Pettitte -

Cameron is the better defender, at least according to metrics such as UZR and WAR. Though Ellsbury's quickness is undeniable, he tends to take a roundabout route to balls hit in his area, resulting in the inefficient use of his blazing speed.

Understandably, Golden Boy was a bit upset when Tito called to break the news:

"He was worried that it was a demotion, which it is not," explained Francona. "I kind of insured him of that. I just think we're tying to put guys where we think they can make the biggest impression. Cam was great, for a guy who is 37-years-old and played center field his whole life, he said, 'Hey, I'll play anywhere.' So it was just a decision based on what's best for our team." - projo.com

Ells has played left field as recently as 2008, when he was platooning with Coco Crisp (remember him?), and he performed very well. While Jacoby doesn't have a cannon for an arm, he's no Johnny Damon, either, so I don't see this arrangement becoming a problem, though it does leave Jeremy Hermida out in the cold.

Ellsbury is too young to play the scorned lover card and pout - the man's still making the league minimum - and I'm sure he's too proud for that, anyway. As things stand, I like the Red Sox outfield. A lot.

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