Entering last night’s series opener here against the Twins, in which he stole a base and drove in the tying run with an infield single, Ellsbury was batting .249 — including a 6-for-46 funk over his last 11 games — with a .314 on-base percentage and only one home run.
And although Ellsbury was leading the AL with 13 stolen bases and 199 plate appearances, he also had produced 141 outs, most in the majors.
With numbers like that, a $100 million contract isn’t likely to follow.
“It’s just a matter of him staying focused,” said Victorino, who admittedly was unable to do so last season before signing a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox. “And he’s really not doing that bad. To be where he’s at right now, he hasn’t put himself in a hole. His power numbers aren’t there, but I’ve seen it where he can be the kind of guy who hits 10 (homers) a month.
Ellsbury never would admit to being distracted by his impending free agency, and for what it’s worth, Victorino said he hasn’t sensed Ellsbury putting too much pressure on himself. Regardless, it isn’t the start the Red Sox expected for Ellsbury.
Herald - Jacoby Ellsbury struggling
Let me preface this by saying that baseball general managers are insane, but I think it's time to stop thinking of Ellsbury as a $100 million man.
That's not to say that Ellsbury isn't a very good-to-great player. He is. I just think that the 2011 season was his ceiling, not his average. Those are the numbers he can put up when everything is coming up Jacoby. If you're investing piles of cash in his performance thinking he'll produce at that level consistently, you will be extremely disappointed.
I also don't mean to say that where he's performing now should be expected. He's on pace to have his worst season, statistically, by far. He has not been playing great baseball, but there's no reason to think he won't turn it around. Unless he lets the pressure of his impending free agency get to him, he should turn it around sometime soon.
It will be interesting to see what this does to Jacoby's trade value, or the Sox willingness to ship him out. If he's going to put up these types of numbers this season, there's no real reason to leave him in the lineup and not call JBJ back up later in the summer. If his price tag is perceived to have lessened around the league, interest in his services will pickup in places other than New York or Chicago. It could get interesting.
Of course, as I mentioned at the top of this post, baseball GMs are insane. They were never the type to let a .660 OPS get in the way of $100 million contracts.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Concussion symptoms still dogging Ross | Dustin Pedroia drives Red Sox past Twins | Globe -Red Sox outlast Twins, 3-2, in 10 innings | Miller bonked on the head but keeps chucking | WEEI - Could this be the smartest Red Sox team since '07? | CSNNE - Wilson picks up first win on just two pitches | Buchholz puts Sox in position to pick up a win