MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Red Sox in a stretch of 20 straight games -- including 14 road games -- before their next day off on June 3, manager John Farrell is looking for ways to rotate days off for some of his regulars. Today is Jacoby Ellsbury's turn, getting his first day off this season.
Shane Victorino -- back in the lineup after missing the past two games with an ailing back -- is playing center field and leading off, with Jonny Gomes in left batting second, and Daniel Nava in right, batting sixth.
With a left-hander, Pedro Hernandez, starting for the Twins, today made sense to rest Ellsbury, Farrell said.
But it might also be an opportune time to give Ellsbury a break, judging by his recent performance. In May, he is batting .189, going 14-for-74, with a double, a triple, five runs scored, three RBI, two stolen bases, seven walks and 10 strikeouts. In the month of May his average has fallen from .283 to .246, while his on-base percentage has fallen from .336 to .309, and his slugging percentage has dropped from .416 to .342.
Shortstop Stephen Drew is also out of the lineup, for the second straight day, after an awkward slide Friday night caused some soreness in his back.
“Improved, still needs another day to get over that jarring sensation he felt with the headlong slide the other day,” Farrell said of Drew. “Obviously day to day, but we don’t think this should be a prolonged situation.”
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the last of the regulars who haven’t had a day off.
“Pedey will fight that on tooth and nail,” Farrell said. “He’s the last man standing right now, and that’s the way he likes it.
“He and I will sit down and talk. But as well as he’s playing, as good as he feels, all that’s taken into account."