Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot against Northeastern


Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot against Northeastern

By MaureenMullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before Saturday night, the last time Jacoby Ellsburys name was atop a Red Sox lineup was Aug. 13, when the Sox lost 10-9 in Texas. It was also Ellsburys last game of 2010, one of just 18 in which he appeared after breaking his ribs in a collision with former third baseman Adrian Beltre in the ninth inning on April 9 in Kansas City.

Manager Terry Francona said in the offseason his best team is one with Ellsbury
batting leadoff. Francona was only able to write Ellsburys name in that spot
for 15 games in 2010, with Ellsbury batting ninth in the other three games.

Ellsbury hit just .192 with four extra-base hits (all doubles), 10 runs scored,
and five RBI in 2010. His seven stolen bases were well off his American League-leading 50 and 70 in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

In the lead-off spot in 2009, Ellsbury hit .300 with 75 runs scored, 24 doubles, eight triples, four home runs, 45 RBI, and 52 stolen bases.

Ellsbury was finally back at the top of the Red Sox lineup on Saturday night. It mattered little that the game was against Northeastern University. He went 0-for-1 with a walk.

It felt good getting out there and getting some at-bats in and some innings, Ellsbury said.

I feel good. I feel actually ahead of schedule than normal spring training. So I think everythings going along smoothly.

Ellsbury said he felt no hesitation in the field or at the plate.

Not at all, he said. Thats what we had the offseason for, is to get rid of all the hesitation, come in to spring training and just ready to be back.

Ellsbury is not scheduled to play Sunday against the Twins.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Red Sox calling up top prospect Rafael Devers


Red Sox calling up top prospect Rafael Devers

The Boston Red Sox have promoted Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket, manager John Farrell announced Sunday.

Devers will play his first game on Tuesday.

The third baseman has spent his 2017 season and Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA). With the Pawsox, Devers had a .324 batting average in 34 at-bats. He had 11 hits, one double, two homers and four RBIs.

The Sox have been unsettled at third base during the 2017 season, and released third baseman Pablo Sandoval Wedneday. Devin Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin and Brock Holt have rotated at third base throughout the season. However, the Sox optioned Lin to Pawtucket last week.

More to come...

Reports: Stanton off trade block; Dodgers, Yankees in on Darvish


Reports: Stanton off trade block; Dodgers, Yankees in on Darvish

With eight days to go before the MLB trade deadline, the Miami Marlins say Giancarlo Stanton won't be on the move, while the Texans Rangers are reportedly fielding offers for ace Yu Darvish.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters Sunday that with new ownership on the way in Miami, he has no intention of dealing Giancarlo Stanton - the slugger who carries with him a 13-year, $325 contract he signed in 2015. He also said Christian Yelich, Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna or Dan Straily won't be dealt. 

More here from NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk. 

As for Darvish, Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOXSports reports the Dodgers are showing "strong interest" in the Rangers ace. The Yankees are in on him as well, according to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com.