Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot against Northeastern

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Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot against Northeastern

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

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

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.