Ellsbury continues torrid spring

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Ellsbury continues torrid spring

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. Saturday marked the third consecutive day on which Jacoby Ellsbury has played a game. Its the first time this spring hes played three straight days. Hes not scheduled to make the trip to Bradenton to play the Pirates on Sunday, but he may want to lobby manager Terry Francona to let him jump on the bus.

In his last two games hes gone a combined 5-for-6 at the plate, with three runs scored, three RBI, two doubles and his first home run of the spring.

I think he looks tremendous, said Francona. He looks real good. Sometimes that comes and goes in spring because of the sporadic play. But especially the last couple days, hes really looked good.

He hit that home run. That was a pretty swing. That ball jumped out in a hurry. So, I think its pretty safe to say he feels pretty good about himself at the plate.

Ellsbury opened Saturdays game against the Marlins at City of Palms, a 9-2 Sox win, with a double to right, scoring on Dustin Pedroias single.

After missing all but 18 games last season with fractured ribs, Ellsbury is just happy to be feeling healthy.

I felt good, day one, coming in to spring training, he said. So its nice to get out there and play.

He said he has no reservations about his health.

That was the plan when I came to spring training, to not have any, not think about it, he said. And thats where Im at right now.

Hes also growing into the role of being the leader of the outfield, directing his corner outfielders. Its a role hes had to grow into over the last few years, as a young center fielder with veterans J.D. Drew, Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay to his sides.

Ive always been comfortable out there playing center, but yeah, maybe, Ive been there a little bit longer and just communicating with the guys, which I did in the past but maybe just being a little bit more vocal, he said.

Look at the guys I had beside me, some pretty good names in there. So a lot of times you kind of let them, theyve been there, they know what theyre doing. But its nice to just get in and play center and communicating with everybody. We did that in the past but I think its just a little bit more noticeable now.

Its a role Francona has encouraged him to take on more.

We want our center fielder to run the show out there, Francona said. Everybody has to move off of him. If hes moving and nobody else is, were covering stuff we shouldnt. So, yeah, we really encouraged him to take charge out there.

And as he demonstrated Saturday scoring each time he got on base his role at the top of the lineup is just as vital.

We missed him a ton last season, Pedroia said. He brings a ton of speed to our team. He can create a run without getting a hit. He could get on with an error and steal two bases and a sac fly. He could do a ton to help us win. Plays great center field. So hes huge for our team.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.