The rumors are starting to look like the truth: Former Beaver Jacoby Ellsbury will start in center field for the Boston Red Sox tonight.
Fans have been calling for the benching of Coco Crisp all ALCS long, and now it seems that they have it. The Providence Journal reports that Jacoby will be starting in center and hitting eighth. Also from the Journal:
Jacoby Ellsbury will replace Crisp in center field tonight for Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Indians. He'll bat eighth, which was Crisp's spot in the order.
Crisp is hitting .143 (3-for-21) with six strikeouts in the ALCS. This came on the heels of a 2-for-10 showing against the Angels in the American League Division Series, giving him a .161 average for the postseason.
Ellsbury has been limited to pinch-running and late-inning defensive duties so far in the postseason; he's hitless in his only playoff at-bat. During the regular season -- which he started at Double-A Portland before being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, and which included three separate stints in the major leagues with the Red Sox -- he hit .353 (41-for-116) in 33 games with Boston. He also stole nine bases without being caught.
GO RED SOX!