Jacoby Ellsbury, the center fielder for the Boston Red Sox who has been out of the lineup since the beginning of September due to a compression fracture in his foot, is expected back on the field on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. This is really great news for Red Sox Nation because the lineup has its catalyst back and at a perfect time.
We all knew that Ellsbury has elite speed but somewhere along the line, he morphed into perhaps the best base-stealer in MLB. This is a very dangerous and potent weapon that Boston has, and it has to be considered a major asset in the postseason. Games get a lot tighter, pitching is a lot better and runs are much more difficult to come by. Having a player who can wreak havoc on the basepaths and quite literally has the ability to manufacture a run just by stealing bases is a threat that other teams need to really be aware about.
But just how healthy will Ellsbury be when he does return? Is he comfortable enough with the pain that he will probably be experiencing to steal a base or two? Or will he be too hobbled to really make any sort of impact? One of the biggest complaints that people have said about him over the years is that he is too fragile and has a low threshold for pain.
Boston needs to hope that Ellsbury can play with the pain. I cannot recall the Red Sox ever having a speedster in his prime on a postseason roster that can make an impact like he can. This can really be an interesting element that can make all the difference if he is healthy.
When he plays in Colorado, it will unfortunately be under NL rules so he can’t be the designated hitter, which would have been perfect to ease him into game action. Hopefully. the Red Sox are able to give him a few at-bats and set him loose on the bases. A little Ellsbury could go a very long way.