By: Jessica Griffith
The Red Sox are adjusting to playing without Jacoby Ellsbury. Now playing for the Yankees, Boston is forced to have a new center fielder.
Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledges how important Ellsbury was to the team. “We’re missing a front line player,” Farrell says. “He had six very good years here, he’s a leadoff hitter, but we’ll do it a little bit differently.”
He also notes that you can’t simply replace the player. “We don’t look at it as replacing an individual, we look at it as how do we build a team that will hopefully be a top five offensive team in the American League.”
Because Ellsbury is no longer on the Red Sox, rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. has pressure on him to perform as a center fielder. He surprised everyone at Spring Training last year and a lot is expected from him this season.
On the other hand, New York is excited to have Ellsbury. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner says this will help the Boston/New York rivalry, and he’s excited to play with him. “I think he’s a great player,” Gardner says. “I can’t wait to play next to him.”
Gardner also acknowledges the center fielder’s talent. “He’s a great player. He’s had a lot of success in the postseason, and we’re trying to get back to the postseason this year so he’s going to allow us to cover a lot of ground in the outfield and bring a big speed element to the top of the lineup.”
There has always been a huge rivalry between these two teams, Ellsbury’s move is certain to add to it.