BOSTON (CBS) – Jacoby Ellsbury is set to return to the Red Sox lineup Wednesday night after missing the last 16 games with a small fracture in his right foot.
The center fielder said he is confident he’ll be 100 percent come the playoffs and doesn’t anticipate any more problems with the foot. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Tuesday night to talk about Ellsbury’s return, and how these final five days of the regular season are important to his recovery.
“They look at these last four games… like a rehab assignment for Ellsbury,” said Britton. “He took complete BP on the field (on Tuesday) and will likely play a couple innings (on Wednesday), get the off-day (on Thursday) and then can play all three in Baltimore. He may even DH a day. It gets that rust out so when you get to the postseason he’s not looking for his swing.”
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Britton says that if Jackie Bradley Jr. earns one of the final sports on the playoff roster over Quintin Berry, it’s a sign the team is worried about Ellsbury going forward.
“That tells you they have some concerns about Ellsbury playing center field in the postseason. I don’t think they’ll do that though,” he said.
Another intriguing battle for a postseason roster spot is in the bullpen.
“The other spot is that last bullpen arm. Is it Matt Thornton as a lefty specialist or Felix Doubront as a long-man,” said Britton. “That’ll be determined more by what Thornton does this week than what Doubront does.”
Britton also touched on the Red Sox’ potential playoff rotation, and the surging Oakland Athletics — who remain just one game behind Boston for home-field advantage in the American League: