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Article:Coco is a team player; Kielty has surgery

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Get more Red Sox analysis at The Bottom Line Blog.

Here's the latest on the Coco/Jacoby Watch:

On April 17th Jacoby was batting .222 with 6 singles, but had tallied 9 runs thanks to a .386 OBP and 4 steals... Since then he's gone on a 7-game hitting streak thanks to getting regular playing time due to Coco's leg injury. During the 7 game run, Ellsbury has hit two home runs in one game, stolen 2 bases in one game - twice - and raised his BA to .290 and his OBP to .423 - tied with Manny for 2nd on the team.

Coco, who hadn't played since the 15th, got the start in center yesterday and, perhaps feeling the pressure, responded, going 2-4, with 2 doubles , while stealing 3rd twice and driving in 2 runs. He's currently batting .341 through 44 at-bats.

Ellsbury got the start in right field, giving JD Drew the day off and making room for Coco. After going 5-9 with 2 runs and 5 RBI in New York, Drew's batting average has fallen from .362 to .284 thanks to a 2 for 20 run since April 17th.

If Coco stays healthy, we may see Ellsbury and Coco in the outfield together more often, but Tito's lineup will often be decided by the pitcher of the day (lefty or righty) since Drew and Ellsbury are lefties, while Coco is a switch hitter.

Bottom Line: After telling everyone he could find that he wants to be an everyday player, Coco seems to be accepting his role as the 4th outfielder a little easier at the moment:

“I just try to go out there and play the best that I can whenever they put me out there,” Crisp said. “(Ellsbury’s) playing well, I’m playing well and J.D. and Manny are playing well.

“I wish it were softball but it’s not so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully we all continue to play well and give them a tough decision on who to put out there on any given day.”

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Having Coco as the 4th outfielder is a good thing - as long as he plays nice...

Side Note : With Bobby Kielty waiting in the wings down at Pawtucket, the Sox have remained open to trade offers for Coco, but Extra Bases reports that Kielty will mis 4-6 weeks due to surgery on his hand to remove bone spurs:

Bobby Kielty, the veteran center fielder in waiting in Pawtucket, underwent surgery on his left hand and is expected to be out from four to six weeks. Kielty, who was placed on the Pawtucket DL on the 19th with what was described as soreness in the hand, told club officials he is uncertain of how he hurt the hand. He did not respond to a message yesterday afternoon.

"He had a bone spur or something on top of his hand that was causing the ligament to snap back and forth," general manager Theo Epstein said, confirming the timetable for Kielty's return.

BL Rob

The Bottom Line: A Red Sox Blog

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