Vote: Who should Sox start in CF?

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
11:47
PM ET
SportsNation

Who should play center field for the Red Sox in Jacoby Ellsbury's absence?

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    26%
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    12%
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    16%
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    16%
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    30%

Discuss (Total votes: 16,422)

BOSTON -- In the wake of Jacoby Ellsbury's dislocated right shoulder, the Red Sox are fortunate in this regard: The three healthy outfielders that remain -- Cody Ross, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Sweeney -- have all played center field. So has 23-year-old Che-Hsuan Lin, who is expected to join the team from Pawtucket in time for Saturday's game and may have the strongest outfield arm in the organization.

Friday, after Ellsbury came out of the game after being hurt in the fourth inning, manager Bobby Valentine moved Ross from right field to center, and inserted Sweeney into right.

“I played a lot there last year,’’ said Ross, who last season made 19 of his 107 starts for the Giants in center field but the season before, in Florida, made 71 of 118 starts in center. “I think I’ve played there the most of any (of the three outfield positions) in my career. It’s the easiest position for me.’’

Ross has played center more than either corner position, making 345 of 632 career starts in the middle of the outfield.

Sweeney, meanwhile, played primarily right field during his time in Oakland (216 starts in right, 132 in center), but said he played a fair amount of center when the Athletics visited Fenway.

“I would say I’m pretty comfortable playing there,’’ Sweeney said. “I don’t mind it.’’

McDonald, meanwhile, has made 61 starts in center field.

None of the three, however, pretend to be Ellsbury.

“He finished second in the MVP last year,’’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s a superstar. We definitely need him in our lineup.’’

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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