With Jacoby Ellsbury slumping so badly recently and David Ortiz on the verge of a comeback, it looks like there could be a lineup shuffle. Most likely that means Ellsbury will be either dropped in the lineup or benched:
Ortiz's return may have broader implications on the lineup than Terry Francona writing Ortiz's name back in the No. 3 spot and dropping J.D. Drew back to seventh. It may give Francona an opportunity to address the alarming decline in production from rookie leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury.
In his last 26 games, Ellsbury has struck out 22 times in 119 plate appearances, and walked just four times. He still leads the league in stolen bases with 35, but with a .234 on-base percentage over the last 26 games, the chances to run have been few, and he has just one stolen base and has been caught stealing three times in that span. He has not hit a home run in his last 28 games, and has just one in 48 games. He also has knocked in just five runs in his last 35 games.
The best thing for Ellsbury right now is to be dropped in the lineup. Perhaps move JD Drew to the leadoff spot and keep everyone else slated as usually. Or, Dustin Pedroia could move to leadoff with either Drew or Kevin Youkilis batting second. Nevertheless, Ellsbury would probably benefit from batting between the No. 7 and No. 9 spots.