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Jacoby Ellsbury to Move Back to Center Field Full Time

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With Mike Cameron coming off the disabled list today, we'll see a new Red Sox outfield: one with Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and Cameron moving to left:

Following the Red Sox' 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Jacoby Ellsbury confirmed what was learned by WEEI.com earlier Monday night -- that he is slated to be manning center field on a regular basis for the Sox, even with the return of Mike Cameron from the 15-day disabled list.

Cameron, who will be activated from the D.L. Tuesday, had been identified as the Red Sox' starting center fielder prior to the season, but was sidelined with a lower abdominal strain after playing in just 11 games.

For Ellsbury, the news was welcomed with open arms.

"That's where I've always played, center," said Ellsbury, who has been playing centerfield since returning from the disabled list last Saturday, "So, yeah, I was pretty happy about that.

"I think that's definitely my natural position and where you would think I would play. So, yeah, they told me I was going to left and I told them basically whatever would help the team out, I would go to left. Now it's come back around and I'm fine with it."

I do not like this move by Terry Francona. Here is what I think happened: Ellsbury complained about playing left field. He said something along the lines of, "Gosh, Tito. It's really hard to play left field when I got guys like Beltre and Scutaro running on to my grass. I don't think I can handle this."

And Tito replied, "Uh, yeah. OK. Since we don't want you to get hurt again, and since you obviously don't know how to play with other people around you, we'll put you back in center field. Isolate you so you can only hurt yourself."

Another factor in all of this may be Cameron's mobility. Francona and company may not think Cameron would have the mobility -- at least not now -- after his injury to man all of center field. Perhaps this is a move to save Cameron a bit.

I think this is a stupid move and I don't think it's going to last long. Although we only saw Cameron in center for a short period of time, he was such a breath of fresh air out there. He was getting great jumps on the ball and he never looked fooled.

I liked having a center fielder that looked capable in center field. Now that's gone.

Gee, Tito, I hope you're right about all this.