Confronted with injuries throughout the 2012 season, the Red Sox will be without Jacoby Ellsbury Saturday night because of what manager Bobby Valentine termed “a leg issue.”
The Red Sox have seen 23 players land on the disabled list this season, including Ellsbury, who missed a long period because of a separated shoulder suffered in a game against Tampa Bay in April.
The 28-year-old center fielder has struggled, batting .259 with one home run, six RBI and a .674 OPS in 108 at-bats. Perhaps slowed down by his injured groin, Ellsbury is 7-for-38 (.184 with no home runs and two RBI over his last 10 games.
Ryan Kalish, a 24-year-old left-handed hitter who is considered the team’s potential starting right fielder next season, will hit leadoff and play center field in Ellsbury’s place.
Kalish missed most of last season and part of 2012 due to shoulder and neck surgeries. He was hitting .307 with a .922 OPS in 75 at-bats at Triple-A Pawtucket but is batting just .212 with a .485 OPS in 66 at-bats for the Red Sox this year.