MLB

Red Sox need leadoff hitter to replace Ellsbury

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP)

The Boston Red Sox need a new leadoff hitter now that Jacoby Ellsbury is with the New York Yankees.

Manager John Farrell first mentioned Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino as candidates for the job then added Jonny Gomes to the list. All three could fill that role in different games.

None of them will steal 52 bases as Ellsbury did last season but all do a good job of reaching base. Nava's .385 on-base percentage was fifth in the AL last season and Victorino's .351 was 23rd. Ellsbury finished 18th at .355 then signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees.

Gomes, at .344, platoons with Nava in left field and could hit first when he plays, despite having more power and less speed than the typical leadoff batter.

Tagged: Red Sox, Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava

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