It's no secret that Kevin Youkilis had trouble firing the engines in the Red Sox first few games but in his last five games it appears he's seeing the ball better, he's taking walks again and he's getting his hits--6 for 18 last five games--so Bobby Valentine's comment on WHDH's "Sports Xtra" last night come as a bit of a surprise and open the door for speculation. This is what he said.
“I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.’’
If he had said this during the series in Toronto it would have gone unnoticed but given the timing of the remark you have to wonder what was meant by it.
This is purely speculation on my part but maybe Bobby's opening the door for a trade involving Youkilis for an outfielder if it's determined Jacoby Ellsbury will miss significant time. The Oakland Athletics have been mentioned as a potential trade partner for the Red Sox and we know what GM Billy Beane thinks of the "Greek God of Walks".
With Will Middlebrooks continuing to mash at Triple-A Pawtucket there's a very real possibility that a deal like this could happen. If the Red Sox feel that Middlebrooks can help them more than Youk they might be inclined to trade him for outfield help and give their number one prospect the opportunity at third base.
More tests on Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder are expected today and the outcome will likely be the difference between the Sox making a deal or not.
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