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Table-setters of the (near) future

It's the 4th inning of the game against the Jays and the Sox are up 10-1 with Dice-K on the mound. That in itself makes me smile. What also draws my interest is the top of the order.

Jacoby Ellsbury is 2 for 2 with a walk, 3 runs scored batting leadoff. Pedroia is 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs batting second. That is the future top of the order for the Sox. And it is very likely that that future will be in full effect leaving spring training next year.

While I actually really like having Youk bat second because of the way he works pitchers, I don't see how you could do much better then Pedroia. He gets on base a ton, handles the bat well, never strikes out (second hardest in the league) and seems like a very smart baserunner. The only drawback I can see is that he can't seem to bunt. That won't be a big deal on any Sox team (or any AL team not coached my Mike Scioscia) I can envision. While I don't get how someone as fundamentally sound and, frankly, diminutive as Pedroia can't bunt, it might be due to the fact that for Pedroia, like ever player in the bigs, has always been the best player on every team he's ever played for and no coach at any level asks that player to bunt very often. On his little league team, Dustin probably batted cleanup.

I don't want to hype Ellsbury too much, but he seems like a prototypical leadoff guy. I can't wait to watch this guy every day. I'll miss Coco's grace in the outfield, but I don't think they can't wait any longer on Jacoby.

It looks like a bright future for the top of the Sox lineup. At least it sure does tonight.


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