CLEVELAND -- When the Red Sox were losing 10 in a row, there was a fair amount of bemoaning the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Sox lineup, given that they were both key components of the team that won the 2013 World Series.
Lately, not so much. The Sox have won seven in a row entering play Monday night against the Indians -- a win and they will have the longest winning streak
ever after losing 10 straight -- and the returns from May were not good for either Ellsbury or Saltalamacchia.
Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees, posted a slash line of .231/.317/.327/.644 in May; his OPS of .644 was his lowest in almost six seasons. He had a .566 OPS in July, 2008, his first full season in the majors.
Saltalamacchia, meanwhile, signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Miami Marlins. He got off to a good start, hitting five home runs in April and posting a .980 OPS, but tanked in May, posting a slash line of .177/.258/.241/..499 with one home run and 30 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances.
Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, meanwhile, has quietly been one of Boston’s most productive hitters in the first two months. His 27 RBIs are second to David Ortiz’s 28 on the Sox, he posted a .300/.315/.444/.760 slash line in May, and his overall OPS of .735 ranks third among qualifying catchers in the big leagues, behind only Kurt Suzuki of the Twins (.765) and Yan Gomes of the Indians (.735). Mix in a few walks (he has just 5), and his numbers would be even better.