Red Sox leadoff candidates

ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes wrote earlier this week that Boston Red Sox skipper John Farrell considered removing Jacoby Ellsbury from the leadoff spot. He ultimately stuck with the centerfielder, who is batting just .249 with a .318 on-base percentage for the year.

Ellsbury showed some signs of life in the final two games in Chicago, gathering three hits and three walks, so maybe he's truly getting things going. If not, Farrell may have to reconsider the leadoff spot. Shane Victorino, who has experience in the role, may be the first option, but he has to be healthy when the decision is made. Victorino has battled some minor injuries this season, including the hamstring tweak that is keeping him out right now.

Another option may be Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman gets on base, makes consistent contact and can run, an aspect Farrell values, in combo with on-base ability, in the leadoff spot. The former MVP has made 79 starts as the leadoff man, with mixed results. He hasn't led off in a game since 2009.

If the club were to go to Pedroia at the top of the order, Farrell could move David Ortiz into the No. 3 spot where Pedroia has been batting, moving up the likes of Mike Napoli, Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in behind him.