BOSTON -- About three hours before Saturday's game against the Twins, bench coach Tim Bogar scratched Jacoby Ellsbury's name from the leadoff spot of the lineup card posted in the clubhouse and wrote in Ryan Kalish's.
The reason? Ellsbury is nursing what manager Bobby Valentine termed a "little situation."
While Valentine didn't elaborate much on the injury, he said it was a leg ailment, and that Ellsbury was willing to play.
"With the day game tomorrow, I vetoed it," said Valentine. "Ryan is healthy, ready to go. It's a leg issue. But it's not an issue. But it could become an issue."
It was the second time Ellsbury hasn't been in Boston's starting lineup since he returned to the active roster on July 13.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was also absent from Valentine's starting nine on Saturday, with Nick Punto filling in. It was Punto's first appearance for the Red Sox since July 22.
"I wanted to give him a day off two days ago, and he talked me out of it," said Valentine. "I said, 'OK, we'll go through the left-hander.' It should have been two days ago. We all need days off. He's out working every day early. This will do him great."