Ellsbury, Crawford running like they're in the 1980s

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Jacoby Ellsbury finished the first half by swiping his 40th base
yesterday, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker as the only players in
Red Sox history to steal at least 40 bases in back-to-back seasons.
Ellsbury is also just 15 steals away from breaking the Red Sox’s
single-season record of 54 steals, which was set by Tommy Harper in
1973.

Ellsbury is on pace for 73 steals, which would make him just the
third player this decade to top the 70 mark along with Jose Reyes in
2007 and Scott Podsednik in 2003. Of course, with 44 steals already
Carl Crawford may join the club before Ellsbury. The last time two
players stole at least 70 bases in the same season was way back in
1991, when Marquis Grissom swiped 76 and Otis Nixon swiped 71.

Before that Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both topped 70 in
1988 and Henderson, Coleman, Tim Raines, and Eric Davis all did it in
1986. In fact, with Henderson, Coleman, and Raines all in their primes
at least two players stole 70 bases in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984,
1985, 1986, and 1988. Incidentally, Ellsbury was born in 1983 and
Crawford was born in 1981.

Ronald Acuña batting sixth, playing left field in his Braves debut

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The Braves have made it official, announcing that they have called up top prospect Ronald Acuña. He’ll bat sixth in tonight’s game against the Reds and will start in left field.

Acuña will be wearing number 13, no doubt to honor past Braves luminaries like Adonis Garcia, Nate McLouth, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger and Jerry Royster, all of whom have worn the fabled 1 and 3. Feel like he stands a pretty good chance of besting their exploits.

The 20-year-old Acuña was 11-for-his-last-33 with a homer, a double, four walks, and three stolen bases at Triple-A Gwinnett following a slow start. He tore it up in spring training, however, and hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI, 44 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 139 games last season across three levels of the Braves’ minor league system.

The future was delayed a bit, but it’s here now for the Atlanta Braves’ phenom.