In April, Jacoby Ellsbury hit .283 with a .336 on-base percentage, and .416 slugging percentage. But the flip of the calendar has not been kind to him.

In 16 games this month, he's hitting .188, going 13-for-69, with a double, a triple, four runs scored, three RBI, seven walks, and 10 strikeouts, for a .273 on-base percentage, and .232 slugging percentage.

“Still some inconsistencies with the timing,” manager John Farrell replied when asked what he’s been seeing from Ellsbury lately. “And there’s time when he’ll show good patience. He’ll work deep into a count. And then he’ll look maybe in the next at-bat a little over aggressive, trying to make something happen."

In many ways Ellsbury, who opened Saturday’s game against the Twins with a single, is a prototypical lead-off hitter. His speed is well-known and one of his best weapons. He leads the American League with 13 stolen bases and four triples. When he gets on base, just the threat of a steal can work to the Sox advantage.

But, the production that the Red Sox have been getting from him lately is not evidence of that. His overall numbers this season -- .247/.312/.346 – are well off those of his MVP-caliber season of 2011 (.321/.376/.552), and even last season (.271/.313/.370).

“And it comes down to timing, because we’ve seen him where he’s squared up some balls that he gets on base, he’ll create some havoc. But the consistency to which he’s made himself known for is a little elusive right now. And he’s a key part for us. We need him, and we need to work with him to get him going. That’s ongoing every day. But his consistency has a huge effect and a huge impact on who we are offensively.”

Curiously, entering Saturday’s game, Ellsbury is hitting .294/.362/.388 in 19 road games, but just .206/.267/.309 in 23 games at Fenway Park this season. But in the first four games on the current road trip, he is just .133/.316/.133, going 2-for-15 with three walks, getting hit by a pitch, and two strikeouts, a stolen base.