Jacoby Ellsbury Heading To New York Yankees’ 15-Day DL With Knee Sprain

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Jacoby Ellsbury is heading to the DL for the New York Yankees, leaving a huge hole atop their lineup and in centerfield

A little less than halfway through the New York Yankees’ walk off loss to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, Jacoby Ellsbury was forced from the game with a knee sprain. Only a little while after the game, he was then forced to the 15-Day DL, as the Yankees will take no chances with their expensive centerfielder.

Manager Joe Girardi said that Ellsbury hurt the knee swinging in the fourth inning. He would become the first Yankee to reach base against Gio Gonzalez in the game, and when he reached second base on a groundout Girardi and the training staff came out to check on him. He was able to come around and score later in the inning, but did not return to play the field in the bottom half of the inning.

“Is it going to cost him some time? Maybe. Is it real serious? I don’t think so, but we really won’t know until the MRI,” Girardi said after the game. Ellsbury went in for an MRI right away, but the results didn’t give a good picture of the severity of the injury.

On Tuesday, Ellsbury was replaced by Carlos Beltran in the lineup, as Chris Young went from rightfield to centerfield and Beltran took over in right. That could be what Girardi is forced to do as long as Ellsbury is sidelined, unless he wants to move leftfielder Brett Gardner over to center.

Either way, Young is going to find himself having consistent playing time over the next couple of weeks, which looked like a good thing early in the season before he cooled off, as he is hitting under .200 in May.

The Yankees are expected to call up Slade Heathcott to take Ellsbury’s roster spot, and he could find himself with some playing time in centerfield as well. Gardner has grown into a strong leftfielder, so moving him over to centerfield for the time being could weaken the Yankees in two spots, as no one on the roster can play left field as strong as he could.

This is a big blow to the Yankees lineup, as Ellsbury was having a strong season as the leadoff man. The 31-year old was batting .324 with 19 walks, 29 runs and 14 stolen bases, constantly setting the table for the run producers behind him in the lineup.

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Ellsbury will join what is becoming a pretty crowded DL for the Yankees, as they already have Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova on there and recovering from injuries, while Chase Whitley was put on the DL with Tommy John surgery imminent.

For a team already facing so many injuries, this Ellsbury one could be the one that puts them over the edge. They have been playing poor baseball recently, as the Tampa Bay Rays are now tied with them for first place in the AL East, and there is more question marks than sure things on the roster right now.

This is one injury that will surely hurt, as Ellsbury’s production will be difficult for the Yankees to replace even with multiple players filling in.

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