Mar 14, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (right) slides into second base as the ball gets away from Minnesota Twins infielder Danny Santana (left) during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Risky Investment Of Jacoby Ellsbury


I guess the Yankees thought since the Johnny Damon from Boston to New York experiment worked, the same would happen with Jacoby Ellsbury. However, the Yankees forgot to factor in a key component to the Ellsbury experiment: injuries. During his time in Boston, Ellsbury has battled many injuries and now the same thing might be occurring in the Bronx.

On Thursday, Ellsbury was suppose to take batting practice with the other Yankee stars who were left behind on the Yanks long trip south. But Ellsbury was nowhere to be found. Finally, three hours later at JetBlue Park, manager Joe Girardi addressed the Ellsbury situation. The Yankees’ new center fielder underwent an MRI on his ailing right calf. The good news is that the MRI came back clean. The bad news is, it is the same old story for Ellsbury’s durability.

Many people questioned the Yankees’ handing out $153 million over seven years to Ellsbury this off-season. But this actually could turn out to be a really strong move by the Yankees and Brian Cashman in the long run. Let’s review the facts: Curtis Grandson left the Yankees to their crosstown rivals in the New York Mets, leaving a void in center field, even though you could argue that Brett Gardner could fill that void. Then, you have to analyze what Ellsbury has done when healthy. He has terrorized the Bronx Bombers with his speed on the base paths and his Gold Glove-caliber play in center. In the long run, if he can stay healthy, Ellsbury could become the next Yankee great to come from Boston. He can join a group that features names such as, Babe Ruth, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and of course Damon.

His style of play however could be his downfall with the Yankees. Ellsbury is usually on Sportscenter with diving catches into walls or stealing third base. Baseball players do not play forever, and the way Ellsbury plays does not help his future years. Look at Brian Roberts for example. The Yankee second baseman has battled injuries throughout his career because of his scrappy, aggressive style of play. I’m not saying playing like that is bad, not at all. However, this style of play allows for more opportunities of injury. If Ellsbury can learn a balance of aggressive play and relaxed play, I think he still has at least five to seven good seasons left.

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  • Thomas Katona

    Ellsbury wasn’t worth that kind of contract. He’s injury prone & to be honest who knows if he can take the pressure playing for the Yankees! If he screws up in any way the media & fan’s will eat him alive.

    • artie999

      Also, 2/3 of your OF in the AL BEAST hitting 10 HRs each. The Yanks have consistently won with power 1 through 9.

  • Thomas Katona

    If the yanks can get 25 hrs. Out of Ellsbury this season cause of the right field porch that would be great. But he also needs to hit the gaps also to utilize his speed.

  • Thomas Katona

    Iam watching today’s game & Beltran looks lazy in the outfield! Sure hope he’s got more than what he’s showing this spring!