Jacoby Ellsbury To Swing For First Time Since Injury Today
Jacoby Ellsbury thinks he will be in the New York Yankees opening day lineup. On the bench since March 15th with a right oblique strain, Ellsbury is expected to hit off a tee and do some soft toss today. It will be the first time he’s swung a bat since the injury.
Joe Girardi has given a March 31st deadline for Ellsbury to get into a game in order to be ready for opening day. So Ellsbury has to play by Tuesday, a feat he feels he is ready for. “I can still get in quite a few games, and that would be great…Today is a nice little step in the right direction in the sense of swinging. I feel pretty confident that I’ll definitely be in the opening day lineup…I guess the biggest thing is, I haven’t had it before, so I’m basically going off their instructions. These are the steps that worked in the past for guys, so this is the progression we want you to take. I’m just listening to them and I know they’re doing a very good job.”
Ellsbury has been running sprints the past few days, but the action of swinging a bat will be a real test for the oblique. The Yankees centerfielder has been injured often in his career. That is why many view his $155 million contract as terrifying, but last year he played in 149 games, his most since 2011.
Ellsbury had a decent year for the Yankees in 2014, hitting .271/.328/.419 with 16 home runs and 39 stolen bases. Other than the stolen bases, nothing about his year was worthy of a contract his size, but he was one of the best offensive players on a very mediocre squad. Ellsbury needs to be healthy and get his batting average closer to his career .293 average while keeping all other elements in tact in 2015. If he can’t, he’ll just be another Yankee with a contract that can’t be lived up to.