Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since last Friday due to tightness in his right calf, but the Yankees are hoping that his return isn’t far off.
Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports that a precautionary MRI on Ellsbury’s calf came back negative. Yankees manager Joe Girardi expects him to take batting practice tomorrow and remains “very confident” that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
The Yankees signed Ellsbury to a monster seven-year, $153 million contract over the winter. They are banking on the idea that the perception of him as an injury-prone player is a myth.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.