UPDATE: Hot-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury out Saturday with ankle injury

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UPDATE: According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Ellsbury is not in today’s lineup.

10:06 a.m. ET: Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stayed hot last night by going 2-for-5 with a homer, a triple, and two RBI against the Blue Jays, but he injured his left ankle on a slide into home plate in the ninth inning.

Ellsbury hurt the ankle by sliding into the leg of catcher Dioner Navarro. He was originally ruled safe on the play, but the call was overturned on a challenge. Ellsbury had a flouroscope that came back negative on the ankle, but he was limping around after the game and Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he might not be available today.

“His ankle is sore,” Girardi said. “He hurt his ankle. I’m not sure what he’s going to be for us [Saturday]. I can’t tell you that he’s going to play. It’s frustrating because he’s playing so well. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Ellsbury has been on fire of late, hitting .455 (20-for-44) with four homers, one triple, one double, 11 RBI, and six stolen bases over his last 11 games.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉