Jacoby Ellsbury has been sidelined since May 19 with a sprained right knee, but he’s finally getting closer to rejoining the Yankees.
According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday that Ellsbury will go through a workout prior to today’s game against the Astros. If all goes well, he could be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Monday. This would likely set up him up to be activated for the 4th of July weekend.
Ellsbury, 31, was batting .324/.412/.372 with one home run, six RBI, and 14 steals over 37 games prior to the injury. The Yankees are fourth in the majors in runs scored this month, so they have done a good job staying afloat without one of their most important pieces.
Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had hoped to return from a sprained right knee by the end of the month, but it sounds like he won’t be ready to come off the disabled list by then.
Manager Joe Girardi told C of MLB.com that Ellsbury coming back by June 30 “is probably going to be pretty difficult” because he still isn’t running at 100 percent one month after suffering the injury and “it’s just not where we want it to be physically.”
Brett Gardner initially shifted from left field to center field following Ellsbury’s injury, but of late the Yankees have mostly been using rookie call-up Mason Williams in center field with Gardner back in a corner spot.
Ellsbury hit .324 with 14 steals and a .783 OPS in 37 games before the injury, leading the Yankees with a .412 on-base percentage.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are calling up 23-year-old outfield prospect Mason Williams for his MLB debut.
Williams appeared on most top-100 prospect lists in 2012, 2013, and 2014, but his stock dropped a lot following a rough season at Double-A last year. However, he’s bounced back in a big way this year by hitting .318 with more walks (27) than strikeouts (23) and a .795 OPS in 54 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Williams has primarily been a center fielder in the minors, so his presence could allow the Yankees to shift Brett Gardner back to left field in Jacoby Ellsbury’s absence. Or they could use the speedy, left-handed-hitting Williams all over the outfield as needed.