Jacoby Ellsbury out of lineup after being hit by pitch in back

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Jacoby Ellsbury is out of tonight’s lineup against the Royals after he was hit in the back by a pitch in the top of the eighth inning last night. He stayed in the game to run the bases and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez, but was replaced in center field in the bottom-half of the inning.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Ellsbury underwent an MRI which ruled out any structural damage. The American League MVP candidate is considered day-to-day with a contusion.

Ellsbury, 27, is batting .313/.370/.517 with 22 homers, 79 RBI and an .887 OPS over 560 plate appearances this season. He ranks third in the American League with 33 stolen bases, third with 89 runs scored and is tied for third with 158 hits.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.