Report: Jacoby Ellsbury out at least six weeks with shoulder dislocation

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UPDATE: Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that Ellsbury does indeed have a dislocation or partial dislocation of his right shoulder and will miss a minimum of six weeks. He is scheduled to undergo more testing to make sure the shoulder did not sustain additional damage.

10:04 PM: Alex Speier of WEEI.com was told by an “industry source with knowledge of the situation” that Ellsbury likely suffered a dislocation or subluxation of his right shoulder.

The Red Sox have yet to make an official announcement on his status, but if Speier’s report proves correct, Ellsbury could miss up to six to eight weeks. There’s also the possibility that he could need season-ending surgery if the shoulder fails to respond to rest and rehabilitation.

8:49 PM: According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Jacoby Ellsbury was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital in order to undergo tests, including an MRI exam, on his right shoulder. Ellsbury left this afternoon’s game against the Rays in the bottom of the fourth inning after sliding into second base and having Reid Brignac fall directly on top of him.

The full extent of the injury isn’t yet known, but the Red Sox are already preparing for life without him. At least for a little while. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said the club is planning to make a roster move and Triple-A Pawtucket radio announcer Aaron Goldsmith notes that prospect outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was scratched from tonight’s lineup. Seems like he’ll get the call.

In the interim, the Red Sox will likely start Darnell McDonald, Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney from left to right in the outfield while Mike Aviles figures to slide into the leadoff spot. Be afraid, American League hurlers.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.