Jacoby Ellsbury to disabled list with right knee sprain
WASHINGTON — Jacoby Ellsbury has been a catalyst atop the Yankees’ lineup all season, but they will continue without his services for at least two weeks after the outfielder sustained a right knee sprain in Tuesday’s 8-6, 10-inning loss to the Nationals on Tuesday.
Ellsbury left the game in the fourth inning after tweaking the knee swinging at a changeup from the Nats’ Gio Gonzalez. Ellsbury worked a walk but appeared to favor the knee while running the bases, and did not return to play defense in the bottom half of the inning.
“It’s not what you want,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “If we are going to lose him for some time, somebody’s got to step up. That’s the bottom line. It’s part of the game.”
Ellsbury left Nationals Park before the end of the game to have an MRI performed. The Yankees plan to select outfielder Slade Heathcott to the 40-man roster and have him take Ellsbury’s spot on the active roster.
Heathcott, 24, was batting .280 (42-for-150) with one home run and 17 RBIs in 36 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after putting together a strong spring in big league camp.
The 31-year-old Ellsbury is hitting .324 (48-for-148) with one homer, six RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 37 games.
“Jacoby is our leadoff guy, gets on base and kind of gets things started,” Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. “We’re hoping for the best. I’m not sure what the news is, but we’re hoping for the best.”
Girardi said that he was not sure if he would move Brett Gardner from left field to center field in the event that Ellsbury misses an extended period of time.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Girardi said. “You’ve got to see what it is. It’s possible that we might do that. I think you kind of wait to see what it is before you make a whole lot of changes.”