According to Gordon Edes, Jacoby Ellsbury is heading to the disabled list with a dislocated or partially dislocated right shoulder. Ellsbury injured the shoulder in the 3rd inning of today’s home opener against the Rays during a collision with shortstop Reid Brignac. Ellsbury slid hard into second, trying to break up the double play, but Brignac fell over Ellsbury and landed on his right shoulder as he came down. After grimacing in pain for a few minutes, Ellsbury and the trainers walked off the field together, and Ryan Sweeney entered the game as his replacement. Read on for more information, including the Sox likely plan to move forward.
Edes also reported that Ellsbury will also be undergoing more testing to determine the extent of the damage done today, as it could be something similar to Derek Jeter’s 2003 injury, where he missed 36 games and returned, or it could be as bad as Freddy Sanchez, who had surgery on his shoulder last season and still has not returned to the field.
Che-Hsuan Lin is expected to be the call-up for Ellsbury while he’s gone, as he was scratched from the AAA game tonight, minutes before the start. Lin was 1 for 11 this spring with the Sox, but had a .245/.340/.305 line with 2 homers and 28 stolen bases between Portland and Pawtucket.
Lin was just added to the 40-man roster over the offseason, and gets the nod to replace Ellsbury because during the offseason, the Sox traded outfielder Josh Reddick in the Andrew Bailey (who is also on the DL) and Ryan Sweeney trade, and Ryan Kalish, the other promising young outfielder in the Sox system, is still rehabbing from his own shoulder troubles last season and is on the 60-Day DL at the moment.
The Red Sox bats finally came alive in the 8th inning of the home opener, scoring 8 times, 7 of those runs coming before an out was recorded, but replacing Ellsbury’s presence at the top of the lineup, on the basepaths, and in the outfield is going to be one of the biggest challenges facing the Sox, who are already riddled with injuries (Ellsbury joins Bailey, Crawford, Lackey, Jenks, Matsuzaka, and Miller on the sidelines). If Crawford thought the expectations of his rebound season were high before the season started, well, they only grew ten-fold tonight. They need Crawford’s speed at the top of the lineup, setting the table for the middle of the order, now more than ever. Mike Aviles hit leadoff a lot during spring training with some success, but he certainly doesn’t disrupt the bases the way Ellsbury did.
This is a huge blow for Red Sox Nation, as the team finally gave us something to cheer for today. Let’s just hope it’s a dislocation, and that it responds to rehab and we can see Jacoby running around centerfield in June sometime.