Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Let's Say Jacoby Ellsbury Has a Setback

The New York Yankees had a bit of a scare over the weekend when the team faced off with the Atlanta Braves in a Grapefruit League spring training game. The Yankees watched as Jacoby Ellsbury made a spectacular running and diving catch to help preserve another good start for Michael Pineda and then watched as he took a pitch off his wrist while at bat. Ellsbury was immediately sent for tests and X-rays and everything came back as negative, which is good news, giving Ellsbury a little over two weeks to get rid of any lingering soreness and doubt in the wrist which should be plenty of time to heal. What if he doesn't though? What if Ellsbury has a setback or injures the wrist again in the field or something? Devil's Advocate.. and go!

First and foremost the Yankees would not only lose their center fielder but would lose their leadoff hitter as well. The good news for New York is they have a pair of center fielders, maybe three or more truth be told, and a pair of leadoff hitters currently on the roster. Brett Gardner would take over the everyday center field duties and would be the first Yankees hitter out of the dugout game in and game out. Aaron Hicks would likely slide into the everyday left field position while Starlin Castro would probably hit second in the Yankees batting order. Hicks is no Ellsbury, assuming Ellsbury is healthy, but he would fill in more than adequately in my opinion.

Slade Heathcott would likely win the bench job out of spring training since he can play all three outfield positions and is still in Yankees camp. Ben Gamel may have had the inside track but Heathcott is on the 40 man and still in camp while Gamel was sent down over the weekend making the decision easy.

Could the Yankees survive a 15-day DL trip for Ellsbury? Absolutely. They have such an interchangeable lineup and defensive alignment that they could survive almost any injury, it's if the team gets multiple injuries at the same position that things may get interesting. Interesting being a bad thing for the Yankees.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)