Ellsbury Injured Again
By Brian Phair
After spending 95 games away from the Red Sox to rehab from his fractured ribs, Jacoby Ellsbury returned a little over a week ago. Unfortunately for Ellsbury, a collision with the Texas pitcher Tommy Hunter in his 1st at-bat on Friday night may have re-injured his ribs. Ellsbury was removed from the game in the 4th inning due to the pain he was feeling in his side and hopped on a plane to Boston today to be examined at Mass General Hospital. Given Ellsbury’s track record with this rib injury, this is not good news for the Sox who have now lost 2 heart-breaking games in a row, but look to rebound on Saturday night.
On multiple occasions this season, I have referred the Ellsbury injury situation as a saga and with each passing day, that label becomes more and more accurate. Since the collision with Adrian Beltre back in April, Ellsbury has attempted 2 comebacks from the injury, re-injuring himself the 1st time and maybe doing the same again on Friday night. After his first setback in May when he attempted to play, but lasted just 3 games before the pain was too much, Ellsbury blamed the Red Sox for not properly diagnosing him and taking extra precaution with his recovery. The saga really began to pick up steam after Ellsbury insulted the Sox training staff, beginning the train of negative energy around the outfielder.
The came the point when his teammates got involved. Ellsbury made the decision to rehab in Arizona, away from the team, which was a choice that did not sit well with his teammates and the always diplomatic Kevin Youkilis made a few indirect comments questioning Ellsbury’s loyalty to the team. Youk said, “One thing I can say is there’s a lot of guys here that are hurt and supporting the team. We wish Jacoby was here supporting us, too.” The saga continued with now the players wondering what was going on, until Ellsbury finally was ready to make his return to the Sox lineup after a long rehab stint in Pawtucket.
On August 4th, Ellsbury returned to a light standing ovation, but there was clearly some tension and indecision in the fans at Fenway Park. Since returning, Ellsbury has gone just 4 for 34 with 3 runs scored and 2 rbis. The story appeared to be fading as he was playing daily once again, until his collision with Hunter in the 1st at-bat for the Sox on Friday night. Ellsbury fell on his side and found it difficult to move as the game wore on, until he was pulled in the 4th inning. Now the saga continues with Ellsbury once again not being with his team as he gets examined in Boston. As of now, there is no word on what his injury is exactly, besides the assumed aggravation of his rib fractures and no one knows if a 3rd DL stint this season will be necessary.
If that isn’t considered a saga, I don’t know what is. It has just been one thing after another with the speedy outfielder and for the small amount of time he has spent on the field in 2010, he has sure received a ton of headline space. The future is uncertain, but I think the Sox front office and Ellsbury would just like to pretend the 2010 season never happened.