Ellsbury hit on wrist by pitch, but Yanks say scans negative
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) As Jacoby Ellsbury batted in the fifth inning Saturday against Atlanta, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was being interviewed live on the YES Network telecast and spoke about the importance of keeping the center fielder and leadoff hitter healthy. Ellsbury was on the disabled list from May 20 to July 8 last season because of a sprained right knee.
''I look at last year's injury, that's kind of a freak thing. You don't expect that to happen every year,'' Girardi said.
Then he added of Ellsbury's injury history: ''That's a concern. We need to keep these guys fresh and strong.''
Two pitches later, Ellsbury was hit on the right wrist by a 90 mph from Julio Teheran.
''This is what we talked about. Hold on. I'll be back,'' Girardi said, running off to check on the player.
Ellsbury left the game and went to a hospital. More than an hour after New York completed a 3-2 win, Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said a CT scan and X-rays were negative.
''How about that?'' Girardi said right after the game. ''I need to keep my mouth shut.''
There was a loud sound of the ball hitting the wrist when 32-year-old former All-Star was hit.
''He was in pain,'' Girardi said. ''It scares you. He had seam marks on his wrist. You keep your fingers crossed.''
Girardi thought back to three years ago, when Curtis Granderson broke his right forearm in his first at-bat at spring training when hit by a pitch from Toronto's J.A. Happ on Feb. 24. Granderson returned May 14. then broke a knuckle on his left hand 10 days later when hit by a pitch from Tampa Bay's Cesar Ramos. Granderson was out until Aug. 2.
Should Ellsbury be sidelined for an extended period, Girardi said Aaron Hicks would start in center.
Getting ready for his third season with the Yankees, Ellsbury made a diving catch in deep center on a first-inning drive by Nick Swisher, who tipped his helmet toward the outfielder.
Michael Pineda allowed one run and four hits in four innings for the Yankees. It's the only run he has given up in nine innings overall.
''I'm happy,'' Pineda said. ''Everything is going great.''
Chase Headley had an RBI double during a three-run fourth off Teheran, who gave up three runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
The start of the game was delayed 67 minutes by rain.
Braves: Teheran had two strikeouts and a walk.
Yankees: Pineda struck out four.
Yankees: LF Brett Gardner will play in his third game Sunday against Minnesota since bruising his left wrist in last year's AL wild card loss to Houston. He is hitless in five at-bats.
Yankees: Former closer Mariano Rivera arrived and said he will be in camp four or five days as a great instructor. He threw batting practice in an indoor cage. ... Hall of Fame closer and guest instructor Goose Gossage was back after missing a day to have a doctor clear blockage in his ear. ... New closer Aroldis Chapman allowed one run, two hits and struck out one in one inning.
Atlanta's Hector Olivera had a double off Chapman in the fifth to give a hit in 14 of 15 games.
Swisher, who played for the Yankees from 2009-12, asked to make the trip. Swisher feels he is capable of playing again at a high level after batting issues in both knees the past two seasons.
The Yankees optioned OF Ben Gamel to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and reassigned him to minor league camp. RHPs Tyler Cloyd, Mark Montgomery and Vinnie Pestano, LHP Richard Bleier and INFs Jonathan Diaz and Donovan Solano were sent to the minor league camp.
Braves: Bud Norris gets the start Sunday against Detroit.
Yankees: Ivan Nova, competing with CC Sabathia for a rotation spot, starts Sunday against Minnesota. He has a 2.00 ERA through his first three starts.