We are two months into the baseball season and there have been stories with the New York Yankees that come as no surprise.
Mark Teixeira banged up his wrist again? Nothing new there.
CC Sabathia has a bad knee and can’t make his next few starts? Move along, nothing to see here.
Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t gone on the disabled list in his first two months as a Yankee.
Wait a minute, wait, wait. What was that? Ellsbury is healthy?
Not only is he healthy, Ellsbury is one of the bright spots on a Yankees lineup that has been more mediocre than vibrant.
When Ellsbury was with the Boston Red Sox, he had his share of seasons that were powerful. Granted, Ellsbury wasn’t the best when it came to home runs, but those stolen bases added up with time. Ellsbury stole 50 or more bases in three of his seasons with Boston, including a league-leading 70 in 2009.
Over the years, however, Ellsbury frustrated many a Red Sox fan and fantasy baseball player with numerous injuries. Rib issues sidelined Ellsbury three times in 2010 and limited him to 18 games. Ellsbury missed three months with shoulder issues in 2012; he suffered a compound foot fracture and missed the final month of the 2013 regular season.
Is it any wonder that more heads shook when Ellsbury signed a seven-year deal worth $153 million? The consensus was the Yankees overpaid as usual. Tongues began wagging. He’ll never finish the contract. One small injury and Ellsbury will miss 50 games. He’s a baby.
It’s still way too soon to say that Ellsbury had the last laugh, but he has played in all but two of the Yankees’ games this season. His numbers have been solid, and Ellsbury has provided stability to a lineup missing (at times) Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran.
Now, if only Ellsbury could bring a bit of stability to that pitching staff…