9:30pm: Ellsbury has been placed on the 7-day DL, tweets MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. The team has yet to announce a corresponding roster move, however.
7:30pm: The Yankees announced that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was removed from tonight’s game with a concussion and a neck sprain. Ellsbury made a sensational catch of a deep fly-ball to center field but crashed into wall upon making the grab and was down on the field for several seconds before being attended to by trainers (video link). That occurred on the first play of the game, and while Ellsbury initially remained in the contest, he was replaced by Aaron Hicks in the bottom of the second inning.
While the Yankees haven’t made an announcement of a DL trip, it seems that the diagnosis of a concussion would likely call for a trip to the 7-day disabled list. Ellsbury has played quite well thus far in 2017, hitting .281/.349/.422 with four homers and eight steals through the first 153 plate appearances of his age-33 campaign. If he is indeed sidelined, the Yanks have the outfield depth to get by, as Hicks has also been tremendous in what is shaping up to be a breakout campaign. Hicks or Brett Gardner could handle the bulk of the work in center, with the other playing left field and Aaron Judge manning right field.
In the event of a DL stint, Mason Williams seems like the most logical candidate to replace Ellsbury on the roster. The fleet-footed 25-year-old has hit poorly in Triple-A this season, but he’s already on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, whereas top prospect Clint Frazier would require a corresponding 40-man roster move. And, given the organization’s hope for Frazier in the long run, the Yankees may not want to bring Frazier up as a temporary injury replacement. Alternatively, the ability of both Hicks and Gardner to handle center field could make Rob Refsnyder a short-term option, as he’s begun to play some corner outfield in recent seasons as well.