Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced to the media Wednesday that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury won’t be reporting to camp until next month, as he’s currently being slowed by a case of plantar fasciitis (link via Dan Martin of the New York Post). It’s not yet clear whether Ellsbury will be ready for Opening Day, nor is it clear how much playing time would be available to Ellsbury considering a Yankees outfield mix that features Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton (with Clint Frazier also looming in the minors). Ellsbury seems poised for a bench role after missing the entire 2018 season due to injury (most notably including hip surgery).
The injury news didn’t stop there for the Yanks, either, as right-handed pitching prospect Mike King has been shut down for the next three weeks after an MRI revealed a stress reaction in his right elbow. He’ll be re-evaluated after that three-week down period. The 23-year-old King posted a ridiculous 1.79 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9 in 161 1/3 innings across three levels last season, topping out with a brilliant six-start run in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Some more injury notes from around the American League (we checked in on some NL health statuses earlier today, as well)…
- In what’s become all too familiar a theme for Angels fans, there’s some early trouble regarding right-handers Nick Tropeano and Alex Meyer. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Tropeano has only just resumed “light” throwing after suffering a December setback in his rehab from the shoulder woes that derailed much of his 2018 season (Twitter links). Tropeano had three DL stints pertaining to his shoulder in ’18 and was eventually shut down after undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection. He’s unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, per Fletcher. Meanwhile, Meyer had yet another surgery on his perennially problematic right shoulder — this time an arthroscopic procedure performed in November. He’s not yet been cleared to throw. The former top prospect was a long shot to factor into the pitching staff anyhow given his extremely lengthy injury history. He was cut loose by the Halos earlier this winter but returned on a minor league contract.
- MLB.com’s Mandy Bell writes that Indians right-hander Danny Salazar is confident he’ll be able to begin throwing off a mound by the end of Spring Training. That doesn’t create much optimism for an early 2019 return, nor does the fact that Bell suggests Salazar could be able to return to the Major League roster “prior to the All-Star break.” Given Cleveland’s strong rotation and the fact that Salazar didn’t even pitch in 2018 due to shoulder troubles that necessitated surgery in July, he’ll be a part of the team’s bullpen picture whenever he does return. With the righty still only playing catch on flat ground, however, it’ll likely be awhile before a more definitive timeline takes shape.
- An MRI performed on Athletics right-hander James Kaprielian revealed a strained lat muscle, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). He won’t throw for the next two to three weeks. Kaprielian, 25 next month, was once regarded as one of the game’s top pitching prospects and was a key piece acquired in the 2017 trade that sent Sonny Gray to the Bronx, but he hasn’t pitched since 2016 due to 2017 Tommy John surgery and a series of shoulder issues in 2018.