Think back to April 11th, the Red Sox were at the Kansas City Royals, a foul ball was hit and Adrian Beltre and Jacoby Ellsbury both sprinted for the ball. Beltre caught it for only a second, then collided with Ellsbury, which caused Beltre to do somewhat of a flip, after he kneed Ellsbury in the ribs. Beltre got up and walked it off, but Ellsbury did not get up. It probably surprised most Red Sox fans that Ellsbury didn’t get up and walk it off too, for he had ran into many walls before. No one knew that this was Ellsbury’s last game for a morethan a month, nor did anyone want to think of thought of losing the Red Sox’s leading man.
At first, the Red Sox came out and said Ellsbury would be back by the following Wednesday, which was only three days after his collision. But that didn’t happen. The Red Sox then hoped that they could have him back a little after a week after he obtained his injury, but reports said that Ellsbury just wasn’t feeling well enough to play. Redsox.com started posting articles entitled “Ellsbury’s timetable still uncertain” and “Red Sox put Ellsbury on DL”. And then came the big one “Ellsbury has hairline fracture in four ribs”. The fractures were found when Ellsbury requested a cat scan. ‘”For me, it just wasn’t getting better,” said Ellsbury. “I kind of asked
for it — the MRI and the CT — and I’m glad I went about and did it,
just to get some kind of closure of what was going on.”‘ (redsox.com)
It seemed like once Ellsbury’s true injury was known, things started to get better. At the end of April, he started hitting off a tee. In the first week of May, he did full batting practice. And on May 17th, he started an official “rehab stint” playing a game with the Triple A Pawtucket PawSox and and a game with the Double A Portland Sea Dogs. Reports said both games went great, he went 1-3 in Pawtucket and got three hits and stolen base in Portland. After seeing Ellsbury back on his game, the Red Sox activated him off the disabled list on May 22nd. He played center field that night, and did fine it seemed. But Jacoby Ellsbury wouldn’t be playing for long.
“Troublesome ribs put Ellsbury back on DL” Red Sox reported only six days after he was activated from the disabled list. Ellsbury only played three games during the six days. ‘”I mean, basically, I tried to play with a level of discomfort, knowing
that I wasn’t 100 percent, and doing so worsened my condition,” Ellsbury
said. “But I saw a thoracic specialist today and he basically advised
me that I need to be at a further stage of healing before I resume play.
To this point right now, I really don’t have a timeline for when I’m
going to come back.”‘ (redsox.com)
Ellsbury investigated his injury further by flying to LA to seek a well-know sports medicine doctor’s advice. The doctor told Ellsbury he had a different type of fracture in his ribs, one that was probably from a diving catch in one of the games he played after coming off the DL list. Ellsbury is now at a training complex in Arizona, trying to speed up his recovery. It has been reported that he will most likely not be back by the All-Star break.
Information found on redsox.com
Ellsbury was the Red Sox’s star player in my opinion, and so I kept wondering if his absence was hurting the Red Sox. The first seven games the Red Sox played, they were 1-6. Overall, in all the games the Red Sox have played without Ellsbury, the team is 37-25, (60% wins) with numerous winning streaks. But it should be noted, that a lot of the Red Sox losses were lost by 1-2 runs, and Ellsbury’s speed could of made a different outcome. He could’ve easily stolen to second, and to third, and on a single, made it home. The Red Sox lost games to the Baltimore Orioles, the worst team in the AL, which didn’t happen last year with Ellsbury playing. Of the games Jacoby has played in this year, the Red Sox were 6-3. But even with those 25 losses, the Red Sox are still hanging on. As for the AL East title, at this point last year, the Red Sox held the 1st place spot. Right now, the Red Sox are only one game behind the Yankees to take the 1st place spot. The Red Sox do not have the most stolen bases in the AL either, because Ellsbury was their main bag stealer. Dustin Pedroia holds the most stolen bases this year with 8. Ellsbury, even though he’s played only nine games, is tied for 4th with Kevin Youkilis with 2 stolen bases.
At this point, you can’t conclude that the Red Sox’s losses are because of his injury, and you can’t say that the Red Sox would be number one if Ellsbury had not gotten injured. Sure, you can tell Yankees fans it’s why we’re not first, but really, we’re only one game behind and we’ve discovered some new players that the Red Sox can depend on. Look at Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald, and Daniel Nava. Each one has brought a tremendous amount to the team and have been able to keep the team in shape.
To conclude, yes, losing Ellsbury was not the best for the Red Sox. But this allowed the team to show they can adapt without their star player. Ellsbury will be back soon, and then it will be back to old times.
Images courtesy of masslive.com and AP Photo/Nick Wass