TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will start the regular season on the disabled list because of an oblique injury that sidelined him three weeks.
Ellsbury, who resumed playing Thursday, will remain at the Yankees’ spring training complex when the team leaves Florida on Sunday for its final spring training game Monday at Atlanta.
“Get him 40, 50 at-bats,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday.
The Yankees open the regular season Thursday at Toronto.
Ellsbury is projected as a backup outfielder after losing the starting center field job to Aaron Hicks last season.
Ellsbury, 34, is guaranteed $21,142,857 in each of the next three seasons as part of a $153 million, seven-year contract that includes a $21 million team option for 2021 with a $5 million buyout.
Brett Gardner is the starting left fielder, and Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will rotate between right field and designated hitter. Stanton also could get time in left when Gardner is rested, especially against left-handed pitchers.
Ellsbury hit .264 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 112 games last season. He was sidelined from May 24 until June 26 after sustaining a concussion against the outfield wall while making a spectacular catch to rob Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar.
Also, third baseman Brandon Drury, hit on the left elbow by a pitch Friday, will take batting practice Sunday and has no doubts about being ready for opening day. X-rays on the elbow were negative.
“I was excited to get that news,” Drury said. “I couldn’t squeeze my hand at the time, it was just numb. I’ve been hit there before, so I’ve had that feeling before. So, I had that hope it was going to be good. Anytime you can’t squeeze your hand or have that feeling, it’s not good but it’s better now.”
Drury plans to start wearing an elbow guard.
Notes: LHP Jordan Montgomery, who will start the home opener April 2 against Tampa Bay, will make his final spring training outing Tuesday in a minor league game. … The Yankees optioned RHP Domingo German to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. German and RHP Luis Cessa will be starters in the minors. … Cashman said RHP Jonathan Holder made the team as the 13th pitcher. … OF Clint Frazier (concussion) is doing limited baseball drills.
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