Jacoby Ellsbury has always been an injury-prone player. In fact, he’s been so injury-prone that his tenure with the Yankees could be considered as a relatively healthy stretch for him. He has exceeded 400 plate appearances in four consecutive seasons since coming over to the Bronx, which is something he was never able to do in Boston. However, that streak might be in jeopardy this year.
It’s mid-May, and Jacoby Ellsbury has yet to play a single game for the 2018 New York Yankees. Originally, Ellsbury was sidelined with an oblique injury at the start of spring training. During rehab, a hip injury came to light, setting Ellsbury further back. Then, in mid-April, it was revealed that he was dealing with plantar fasciitis and unable to play.
Ellsbury was finally able to resume baseball activities on May 3, but on May 18 it was revealed that he was dealing with a minor back injury and was shut down again. If I’m missing anything, let me know in the comments below. You get the general idea - every time Ellsbury has done something this year, he has gotten injured.
Now, because a) Ellsbury’s not that good and b) the Yankees have enough outfielders as is, most Yankee fans probably don’t care about news on Ellsbury’s battle against his own body. However, the opposite of love is indifference, to paraphrase Elie Wiesel. Since we could all use a little more love in our lives, let us keep Ellsbury in our thoughts by wondering what else could go wrong with him on his comeback trail.
The following is my submission, which takes the form of a fictional timeline from now until the end of the season. Feel free to share your attempts in the comments below.
5/25: Ellsbury resumes baseball activities at the Yankees’ Tampa complex. Boone expects him to be ready for major league baseball “in about two weeks.”
5/27: After taking 12 practice swings bare-handed, Ellsbury develops a cookie-sized blister on his right palm and is shut down again. Boone declines to set a date for his return.
5/30: He receives a skin graft for his right palm, is cleared to resume baseball activities. Asked about his timetable, Boone says: “Do we really want to tempt fate again?”
6/11: Ellsbury suffers second-degree burns on both hands, his chest, and groin while attempting to microwave a casserole prior to a simulated game. At the press meeting, Boone laughs maniacally for 10 minutes before being escorted away by security.
7/3: Ellsbury breaks his collarbone due to a light breeze. Yankees place him in a cryogenic hibernation capsule to aid his recovery.
7/28: Asked for an update on Ellsbury, Boone answers: “He hasn’t progressed to that point yet. And neither, I suspect, have we.”
8/30: Upon emerging from the capsule, Ellsbury trips and sustains an ankle sprain. Says Boone: “Chaos reigns, and God remains silent.”
9/26: After resuming baseball activities for one week, Ellsbury is shut down with an oblique injury. Boone: “And so the cycle of absurdity commences yet again. We are but passengers on this eternal farce, until one by one we arrive at Death. Who are we to laugh at Ellsbury? Are we not all prisoners of the disabled list, progressing just far enough for fate to cut us down, doomed to never reach the baseball diamond of Enlightenment?”