Ellsbury (sore wrist) considered day to day

Yankees center fielder could return to lineup on Thursday

March 20th, 2016

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury is not expected to play until Thursday at the earliest after being hit on the right wrist with a pitch, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Sunday.

Ellsbury had an X-ray and CT scan after being plunked by the Braves' Julio Teheran in Saturday's 3-2 victory at George M. Steinbrenner Field, both of which came back negative.

"He's just sore, which you kind of expect. Not a lot of swelling," Girardi said. "It's really day to day."

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Gear

Ellsbury is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday, and Girardi said he probably wouldn't have Ellsbury make a long road trip Wednesday to play the Nationals in Viera, setting Thursday evening against the Rays as his projected return date.

While Ellsbury has been slowed by injuries in both of his previous two springs with the Yankees -- a strained right calf interrupted his progress in March 2014 and a strained oblique shelved Ellsbury last spring -- he was ready for Opening Day in both cases.

Girardi said that offers encouragement that Ellsbury should have no issue being ready for New York's April 4 opener against the Astros at Yankee Stadium.

"When you think about it, you really pace them the first three weeks. We could play him more, but there's no reason to wear him out," Girardi said. "You make sure that we build them up so they're ready to go by the end, not necessarily by the middle.

"It just tells you, Spring Training is for pitchers. It's to get them to that 100-pitch mark. Position players don't need that long."

Catching up

The Yankees have raved about the athleticism that Aaron Hicks lends to their roster, but that acquisition came at a cost. The organization believes that John Ryan Murphy has a bright future as well, and the catcher said he is settling in nicely with the Twins.

"I didn't see [the trade] coming," Murphy said. "I didn't know it was going to happen. It took a couple weeks for me to realize that it's really just a good thing for my career. Once I put that in perspective, I got more and more excited as spring approached."

Murphy hosted an event for the IamMore Foundation on Sunday at Hammond Stadium, which Girardi attended. Girardi said he believes Murphy will develop into an everyday catcher, and Murphy said he learned from serving as Brian McCann's backup in New York.

"He's taught me a lot on and off the field," Murphy said. "We still talk all the time. He's certainly like a big brother to me. As far as baseball, he's taught me a lot about this game and he continues to."