Jacoby Ellsbury to return vs. Oakland before weekend series at Boston

ByWallace Matthews via ESPN logo
Monday, July 6, 2015

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have been without Jacoby Ellsbury, their center fielder, leadoff hitter and the player with the highest batting average in their lineup, for 42 of the 82 games they have played so far this season.

But they will get him back by game No. 84, just in time for a return to Fenway Park this weekend to play in a series against the Boston Red Sox, his former team.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com via text that Ellsbury -- who was scratched from a rehab game Monday night for the Tampa Yankees because of a wet field -- would be activated in time for Wednesday night's game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium.

Cashman said Ellsbury would engage in some "simulated'' workouts on Monday and Tuesday before being activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, after seven weeks on the disabled list with a sprained right knee.

Ellsbury's return was earlier reported by the New York Post.

Despite his absence, Ellsbury still leads the Yankees in batting average (.324) and on-base percentage (.412) and is second in stolen bases with 14.

Ellsbury was the Yankees' leading vote-getter among fans for the 2015 All-Star Game, attracting more than 3 million votes but finishing 10th among AL outfielders.

At the time of Ellsbury's injury, the Yankees were 22-18 and tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East. In his absence, the team has gone 22-20 but now holds a one-game lead in the division over the Baltimore Orioles.

Ellsbury, who injured himself swinging in a game against the Washington Nationals, played in four rehab games for Class A Tampa and had two hits in 13 at-bats.

His return will move Brett Gardner, who replaced him in center field and at the top of the Yankees' batting order, back to left field and the No. 2 spot.