Ellsbury, Frazier progressing, but both also getting more likely to miss Opening Day
TAMPA - Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier both continue to progress well on their way back from injuries, but it's becoming increasingly likely that neither will be ready for Opening Day, which is now less than two weeks away.
As Frazier recovers from a concussion suffered on Feb. 24, in the Yankees' second Grapefruit League game, he "continues to get better every day" according to skipper Aaron Boone, and the team was optimistic after Frazier saw a neurologist on Friday morning.
"He's better today, and the neurologist feels very optimistic," Boone said. "We'll continue to baby-step it and be real conservative with it, but the doctor feels the long-term prognosis is good."
That said, Frazier has missed nearly three weeks now and played in just the one exhibition game, so he will have to go through Spring Training again in a sense.
As for Ellsbury, Boone said Friday that he was expected to take live batting practice out on one of the back fields this afternoon, but is also progressing slowly and may not be ready for March 29.
"Hopefully he'll get through (batting practice), and then a decision about when we start getting him in games will come sooner than later," Boone said, "but it's possible (Ellsbury won't be ready for Opening Day). From a time standpoint, we're probably up against it, and we're certainly not going to want to rush anything, but that's something we'll continue to evaluate day-to-day here; we'll just make sure he's progressing the right way, and we'll sit down and figure out the best route."
Ellsbury played in four Grapefruit League games prior to being sidelined, going 1-for-10, but has not appeared since March 1.
The Yankees also found out Friday they have officially lost one of their potential backup options if Frazier and/or Ellsbury remain out: Jake Cave, who was designated for assignment on Monday, was dealt to the Twins for minor-league RHP Luis Gil.