The Yankees knew Jacoby Ellsbury was good when they signed him for seven-years and $153 Million this offseason. They just weren’t expecting him to be this good.
Ellsbury is hitting .346 with a home run, 14 RBI’s and 10 steals in 12 attempts. He also has 10 doubles, two triples, has at least three hits in six games and 11 multihit games. He’s everything the Yankees had seen while he was with the Boston Red Sox and Joe Girardi is glad he’s able to witness Ellsbury’s talents on a daily basis.
“I think you see everything that he does on a daily basis as opposed to maybe seeing a great catch or a great jump on a ball in the outfield maybe once in a three-game series,” Girardi said. “But you get a chance to see him every day and what he’s capable of doing. He’s a better player than even what I thought.”
When the Yankees signed Ellsbury, the main question was whether he could stay healthy. So far, he has and he’s been an important part of the Yankees lineup. Obviously, Ellsbury is going to go through a bad streak like every other baseball player, but for now the Yankees are just observing and enjoying his talent, hoping he doesn’t cool off anytime soon.
— Joe Girardi decided to give Brian McCann the day off, placing John Ryan Murphy behind the plate. Girardi said he’s also been impressed with Murphy, who’s hitting .313 in seven games since taking over the backup job from Francisco Cervelli, who injured his hamstring against the Boston Red Sox.
“It really started last year when he came up in September, the job that he did for us behind home plate,” Girardi said. “Never seeing a young catcher get rattled is fairly unusual in a sense. … When I watch him back there, he’s calm. He knows exactly what he wants to do. He does the things that he needs to do. He frames pitches. He blocks pitches. He throws well. I think he calls a good game. He’s a real student of the game. And he puts up good at-bats. So it gave us a lot of confidence moving forward.
“When the season started, our plan was for him to go play every day and continue to get more at-bats and more reps under his belt. But with the injury to Cervi, that plan changed. It wasn’t that we didn’t think he was a big-league catcher when spring training broke. But we didn’t want him necessarily catching once every five or six days. We wanted to continue in his development. But that has to take place here now.”
— According to my notes, the Yankees will face Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Hector Santiago in Anaheim against the Angels. I’ll have the pitching matchup post tomorrow, but this is just a heads up for those looking ahead to the next series.