Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 4/14/12

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It was a grimace reminiscent of when Ellsbury broke five ribs in an April 11, 2010, collision with then-teammate Adrian Beltre. Ellsbury missed all but 18 games that season, and without their leadoff-hitting Gold Glove center fielder, the Red Sox missed the playoffs.

So, when Ellsbury walked off the field, his right arm pinned to his chest, in the fourth inning of yesterday’s 12-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox held their breath. And when he left Fenway to go for tests at Massachusetts General Hospital, they only could hope his right shoulder injury looked much worse than it actually was.

“That looked painful,” said David Ortiz [stats], who winced and shouted an expletive after seeing the replay on a clubhouse television. “Hopefully things don’t go the way it looked like in the video. He’s our leadoff hitter. You’re not going to get any better by losing him for a while.”

Initial indications last night were that Ellsbury suffered either a full or partial dislocation of his shoulder, according to a baseball source. A timetable hasn’t been set for his return, but he likely will miss a minimum of several weeks.

Herald -Center of concern

Worst-case scenario: Achieved!

Our outfield depth chart now consists of Cody Ross (currently batting .182), Darnell McDonald (currently batting .167) and Ryan Sweeney.  Unlike the other two, Sweeney is batting .429 and has been one of the pleasant surprises of the early season.  But with a simple slide into second, the outfield has descended into a nightmare.  Crawford is still out for a little while longer.  And we don't have a Ted Williams hanging out in Pawtucket, waiting for his call-up.  Kalish, our best option in the minors, is currently hanging out on the 60 Day DL, so he's of no use right now.  It's a pretty dire situation.  But the Sox will have to bring someone up, and people are reporting that it will be Che-Hsuan Lin, who's batting .150 through 20 at-bats with the PawSox.  So he'll fit right in with McDonald and Ross.

And poor Ellsbury.  He had that freak collision with Beltre in 2010 and all the drama and nonsense that followed him through the rest of the season.  He was branded as weak, injury-prone, having no heart, etc etc etc.  Putting all that behind him, he came back in 2011 and had an MVP-caliber year.  And now, at the very beginning of 2012, as he was finally starting to swing a good bat, another freak injury. 

And I'm sure the "injury prone" tag is going to be dusted off and applied to his jersey.  Fans will call for the Sox to trade Ellsbury now, before he hits free agency.  People will scream for the Sox to not re-sign him to whatever absurdly high contract he's going to receive.  It's not an insane stance: Ellsbury is now the guy that has hit the DL in two of three seasons. 

All we can do now is hope that his stop on the DL doesn't exceed 60 days, and Ellsbury comes back and plays good ball.  For his sake, and for the Red Sox.

Rest of the links:

Herald - Jacoby Ellsbury injury a reminder of ’10 nightmare | Globe - Gain and pain | Lin on his way to Boston | Safe at home | WEEI - Worst-case scenario for Jacoby Ellsbury? Very, very bad | Ellsbury shoulder likely dislocated | ESPN - SB makes Shoppach's great day historic | Best guess for Ells? 6 weeks minimum | CSNNE - Shoppach gets first steal; keeps base | Beckett flips script, dominates Rays

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