Derek Jeter, Opening Day 2003
Jacoby Ellsbury hit the 15-day disabled list today with a subluxation (dislocation) of his right shoulder, incurred when Reid Brignac fell on it in Friday’s game. There is no sure return date for Ellsbury, or what condition he will be in when he does, but recall that Derek Jeter incurred the same injury under similar circumstances on Opening Day in 2003 and came back in good form almost exactly six weeks later.
It was the top of the sixth inning in Toronto. Jeter had drawn a walk off of Roy Halladay. Jason Giambi tapped back to the mound. Halladay threw to first baseman Carlos Delgado at first for the out, but Jeter was still running towards third, which was uncovered. Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby raced up the line to take the throw. Delgado fired.
The throw was high, and Huckaby, in full gear, leaped for it just as Jeter was diving into the bag. What goes up must come down, and Huckaby’s knees, shin guards and all, landed on Jeter’s left shoulder.
The key to Jeter’s quick return was that he had done only slight damage to his labrum and had not torn the rotator cuff. That meant no surgical intervention was necessary. Had it been required, Jeter would have missed most of the season.
The Red Sox can only hope for such an outcome. They called up confirmed non-hitter Che-Hsuan Lin to replace Ellsbury on the roster, but he’s no real help. They can only hope Carl Crawford returns quickly and that he hits the way he did as a Ray (unlikely, for various environmental reasons). Should he do so, that may solve some of the team’s offensive shortfalls but will still leave the team without a top center fielder.
The Red Sox were just off to a slow start before. Now they’re in trouble.