We’re just spitballing here, but when a guy is able to take the field for only 59 percent of the games that his team has played over four seasons, shouldn’t there be a sabermetric term for his lack of durability? "Freakish," Hal Steinbrenner said. "Fluky," Randy Levine suggested. Okay, skip it. There is nothing wonky about lousy luck, which by all accounts is the only thing that keeps a crash-test dummy named Jacoby Ellsbury from being worth the $153 million the Yankees are paying him for the next seven years. Most of us look at this deal with a judgmental squint, but as the team embarks on a transitional period with a 30-year-old center fielder as their mainstay, they had better hope he stays off the DL, where he has spent 249 of the last 731 major-league days. To ease your mind, they humbly submit the following for your approval: You will genuinely enjoy watching the hypercaffeinated Ellsbury play for one reason: He is one of the few guys whose skill set enables him to win games by himself — with his bat, with his legs, with his glove. The injury history is merely circumstantial, as the freak-and-fluke chorus will tell you. Better yet, let Ellsbury remind you of the gory details: "There were just two unfortunate things," he said after a news conference at the Stadium. "Me trying to make a play and colliding with Adrian Beltre — a big guy to hit when you’re in a vulnerable position. And the other one was trying to break up a double play, and I got landed on. Other than that, I’ve been good." For the record, the first collision broke five ribs in April 2010, the year he played only 18 games. The second caused a dislocated right shoulder after Reid Brignac landed on him in April 2012, and he played only 74 games. In other words, he has nothing to apologize for, especially after hitting .344 with six steals in the 2013 postseason despite a compression fracture in his right foot.
Jacoby Ellsbury is a nice piece for the Yankees, but not nearly enough
Newark Star-Ledger | Dec 14