NEW YORK -- In the midst of a pennant race where every game counts, Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows it's his job to send out the best lineup he has each day his club takes the field. On Saturday, Girardi hopes center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will be part of that lineup against the Rays.
Ellsbury exited the Yankees' 5-2 win over the Rays after the fourth inning of Friday's series opener with an upset stomach. Considering Ellsbury has been battling a sore right hip lately, a less serious stomach bug could come as something of a relief, but Girardi still seemed concerned.
"He's got some flu-like symptoms, he was throwing up and we just decided to pull him," Girardi said. "Hopefully he feels better [Saturday]. I don't know if he's a player for me [Saturday]."
In the event that Ellsbury is sidelined, the Yankees will be playing without their regular first baseman in Mark Teixeira and without their regular center fielder in Ellsbury, the speedster who hits at the top of the order. In 83 games this season, Ellsbury is hitting .270 with 30 RBIs, seven homers, 10 doubles and 17 stolen bases.
Girardi hopes that Ellsbury wakes up feeling fresh on Saturday.
"It's not what you want," Girardi said. "But it is what it is."
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.