Yanks confident Ellsbury will avoid DL stint

Center fielder injured hip during series opener against Red Sox

Yanks confident Ellsbury will avoid DL stint

NEW YORK -- The Yankees still hope Jacoby Ellsbury will avoid the disabled list, manager Joe Girardi said on Saturday. The center fielder is officially day to day after straining his right hip muscle during the first inning of Friday's 3-2 win during the series opener against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, although he is likely to miss at least the remainder of the series.

"Right now there's no plan to put him on the disabled list," Girardi said. "Could that change? Of course it could change. But we expect it to be a few days, and hopefully he's back."

Girardi said that as of Saturday morning, Ellsbury was "just sore," and his status would be determined by how he responded to treatment on his hip. Ellsbury was out of the Yankees' lineup on Saturday, with Aaron Hicks, who took over in center field for Ellsbury on Friday, starting the game in center.

In the first inning on Friday, Ellsbury stole both second and third base after working a leadoff walk against Boston starter Rick Porcello, but he appeared to wince and grab his right hip after coming around the third-base bag. Ellsbury limped home on Brian McCann's run-scoring double and headed to the clubhouse. He then had an MRI during the game that revealed the strain.

In Ellsbury's last 15 games dating back to April 20, he is batting .302 (16-for-53), turning around a disappointing start to his season. In Ellsbury's third year of a seven-year, $153 million contract, he is batting .260 with one home run, nine RBIs and nine stolen bases in 27 games.

Ellsbury has been on the disabled list just once as a Yankee, missing approximately two months of last season with a right knee sprain. He did injure the same hip last August attempting a diving catch, and the resulting soreness and swelling lingered for some time.

The injury occurred on the same day that the Yankees placed left-hander CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin muscle. Earlier in the week, Alex Rodriguez went on the DL with a strained right hamstring.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.