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Jacoby Ellsbury scratched from Yankees' lineup because of 'tightness' in calf

Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury poses for a portrait during

Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury poses for a portrait during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field on the morning of Feb. 22, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA – Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from Sunday’s lineup against the Braves because of what the Yankees described as “tightness” in his right calf.

Third-base coach Rob Thomson, who is Joe Girardi’s replacement this weekend in Tampa, said Ellsbury will not make Monday’s trip to Bradenton to face the Pirates but the team sees it as a minor issue.

“He wanted to play and could have played,” Thomson said. “But we just wanted to make sure we knocked it out before anything serious happens.”

Ellsbury stayed behind Saturday – he was not scheduled to play against the Orioles in Sarasota -- and began feeling the calf issue during the workout at Steinbrenner Field. While the Yankees are not concerned, Ellsbury is the team’s Opening Day leadoff hitter and centerfielder, so the health of his legs is crucial.

“That’s his life,” Thomson said. “Whether it’s hitting, running or fielding.”

The Yankees signed Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153-million contract in January.

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