Jacoby Ellsbury seems to have put a miserable first three weeks behind him, and Joe Girardi said there’s nothing complex about how he’s done it.
“Health,” Girardi said.
Ellsbury entered Thursday night with a .340/.410/.534 slash line in his previous 30 games.
Overall, he had a .293/.353/.447 line with three homers and 19 RBIs in 52 games.
Ellsbury, signed to a seven-year, $153-million contract before the 2014 season, led the Yankees in average (.324), on-base percentage (.412) and stolen bases (14) last year before going on the disabled list with a sprained right knee May 20. After returning July 8, he was never the same.
“This was a great player,” Girardi said. “When he was on the field and healthy, whether he was in Boston or for us, he played really well. Health, to me, is the biggest reason.”
Luis Severino allowed three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings Wednesday night, his second start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since being activated from the DL. Girardi, who watched the full six innings on video yesterday afternoon, didn’t sound overly enthused, though.
“He threw some better sliders, some better changeups,” he said. “But I still think there’s work to be done with location of fastball and consistency of his off-speed [pitches].”
Keep an eye on . . .
Infielder Jorge Mateo, one of the Yankees’ top position prospects, continues to impress at high Class A Tampa, and one of Mateo’s teammates, righthander Chance Adams, also has caught the eye of some scouts. “Really, really good arm,” one said recently of Adams, 21. “Intriguing kid.”
Entering yesterday, the 6-foot, 215-pound Adams, a fifth-round pick last June, had a 2.91 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 63 and walking 15 in 52 2⁄3 innings.
Yutaka Take, the famed Japanese jockey who will ride the Japanese-trained colt Lani in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, was a pregame guest on the field. Masahiro Tanaka, a big fan of horse racing, previously had met him . . . Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms also was among those on the field for batting practice.