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Jacoby Ellsbury still out, but Yankees not likely to add outfielder

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi looks on

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi looks on from the dugout against the Kansas City Royals in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

TORONTO — It doesn’t appear as if Jacoby Ellsbury will be back anytime soon from a concussion, but Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect the Yankees to dip into the minors to bring up an extra outfielder.

Righthanded-hitting Rob Refsnyder, who started a second straight game at first base Sunday in place of the slumping Chris Carter, is an outfield option, Girardi said.

“We’re going to see a bunch of lefties next week,’’ Girardi said, “so I can see putting Ref in the outfield, maybe giving Gardy one day next week against [one of the] lefties. He’s played 19 out of these 20 days so he could use a day, probably. But I think we’re OK.”

After an off day Monday, the Yankees will start a three-game series against the Red Sox at the Stadium on Tuesday night, then face the Orioles in a three-game weekend series in the Bronx. The Yankees will see lefthander Drew Pomeranz on Tuesday and lefthander David Price, recently activated from the disabled list, on Thursday.

Ellsbury, who suffered a concussion and neck sprain on May 24 when he crashed into the centerfield wall while making a catch against the Royals, will see a neurologist on Monday. He declined to speak to reporters Sunday, saying he will do so on Tuesday.

The last time he spoke to the media, Tuesday in Baltimore, Ellsbury said his headaches had all but disappeared. They returned Friday when he showed up at Rogers Centre and was to take batting practice. The Yankees effectively shut him down Friday and put him in a holding pattern until he’s evaluated Monday.

“He’s not going to do anything today,” Girardi said before the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday. “He’s going to just kind of relax, and hopefully we get through this and we get him back next week, but like I’ve said, this is too hard to predict.’’

Fowler impressing

If the Yankees decide a move to replace Ellsbury on the roster is necessary, a straw poll of five opposing team scouts covering the Yankees’ system unanimously said that even though the organization’s top outfield prospects have played well, Dustin Fowler would be their choice over Clint Frazier.

“It’s not even close,” one scout said. “Range, maturity, approach at the plate, everything. For me, he [Fowler] could start in center right now for eight, 10 teams. Maybe more.”

Fowler entered Sunday hitting .300 with an .898 OPS, nine homers and 15 doubles in 49 games. Frazier was hitting .254 with an .835 OPS, nine homers and 16 doubles in 50 games. Neither is on the 40-man roster.

Sanchez a solid second

Girardi indicated that Gary Sanchez likely is in the two-hole to stay for a while, saying “there’s a bunch of things” he likes about him hitting there between Gardner and Aaron Judge.

“He’s an on-base guy, he’s a power guy, he’s a guy that has the ability to be patient and get deep into counts,” Girardi said. “He’s going to get his doubles, he’s going to hit home runs, Gardy’s going to score on those. He’s a really good hitter, too. I think he’s going to hit for average.”

Sanchez, who entered Sunday hitting .267/.353/457 with six homers and 15 RBIs, went 0-for-3.

“I think all of us have probably thought that he’s not swung the bat as well as he’s capable and his numbers are still pretty good,” Girardi said. “He’s on base [35] percent. That’s pretty good for a guy who really hasn’t taken off yet.”


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