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Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury says his wrist feels better

New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury grimaces after

New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury grimaces after being hit with a pitch from Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. Credit: AP / Chris O’Meara

TAMPA, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury appears to have avoided the worst-case scenario with his right wrist, but the centerfielder still isn’t game-ready.

Ellsbury received treatment Monday, and again Tuesday, on the wrist that was hit by a Julio Tehran fastball Saturday, and won’t play until Thursday at the earliest.

“Felt better the last few days,” Ellsbury said before Tuesday night’s game against the Mets. “Fortunate it wasn’t anything worse. Just a bad spot to get hit . . . I’m happy it was nothing worse.”

Tests performed on the wrist after Saturday’s game came back negative.

Joe Girardi said Ellsbury was scheduled to do tee-and-toss Wednesday and perhaps graduate to regular batting practice after that.

“We’ll see about (him playing Thursday),” Girardi said. “But he is better.”

Romine catching on

Though the Yankees haven’t said so, signs continue to point to Austin Romine as the leader in the battle for the backup catcher.

The latest sign was the club sending Romine, and not prospect Gary Sanchez, to the minor league complex early Tuesday afternoon to catch Nathan Eovaldi’s outing in a minor league spring game. In the last two weeks of the spring, clubs typically start at catcher those they plan to have on the club to begin the year. Both Sanchez and Romine are scheduled to travel to Viera Wednesday when Masahiro Tanaka starts.

“I feel like I’m having the best camp I’ve had in a long time,” Romine, 27, said Tuesday.

But that’s as far as Romine would take it.

“I never assume anything,” he said.

Veteran Carlos Corporan, who can become a free agent if he doesn’t make the club — as can Romine — is also a contender.

Chapman hopeful

Aroldis Chapman, who defected from Cuba in 2009, said he hopes Tuesday’s game between the Rays and Cuban national team helps lead to an easier path for players who want to play in the majors.

“There’s a lot of talk about a possible arrangement where Cuban players would have the opportunity to come to the United States and play and be able to go back,” Chapman, who pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning Tuesday, said through his translator. “If that’s the case I think it’s something that’s going to be very good because they won’t have to do anything risky, put their lives in danger to get here. So if they have that opportunity in the future I think it’s going to be great, not only for them but also for their families.”

Ours not to reason why

The New York City Council’s approval Tuesday of a ban on smokeless tobacco at sporting events wasn’t met with universal enthusiasm in the clubhouse.

“It’s a completely legal substance,” said Miller, who does not use smokeless tobacco. “From a philosophical standpoint, I don’t agree with it, but these are the rules that have been given to us and we have to follow them.”

With David Lennon

New York Sports