Featuring reports from many, many beat reporters.
Today, reports were confirmed that Jacoby Ellsbury — the Yankees outfielder currently in the middle of a seven-year, $153 million contract that runs through 2020 with a team option for 2021 and who hasn’t played a game in 2018 — is still not participating in baseball activities. At this point, New York fans are more than familiar with this refrain as it’s been repeated every time someone requests an update on Ellsbury’s status.
He’s been battling a back injury all season, and the only update is that he’s not participating in baseball activities. Unless he’s close to participating in baseball activities, or about to be participating in baseball activities right after he sees a specialist, or he’ll be participating in baseball activities whenever the next full lunar eclipse crosses over Bhutan. Who knows.
What has been consistent is beat writers regurgitating this update to hopeful (“hopeful”?) fans for months — nay, years! — now. Here is a definitive history of Jacoby Ellsbury participating (or, mostly, not) in baseball activities.
Back in 2013, when current CBS reporter Jenny Dell was still with NESN, Ellsbury did indeed participate in baseball activities during his final fall with the Red Sox.
Jacoby Ellsbury has started baseball activities. He hit off the tee and threw today. #RedSox
— Jenny Dell (@JennyDell_) September 20, 2013
In June 2015, after going to the disabled list with a knee injury that May, Ellsbury was running sprints and “getting close” to baseball activities.
Jacoby Ellsbury ran 10 40-yard sprints, took dry swings in the cage. Getting close to baseball activities, things are improving.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 5, 2015
Yankees spring training this year brought the update that he was “still doing light baseball activities” and there was still optimism that he could start the season healthy and playing. But optimism’s a funny thing, isn’t it?
Asked if Ellsbury, who is still doing light baseball activities, could be ready by the season opener, Cashman said “we’ll find out. let it play out and make a determination toward the back of camp…I can’t predict just yet.”
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 10, 2018
On March 31st, it was revealed that Clint Frazier (who has only appeared in 15 major league games this year) was participating in baseball activities but that Ellsbury was closer than him to returning to the major league roster.
He’s not close. Participating in baseball activities, but hasn’t played in games. Ellsbury is closer. https://t.co/6D256rtRl8
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 31, 2018
Just five days later, Yankees first-year manager Aaron Boone revealed that not only was Ellsbury now dealing with a hip issue he was not doing any baseball activities.
Boone said there was nothing new with Ellsbury, who had a hip issue crop up earlier in the week. Still no baseball activities. Boone said “hopefully that will start happening in the coming days.”
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) April 4, 2018
About a fortnight after that the update was that Ellsbury was working through problems with his hip but on top of that also had plantar fasciitis. “Still no baseball activities.”
Jacoby Ellsbury has plantar fasciitis. Boone said the #Yankees aren’t super worried about it. It’s more the hip right now. Still no baseball activities.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) April 16, 2018
May’s update involved such hedging that Ellsbury was “under the weather” and “doing baseball activities” and the team was “maybe” “thinking” about playing him in “some games.” This is about the point where “baseball activities” started to become a running gag that everyone knew wasn’t about to change.
Ellsbury was “under the weather” yesterday but is “doing baseball activities and hopefully on his way again to getting to the point where maybe we can start thinking about getting him into some games.”Uh, sure.
— Lou DiPietro (@LouDiPietroYES) May 8, 2018
Yet just 10 days later a back issue was the culprit for Ellsbury once again “not doing any baseball activities.”
Boone said Bird’s return is “around the corner.” Ellsbury, meanwhile, has had a back issue crop up so he still is not doing any baseball activities
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) May 18, 2018
At the end of May, the phrasing changed a little bit from not doing baseball activities to “not ready for baseball activities.” Nice to keep things fresh.
#Yankees injury updates:Chapman playing catch againEllsbury not ready for baseball activitiesBird taking live BP in Tampa
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 29, 2017
The next update came a few weeks later. He was seeing a specialist for the back injury and was “getting ready” for baseball activities.
Jacoby Ellsbury saw a back specialist last week, getting ready to get to baseball activity, Boone said
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) June 17, 2018
Three days later. Zero baseball activities for Ells.
#Yankees manager Aaron Boone: Still no baseball activities for Jacoby Ellsbury.
— Doug Rush (@Doug_Rush) July 20, 2018
Another three days pass, and this time the update comes from Ellsbury himself. A twist! There is no twist when it comes to his baseball activities status though, as he “doesn’t know when he will” get back to them.
Ellsbury said he hasn’t resumed baseball activities & doesn’t know when he will. Said of returning this season “that’s still the plan” but knows clock is ticking on season. “U try to say that you’re hopeful. U come in, get your work in and do everything u can to play this season”
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) July 23, 2018
We’re now up to date, and the update from Aaron Boone is once again that Ellsbury is not doing baseball activities.
Jacoby Ellsbury is not doing baseball activities, Boone says.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 27, 2018
Not an option to replace the injured Aaron Judge because he’s not even “partaking” in baseball activities. The commitment to switching up adjectives with every update should be applauded.
Ellsbury isn’t an option to return during Judge’s projected absence, Boone said. Ellsbury isn’t partaking in baseball activities.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 27, 2018
Boone’s latest at this point is that a timeline doesn’t even exist for Ellsbury to return to baseball activities.
The full text of Boone’s answer on when Ellsbury will be back: “That timeline doesn’t exist yet. Because he’s not even really back into baseball activities. So I wouldn’t say that is not an option.”
— wallace matthews (@OysterBayBomber) July 27, 2018
Whichever beach Ellsbury is sitting on while not doing “baseball activities,” we’d very much like to join him. Cash those checks and enjoy the fun umbrellas they put in drinks at the pool bar, I say. It’s too humid in New York for him to be hanging around and pretending he’s close to getting back on a field.
Read more: sbnation.com