The New York Yankees have called Slade Heathcott up from the Triple-A, Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. During the game against the Washington Nationals, Jacoby Ellsbury seemed to tweak his right knee on a swing in the fourth inning. Ellsbury will be getting an MRI on that knee, but until then, he has been put on the 15-Day DL.
So far this year, Heathcott has a slash line of .280/.331/.353 in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, and he’s been getting better by the week. He had a very good Spring Training, and manager, Joe Girardi is a big fan of his.
The problem is, losing Ellsbury for any amount of time could be an issue, especially since he and Brett Gardner have been a great one-two punch for the Yankees this season. Jacoby is currently batting .324/.411/.374 to go along with 14 stolen bases. Right now, the Yankees are calling it a knee sprain, and it probably is, but given Ellsbury’s injury history, there’s always a possibility it could be more.
Heathcott, is a very talented young player, however, this is his first call-up to the Majors so the Yankees may need to be prepared to accept some growing pains. He has great vision, gets a lot of deep counts, and will drive pitch counts up. As far as putting the ball in play, Heathcott still has parts to work on, but the pieces are there. The Yankees aren’t expecting Heathcott to be Ellsbury, but he’s a temporary solution, and a good one at that. He’ll get some solid playing time, though, as the Yankees will tread carefully with Ellsbury rather than open themselves up to the risk of seeing him out for a lengthy period of time.