BOSTON -- A 12-2 romp over the Rays in the home opener would usually represent a joyous occasion for the Red Sox, but the uncertainty regarding the health of star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury put at least a little bit of a damper on an otherwise festive Friday at Fenway Park.
Ellsbury injured his right shoulder while making a takeout slide into second base on Dustin Pedroia's 6-3 double play ball in the fourth inning.
Ellsbury was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for observation. The Red Sox had no update after the game, and they didn't anticipate releasing any news until Saturday.
Manager Bobby Valentine did acknowledge that he expects to have another outfielder on his roster by game-time on Saturday. It should be noted that Che-Hsuan Lin was scratched from Triple-A Pawtucket's lineup on Saturday. Lin is on the 40-man roster, so it's highly logical that he could be the outfielder promoted to Boston.
Ellsbury suffered the injury in a collision with Rays shortstop Reid Brignac. In fact, Brignac accidentally landed on Ellsbury's shoulder as he completed the double play.
"He was breaking on the pitch, I was holding my ground," Brignac said. "I just caught it and got rid of it like every infielder does in that situation. We leave our feet, because when people are trying to take you out and your feet are stuck in the ground, that's how people break knees and ankles and stuff. We're taught to catch, throw and get off our feet. Unfortunately, I fell on his shoulder."
At this point, all the Red Sox can do is hope for the best.
"From hearing the initial reports, we're just hoping for the best," said third baseman Kevin Youkilis. "Hopefully there's no damage or anything in his shoulder. The only thing we've even heard is probably the same thing that everyone has been hearing, which is that it felt like something moved a little bit. We always hope for the best. We know that if it is for the best, then it won't be long, and Jake will come back and do great things for this team."
Already, the Red Sox are down a key cog in the outfield, as Carl Crawford opened the season on the disabled list as he recovers from left wrist surgery. Crawford also experienced some discomfort in his left elbow last week.
Brignac felt bad about the injury.
"It was just an uncontrollable circumstance," Brignac said. "Neither one of us wish that would have happened. I wish that he would be fine, but it's just a baseball thing. It just kind of happened that way."
It was obvious to Brignac that Ellsbury was in agony.