CF Jacoby Ellsbury to 15-day DL

Updated: April 15, 2012, 10:52 AM ET
By Steven Krasner | Special to ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a partially dislocated right shoulder, an injury the Boston Red Sox's All-Star center fielder suffered during Friday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

There was no timetable for how long Ellsbury, the runner-up in MVP voting last year, will be out of the lineup.

Preliminary reports suggested he could miss four to six weeks, but Boston manager Bobby Valentine said Saturday afternoon he wasn't going to speculate about the length of Ellsbury's absence.

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Valentine did say, however, that it hasn't been determined whether Ellsbury will need surgery on the shoulder.

"I haven't heard the word 'surgery' mentioned," Valentine said in his daily media briefing. "Whatever the best possible care is, that's what he will get, the best possible care known to man."

The Red Sox said preliminary examinations of Ellsbury's shoulder are consistent with a subluxation, or partial dislocation.

Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was called up from Pawtucket to take Ellsbury's spot on the roster. Lin, known for his defensive ability, likely isn't going to be a long-term solution to Ellsbury's absence, Valentine said.

"(Lin) is a very good defensive player," Valentine said. "He has a strong, accurate arm. Looks like he can play all three outfield spots. Good baserunner, handles the bat."

Valentine was asked if he thought Lin, 23, was ready to contribute offensively.

"I think this move is a little premature to say he's ready to help with the bat," Valentine said, hinting Boston would try to find a more permanent piece to their outfield.

"Lin is on the roster in Jacoby's spot today to give us protection in the outfield for the team," Valentine said. "It's safe to say Lin is not on the roster as a solution if Jacoby is out for a long time, but stranger things have happened."

Ellsbury's offensive contributions will be difficult to replace. Last year Ellsbury batted .321 with 32 homers, 105 RBIs and 39 stolen bases, with most of the damage being done in the leadoff spot. Ellsbury finished second to the Tigers' Justin Verlander in the MVP voting.

Ellsbury suffered the injury while trying to take out Rays shortstop Reid Brignac on a double-play attempt in the fourth inning. Ellsbury had been running on the pitch. Brignac fielded Dustin Pedroia's grounder up the middle, stepped on the bag and threw to first for the double play.

Ellsbury slid into Brignac, upending him. Brignac came down on Ellsbury's right shoulder, causing the injury.

Valentine said he texted Ellsbury on Friday night.

"He obviously didn't sleep much. He's obviously disappointed," Valentine said.

Valentine said Ellsbury was at the ballpark Saturday. He was not made available to the media before batting practice.

Steven Krasner is a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com.

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