Jacoby Ellsbury replacement options 

April, 15, 2012
4/15/12
10:44
AM ET
Think back to how a potential season-ending injury to Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury would have been viewed two years ago. Back then, he was mainly a stolen base guy, a Michael Bourn type with a bit more power, and when he missed nearly all of 2010 because of a serious rib injury, it certainly mattered in fantasy, but stolen bases are replaceable. That's not really the case with players that go 30-30 and get chosen in the first round of fantasy drafts.

Those who own Ellsbury these days, coming off his monster 2011 season in which he finished second on ESPN's Player Rater to Matt Kemp, are going to have a tougher time replacing him, after Ellsbury partially dislocated his right shoulder in an unfortunate collision Friday at second base. Ellsbury was breaking up a double play, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Reid Brignac fell on him, and the result is Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney are going to be playing a whole lot of center field for the Red Sox.

[+] EnlargeCody Ross
AP Photo/David GoldmanCody Ross will shift over and play center field in Jacoby Ellsbury's absence.
For now, the Red Sox believe Ellsbury will miss approximately six to eight weeks, and after that, a decision will be made whether surgery is necessary. Hopefully Ellsbury, the No. 8 player chosen, on average, in ESPN live drafts, can return to game action by the start of June. If surgery is needed, it could end his season. Ellsbury played 18 games in 2010, 158 last year. It would be a bit unfair to call him brittle, since one major injury happened when teammate Adrian Beltre ran him over, and this time an opposing player fell on him. This is another fluke injury. He's already been placed on the 15-day disabled list, so fantasy owners can use the roster spot immediately and look elsewhere.

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