Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a broken right foot, leaving the A.L. East leaders without a key offensive catalyst as they try to wrap up the division title.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said the team believes Ellsbury will be back this year, and hopes it will be during the regular season. But there is no specific timetable for his return, and the speedy leadoff hitter will keep wearing a protective boot on his injured foot for five days.
Ellsbury went to Colorado to see foot specialist Dr. Thomas Clanton at The Steadman Clinic. Farrell says tests confirmed the diagnosis of a compression fracture, which means it’s non-displaced.
Ellsbury fouled a pitch off his foot Aug. 28 against Baltimore and aggravated the injury in a game Thursday.
Ellsbury leads the majors with 52 stolen bases. He is batting .299 and has scored a team-high 89 runs.
Balentien closer to Japan’s HR record
Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 53rd home run of the season Sunday to move within two of Japanese baseball’s season record.
Balentien has 23 regular-season games with the Yakult Swallows to reach the record of 55 set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and matched by ex-major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002.
Balentien’s solo homer in the top of the sixth inning at Nagoya Dome helped the Swallows beat the Chunichi Dragons 5-1.
Balentien played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing with the Swallows in 2011.
Clearing the bases
Clay Buchholz is ready to rejoin the Red Sox rotation after missing three months with a strained neck. The right-hander said he threw about 30 pitches in a routine bullpen session Sunday at Yankee Stadium, his final hurdle before starting Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Struggling left-hander Felix Doubront will be skipped this time through the rotation. … Mets pitcher Matt Harvey will have his sore right elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews to help determine if the 24-year-old ace needs reconstruction surgery. No date has been set. Harvey was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 27 with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. He tweeted last month that he planned on being back from his injury in April, but if reconstruction surgery is required he would likely miss all of next season.