The Red Sox announced it was a right shoulder injury, and that Ellsbury will be evaluated further. But a baseball source said Friday night that Ellsbury had sustained a dislocation or subluxation (partial dislocation) of his right shoulder. No timetable was offered as to how long Ellsbury will be out.
"It depends on how he responds," the source said.
A minor dislocation typically requires a minimum of four to six weeks, but if further evaluation reveals additional trauma to the shoulder, such as tears to the rotator cuff, labrum or other muscle or tendons, Ellsbury could be in jeopardy of missing months more.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who said Ellsbury was in a lot of pain immediately after the play, did not have much of an update on Ellsbury's condition after the game, saying only he expected another outfielder to arrive in Boston on Saturday.
Minutes before Pawtucket's game in Rochester, N.Y., Friday night, the team's Triple-A club scratched Taiwanese outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, a telling indication Ellsbury is headed to the 15-day disabled list and Lin is headed to Boston to replace him.
Ellsbury was running on a 3-and-2 pitch when Rays shortstop Reid Brignac, who moved toward second when Ellsbury broke for the bag, fielded a groundball by Dustin Pedroia, stepped on the base and threw to first. Brignac was upended by Ellsbury's slide and fell heavily on the center fielder's shoulder.
The injury comes almost two years to the day that Ellsbury fractured ribs in a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre in Kansas City.
Ellsbury played just 18 games for the Red Sox in 2010, then had a breakout year last season, batting .321 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs and finishing second in the MVP race.