Jacoby Ellsbury's transition to a part-time player for the Yankees arrived earlier than even his most fervent detractors predicted when he signed a seven-year, $153 million contract before the 2014 season. Ellsbury's season is not going exactly as he or the Yankees expected, but at the moment, things are working out, making his hefty contract feel slightly less burdensome.
Despite starting the season as New York's starting center fielder, a concussion forced him out of the lineup for nearly a month. When he fell into a bad slump upon his return and saw the emergence of Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier, he saw his role reduced.
The soon-to-be-34-year-old outfielder took it in stride and is beginning to click as the playoffs near. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 (nine games, seven starts), Ellsbury has been scorching hot, hitting .423 with a 1.175 OPS in 29 plate appearances. Ellsbury has four extra-base hits among his 11 knocks and has driven in seven runs during the span.