Boston's Ellsbury has 4 cracked ribs

Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has hairline fractures in four ribs and it's uncertain when he'll be able to return.

The former Madras (Ore.) High and Oregon State star has been out since April 11, when he collided with third baseman Adrian Beltre in Kansas City. Boston’s speedy leadoff hitter would have been eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.

Dr. Thomas Gill told reporters on a conference call Thursday that Ellsbury’s return will depend on how he feels.

“We keep people out of competition until there is no tenderness, don’t have problems breathing and there is no stress,” Gill said. “(It’s) strictly symptom-based – these injuries are based on how long the symptoms last. As soon as he can swing, run, field and do everything he is supposed to do – he can return.”

Ellsbury was moved from center field to left this season. His replacement in center, Mike Cameron, also is on the disabled list.

Ellsbury has played in six games this year. He has 10 hits in 30 at-bats, with two stolen bases.

Rainouts? Not yet

More than 21/2 weeks after opening day, there hasn’t been a single postponement in the majors.

“Really? No kidding?” said Colorado Rockies pitcher Jason Hammel, a graduate of South Kitsap High. “That’s kind of a crazy stat.”

Not since 1985 has baseball gone this long into a season without losing a game to rain, snow, volcanic ash or anything else from the sky.

Hoping for more African-American players

As the only African-American on the Baltimore Orioles’ 25-man roster, outfielder Adam Jones views his situation with wisdom and hope.

“It doesn’t bother me one bit. I understand it,” the former Tacoma Rainier and Seattle Mariner said. “Of course I’d love to have more black people on my team. We’ve got some in the minors. They’ve got to make it up here.”

African-Americans accounted for only 10.2 percent of the major league rosters in 2008, the first season since 1995 in which there was an increase over the previous year, according to the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.

Short hops

Commissioner Bud Selig says his science adviser is examining the human growth hormone blood test available through the World Anti-Doping Agency but isn’t sure when the study will be completed. ... Nationals All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will miss a second consecutive start today because of a bad right hamstring. ... Nationals right-hander Jason Marquis is expected to miss six weeks with a right elbow injury. Marquis had a cortisone shot Thursday and will not throw for seven to 10 days, then will begin a throwing program. ... The Los Angeles Dodgers placed right-hander Jeff Weaver on the 15-day disabled list and activated left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo. Weaver, a former Mariner, has had back spasms. ... Minnesota reliever Pat Neshek, who has been bothered by soreness in the middle finger of his throwing hand, has been cleared to pitch again. ... The Phillies put left-hander J.A. Happ on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm and activated lefty reliever J.C. Romero. ... Houston Astros reliever Alberto Arias is out for the season after right shoulder surgery to repair his rotator cuff and labrum. ... The Cincinnati Reds optioned struggling reliever Logan Ondrusek to Triple-A Louisville and recalled right-hander Carlos Fisher from the Bats.