Ellsbury had been set to hit leadoff, but was taken out of the lineup three hours before the first pitch.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said no medical tests are currently scheduled for Ellsbury.
''We'll make sure we take care of this, and if it takes a few days or a week, so be it,'' Cashman said. ''It felt tight, so we're going to make sure that's all it's going to be.''
Yankees coach Rob Thomson, managing a New York split-squad, said the move was precautionary and the outfielder would have played if this were the regular season.
''We just want to make sure we knocked this thing out before anything serious happens,'' Thomson said.
Ellsbury agreed that he could have played but that it was better to be cautious. He also will not play in Monday's road game against Pittsburgh. It has not been determined if he will be ready to play against Boston, his former team, Tuesday.
''We'll see how it is,'' Ellsbury said. ''If it feels great, I'll be out there.''
Ellsbury and the Yankees agreed to a $153 million, seven-year contract in December.