Jun
25

Resting Derek Jeter

By

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Back in April, Derek Jeter was arguably the most productive hitter in the American League. He hit .376/.421/.556 through the team’s first 31 games and his first 146 plate appearances, though his season line is now down to a (still strong) .305/.355/.414 because of a prolonged slump. The Cap’n has hit just .249/.302/.302 in 183 plate appearances over the team’s last 40 games, which is actual worse than his .260/.324/.324 performance before hitting the DL last summer.

Jeter’s slide has, to a certain extent, coincided with the demotion of Eduardo Nunez. The defensively challenged infielder was sent to Triple-A on May 11th after starting five of the team’s first 31 games at shortstop. That means Jeter had five half-days off (as the DH) during the first six weeks of the season. Since Nunez went down, Derek has started 36 of 40 games at shortstop while getting three half-days and one full day off. At one point he started 21 consecutive games at short. Scheduled days off obviously help a little, but the Cap’n hasn’t been getting as much rest as he was during his torrid start.

The lack of rest and declining production could just be a coincidence, but I think it’s fair to ask if all the extra time in the field is slowing Jeter down a step. He’s going to turn 38 years old tomorrow and shortstop is a demanding position, it’s not outrageous to think he could be worn out a bit. Jayson Nix has been fine as the utility infielder, neither great or a disaster, but he’s clearly not good enough to play short even once a week to give the Cap’n some rest. He’s a classic “only if I have to” shortstop, a spot start/emergency guy.

Now obviously Jeter wasn’t going to maintain that insane April pace all season. We all wanted to think that 2009 Derek was back after his work with hitting coordinator Gary Denbo last season, but it was completely unrealistic. His slump has been a bit harsher than expected however and the lack of regular rest — just time off his feet at short, not necessarily full games off — maybe be contributing to the slide. I doubt the Yankees would recall Nunez even if he was healthy and since Ramiro Pena is unplayable, a utility infielder than can legitimately play shortstop should be on the team’s trade deadline shopping list.

Categories : Offense, Trade Deadline

72 Comments»

  1. dan l says:

    Welcome back 2010 Jeter! He should be rested against all right handed starting pitchers.

    • Slu says:

      This would be an extreme over reaction given the player(s) they have to replace him.

    • Need Pitching says:

      and who should start in his place?

      • dan l says:

        Cashman has done a horrific job building for the future. This is barely a third place team. I want NEW everything from ownership to gm to manager. There needs to be major change for this team to succeed going forward.

        • Need Pitching says:

          barely a third place team that is currently in first place with the second best record in baseball

          nice trolling

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Don’t waste your time.

            • Jon says:

              Any thoughts/suggestions on who the pick up might be? If COL throws in the towel Marco Scutero (sp) would be a nice addition I think. It would be nice if we could find a righty-mashing passible SS.

            • dan l says:

              Let us see where they end the season before you bash. I do not like this team very much. They are terribly flawed and very likely to crap out.

              • jjyank says:

                I can’t decide if this is real trolling or mock trolling.

                • nsalem says:

                  I think Dan has some legitimate points. This team does have issues. Our RISP fail has been covered up by some great pitching and our power. I think the power will be sustained throughout the season and I can only hope our pitching does the same. If not there may be problems. On the other hand our RISP has nowhere to go but up. Playing over .600 ball with this problem is something that someone has the right to question.

                  • jjyank says:

                    I’m sorry, but I can’t take him seriously when he goes that far to the extreme.

                    • nsalem says:

                      I agree with you that this statement is over the top
                      “Cashman has done a horrific job building for the future. This is barely a third place team. I want NEW everything from ownership to gm to manager. There needs to be major change for this team to succeed going forward.” and that should not be taken seriously. i also believe you can say every team is seriously flawed and every team is a couple of key injuries away from a collapse. I do worry about A-Rod and Cano’s inability to drive in runs with men is scoring postiiion If they do not pick it up in the though this team maybe in for some problems and is not exactly promising in thought s of a long playoff run. Who knows though maybe someone else will pick us up.

                    • jjyank says:

                      Right, but Dan wasn’t trying to discuss his concerns and discuss possible solutions, he was trolling. In that scenario, I can’t even bother trying to discuss his concerns because he’s not gonna listen anyway.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                There’s the door. Don’t let it hit your ass on the way out.

  2. RetroRob says:

    I am quite surprised Girardi has not given Jeter more days off. I understood in April when it was early and he was hot, but I’d be giving him a full day off every ten days. Yes, he’s 38 and the plan never should have been for him to play 158 games.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Answer is in the question. “The plan” was for Nunez to get enough reps in the infield so that he would not become a liability should Jeter need rest or get hurt.

      Kinda like the plan was never to trot Granderson out there for 158 games, but Gardner goes down and here we are…

      • RetroRob says:

        Even without Nunez, I’d be trotting Nix out there. It’s his weakest defensive position, but it’s not as if he’s replacing a great defender in Jeter, and his hitting is probably on par with Jeter over the past month. The goal would be the time off would maintain a higher level of production from Jeter.

        Current course and speed here not good.

        I understand the Granderson situation more.

        • CS Yankee says:

          +1

        • The Scheister of Doom says:

          Agreed. Nix has impress me from the standpoint of being better than advertised (SSS acknowledgment). While on the ulitity topic..that’s prob the only reason Wise is still on the roster, to play CF in a pinch. I’d rather see Jones than Swisher in CF should it come to that for PH purposes, etc.

  3. DM says:

    With inter-league over, I’m sure we’ll see a Jeter DH day soon. That plus the other off-day and the AS break will be enough for the time being. I’d also give Wise a start in CF and DH Granderson one day too.

  4. yooboo says:

    Jeter had several DH roles during the interleague games span but he really needs to take a break away from batting.

    He was 249? I feel like he is batting south of 200.

  5. dan l says:

    He needs to retire!

    • Luisergi says:

      That’s a clown comment, bro…

      • dan l says:

        Because you say so? Who are you? So your opinion is better? Jeter needs to retire ASAP. I am sick of watching him and want change whether or not that change is better or worse I don’t care I just want to watch different players. Jeter has been a great Yankee but his time is over.

        • jjyank says:

          Jeter had a torrid second half last year and a torrid month of April. His current slump does not mean that he’s got nothing left in the tank. If you want to watch new players, then follow another team.

        • Now Batting says:

          God I feel so sorry for you. Your life is so pathetic your peak enjoyment comes from antagonizing this site.

      • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

        That guy is a total asshat, but that was one of the most hilarious, quotable things a player has said in an interview in a long time.

        • Luisergi says:

          Totally agree…

          Obviously dan l doesn’t get it and doesn’t follow baseball that much.

        • CS Yankee says:

          I loved that quote from a 19 year-old Rook’ to boot…these reporters are looking for a player to either;
          1) befriend
          2) tear apart
          3) make headlines

          Harper is excellent, add in Trout and Stras’ and you have three of the more exciting players we have seen in a while.

          He does like clowns though as he has clown type eyeblock.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      Can we just remove him and his comments now? Or do we just have to continue ignoring him?

      • dan l says:

        So you have to love Jeter to post here? Since when has this been there policy?

        • jjyank says:

          No, but you’re claiming one of the best teams in baseball is doomed to third place. That type of rationalization won’t get you far.

          Plenty of people have concerns about the team, myself included, but your doom and gloom is excessive.

          • Steve says:

            I agree that he’s blatantly trolling, but your reason for wanting his comments removed from the site reeks of the kind of group think that most people accuse this site of.

            • Steve says:

              I take it back, it wasn’t you. Sorry

              • jjyank says:

                As long as there are no personal attacks, I don’t want anyone’s comments removed. I will, however, argue back forcibly.

                • Cris Pengiucci says:

                  A steady diet of “He sucks” or “Get rid of them all” with no supporting facts gets tiresome. We can argue back, but it won’t do any good.

                  However, perhaps I was a bit quick in asking if he and his comments would be removed. Let’s see if his line of comments continue.

                  • jjyank says:

                    Yeah, I get it. stuart a’s constant bitching about 1 or 2 cherry picked statistics over and over again and continued reply fails are the closest thing that’s brought me there.

                    The best we can do is turn him into a meme, like what has been happening a bit with stuart.

                • Tom Swift says:

                  You mean “forcefully.” Unless you don’t, in which case you’ll get in a lot of trouble.

                  • jjyank says:

                    Heh my bad.

                  • Robinson Tilapia says:

                    Reminds me of my favorite Hank Steinbrenner quote EVER:

                    “This is going to get turned around. If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, BY FORCE if we have to.”

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              I’m actually all in favor of totalitarian blog ownership, but I’ll admit to being in the minority. Blog comments aren’t some grand First Amendment statement. If you’re not here to play fair and have an honest discourse, no, you should be open to swift moderation on a blog.

              Of course, making memes out of it all is more fun. Therefore, I invite Dan L to stick around and become the new Duh Innings.

  6. thenamestsam says:

    Resting Derek might help the situation somewhat, but I think the reality is that he’s just not that good anymore. For all the crowing that went on in April about how Derek had proved the “haters” wrong, we look to be headed towards a third straight year somewhere between average and horrible (depending on how you view his defense). Age catches up with everyone eventually and it seems to have done so with Derek. He’s still capable of a hot month here and there, but no matter how much you rest him he’s not going to produce like that consistently.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      Defensively, I agree he’s not good (bet never was great), however offensively, he still contributes (just not right now). Having a SS that can hit ~.300 over the course of the season is tough to replace. I still consider him “Good” (in otherwords, I would say “he’s just not that good anymore”). Certainly not as good as he was. But, there are few, if any, better options available.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        Just re-read my comments. Corrections:

        bet but

        .. (in otherwords, I would wouldn’t say

        Maybe one day I’ll make some posts without mistakes. Today is not one of those days …

    • Kosmo says:

      whenever I´ve been down on Jeter he always seems to prove me wrong. I´ll never bet against him. Yes he´s old with no range at SS and not as dynamic as he once was at the plate but I´d still want him at his age on my team.

  7. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but the potential SS market is full of suck. Who would you trade for, Cesar Izturis? I can’t find anyone I’d rather have more than Eduardo Scissorhands.

    • Kosmo says:

      I´ve heard Jed Lowrie mentioned as a potential trade candidate. He´s the only one I could think of at this time . He can play SS,3B and 2B.

  8. Luisergi says:

    Something tells me, perhaps the greatnes and uniqueness of his career, that he’ll be fine. I mean, if something incredibly bad happens to the yankee’s season (missing playoffs) it won’t be because of Jeets’ sub .350 OBP…

    I bet he will end up with a slash similar to what he’s showing now .305/.355/.414

  9. Peter North says:

    Marco Scutaro. Get it done.

  10. blooper says:

    Isn’t this what RAB was telling us would happen all along when Jeter started facing a more steady diet of rhp’s? I might be wrong, since I haven’t looked up the numbers, but weren’t his stats against righties in April pretty much in line with what he’s doing now?

  11. jim p says:

    Both Jeter and A-Rod have appeared in 70 of NY’s 71 games. I’m sure a DH start is not as tiring as a field start, but it’s not the same thing as resting. What’s needed for both is two games of doing nothing at all around an off-day — 3 days of doing nothing.

    Chavez can do 3B duties for two days, no? So then we need a real short-stop capable player, one for this season at least, and one for the long-term. Go forth, Cashman, and make it so. Please.

    • jjyank says:

      I agree that it DHing is definitely not the same thing as not playing. Jeter, A-Rod, and probably Granderson all need at least 2 days of doing nothing.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        And it doesn’t appear the ASB will provide that opportunity for either Jeter or Granderson (they both probably need the rest before then anyway).

    • Kosmo says:

      The Yanks have 14 games to play until the all-star break. I´m sure Nix can fill in at SS one game a week until the break. Andrus is a FA in 2014 and Stephen Drew might be available this next offseason if the Dbacks don´t pick up his option.

  12. NYCSPORTZFAN says:

    i don’t think hes that tired.. Its not like they haven’t gotten days off.. I think they’ve had a day off every week since mid may…

    Hes just shown decline offnsively over the past few yrs, but is still good enough to have big offensive runs for exteneded parts of a season, which he did to start the yr, and eventually will again.. It’ll level out to somewere in between Derek from about 5yrs ago, to Derek the past 2-3yrs.. I just hope he hits 300BA.. I like seeing those 300BA seasons on the back of his baseball card..lol

  13. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    The Captain was SO bad a few years ago and proved us wrong. Rest him a bit more. I think he has individual goals on his mind whether he states them or not.

    DJ4K baby!!!!

    Who has the most hits in the AL?

    • CS Yankee says:

      Might need to change that to DJ3.5K…either way, even during a blow out I FF until something happens or Jeet bats.

      Long live the Captain…but with fewer (playtime) breaths.

    • eephus_pitch says:

      OBP is much more important than number of hits.

  14. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    Where is Minka and who was the gal standing next to Mom and Pop Jeter in the press box last week?

    • CS Yankee says:

      Good question, she seemed old for him and didn’t look like his chef…

      in fact she look kind of like Arod old taste in woman.

  15. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Yes, this underscores utility IF as one of the top needs going into the trading deadline.

    Whether this is due to being rested, or just regressing to the mean, is something we can only guess at, but I do think “players on the wrong side of 35 need a day off more frequently” would be a fairly uncontroversial statement to make.

    It really is too bad being sent to bad defense camp hasn’t gone the way we thought it would for Nunez. I really am a believer in his bat.

  16. eephus_pitch says:

    This entire article makes no sense. According to Michael Kay, all Jeter needed to do was get that pesky 3,000th hit out of the way, then his head would be cleared and he could go back to hitting. He might even win that elusive MVP this year!

    What no one wanted to talk about was that even during that great month Jeter wasn’t showing much patience. He was hacking away, the hits were just falling in for him.

    Now he’s hacking and chopping everything to short. The regression had to come. The groundball rate is just plain scary. Maybe we shouldn’t take one month of stellar play so seriously anymore, but it sure was exciting while it lasted.

    I wish he was still awesome. I really do.

    Oh, well. What are you gonna do?

  17. emcee says:

    This might be a really dumb question, but can’t A-Rod slide over and fill in at short? Wasn’t he the better shortstop of the two before he came to NY? I might prefer Rodriguez at short and Chavez at 3rd over A-Rod and Nix.

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