Derek Jeter’s situation didn’t really change in the past 24 hours, but the Yankees evaluation of his situation certainly did. Brian Cashman said his opinion began to shift toward a shutdown based on a conversation with Jeter after batting practice yesterday. That’s when Cashman heard words he’d never heard before.
“A recognition from his end that his season might be over,” Cashman said. “That’s reality that you’re not used to hearing from someone like him. When that was an issue like, he’s available for you to do what you need, but there is some risk by doing that. Then him understanding that risk too. That wasn’t a conversation I’m used to having at all.”
Dr. Robert Anderson contacted the Yankees yesterday to say he’d reviewed Jeter’s lasted CT scan, and that he agreed with Dr. Chris Ahmad assessment that there is no injury and the originally injury is healed, but the situation is more complicated than simply putting a bone back together. Jeter has come to understand that, which is why he didn’t fight the Yankees over this decision.
“I’m not surprised because if you can’t play how you’re capable of playing or what you’re used to doing, then you’re really not helping out,” Jeter said. “I wasn’t moving how I should be moving in order to help us. I wasn’t running the way I’m supposed to run. If that was different, it would probably be different circumstances here. But if I’m not able to play how I want to play, then I’m not benefiting the team.”
There are very obvious questions that still linger about Jeter’s future — Can he return to shortstop? Will he take his player option for next season? How productive will be he if and when he does come back? — but all of the Yankees seemed certain that the biggest question about the future isn’t a question at all. There is an overwhelming belief that Jeter will return, that this injury is not the end for him.
“It’s bad that I’ve had this year and it’s been a nightmare, but you don’t just start thinking about the end just because you have to deal with an injury,” Jeter said. “… I’m not thinking about getting hurt again. It sounds kind of funny saying it now considering how many times I’ve been hurt, but I truly believe with a full offseason of working out and getting my strength back that I’ll get back to doing what I’ve always done.”
Even though Jeter seemed on board with the decision, there was no mistaking the overwhelming disappointment on his face and in his voice.
“This is the most fun time of the year,” Jeter said. “No one enjoys playing this time of the year more than I do. To not be able to help, it’s something that’s new to me. I’ve never had to deal with it. … I’ve had pom poms for a lot of this season already. You just try to help out as much as you can, in any way that you can. Root for your teammates. My teammates have rooted for me enough over the years. Now it’s my turn.”
• As hoped, Alex Rodriguez is in the lineup at designated hitter. “When I rounded third (last night), just felt a little knot, and I was hoping it was a cramp,” Rodriguez said. “But I got some treatment afterwards and it feels pretty good so I am ready to go.”
• Did last night’s slide hurt him at all? “When you run as slow as I do, sliding is not a big deal,” Rodriguez said. “That’s not slow motion, that’s real speed.”
• Brendan Ryan jumps right into the lineup after taking a red eye flight from Seattle last night. “Just went from a whole bunch of games back to right in the race,” he said. “It’s pretty thrilling.”
• Ryan said he’ll talk to the Yankees about whether he should take ground balls at any other positions. He’s got experience several places in the infield, so that doesn’t seem to be a problem if the Yankees want to use him at second or third from time to time. “Today my assignment is to play solid defense and try to contribute offensively, so that’s where my mind is,” he said.
• Girardi said Austin Romine has a “slight concussion” and won’t do any baseball activities today. He’s not available tonight, leaving the Yankees with two catchers on the roster.
• The plan is for David Huff to start tomorrow, but for now he’s once again available as a reliever if necessary.
• Speaking of available relievers, Dave Robertson is fully available.
• Jim Miller was designated for assignment to make room for Ryan. For now, Jeter is on the 15-day disabled list, but he could be moved to the 60-day if the Yankees have anyone else to add.
• Despite last night’s minor triceps issue, Ivan Nova is still on schedule to make his next start. Girardi seems unconcerned about the situation.
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez, cell phone picture of Jeter