When it rains, it pours.
That’s a saying that the New York Yankees are taking pretty close to heart these days, considering that the team’s Spring Training has seen them deal with several significant injuries to significant players.
Now, they can add team captain Derek Jeter to that list … sort of.
About Derek Jeter getting scratched today: Joe Girardi says he’s got general soreness in his ankle. Could be back tomorrow.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 19, 2013
That would be his surgically-repaired left ankle that Jeter is dealing with right now, and the ailment has set him back for two spring games thus far. The good news here is that unlike the injuries to Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, this isn’t an issue that will cost the shortstop too much time in the regular season.
In fact, according to Anthony Reiber of Newsday, the 38-year old still has his sights on Opening Day.
That said, the setback to his recovery from the late October surgery might mean that the team will have to find a temporary solution (ie. Eduardo Nunez) at shortstop, as Jeter will more than likely begin the season as the team’s designated hitter (and presumably shifting Travis Hafner to the bench, unless the team is serious about considering him for first base duties).
Though there’s no doubt that the future Hall-of-Famer will need little in terms of practice at the position, the fact that Jeter has only started three games at short this spring (five games total) would suggest that he is far from being ready health-wise.
There’s still time for that, of course. As Jeter told Newsday, “two weeks is plenty of time to get ready”, but as for when he’ll actually be able to get his fielding workload ramped up? “It’s the old-fashioned day-to-day.”
Well, at least he isn’t short on optimism, even if the passing days aren’t exactly on his side.
The Yankees are not strangers to playing through injuries before, but with the number of players that will be on the DL to start 2013, I’d imagine that this is one day-to-day injury that the team will want to take slowly.
Rushing Jeter back to action could potentially result in a more significant setback, and at this point, it’d be difficult to say that the team won’t be looking at a dagger right to the heart if they were to have to miss their captain for any significant length of time.