Upon returning to the New York Yankees lineup, Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 in his season debut but had to be removed from the game due to a thigh injury in the eighth. Expected to be out until after the All Star break, is the Jeter era over in the Bronx?
“It’s frustrating. I don’t know what else you want me to say,” the captain said in a team news release. “I worked hard to get to the point of rejoining the team yesterday. It’s not how you draw it up, but hopefully I’ll be back out there soon and help this team win some games.”
Despite being 39 years of age, Jeter has proven time and time again that he can still contribute at a high level. Last season, he hit .316 AVG with a .362 OBP while adding 15 HRs and 58 RBIs. Though his power numbers have declined over the years, the shortstop still proved that he can keep an above-average OBP and maintain a .300 AVG.
Jeter has done it all in his 18-year career, so what more does he need to prove?
After coming off ankle surgery, is his body finally giving him the signs to hang them up? Yankees GM Brian Cashman seemed to hint to a possible return to the DL for the veteran after it was revealed that Jeter suffered a Grade 1 strain of his right quadriceps.
It seems that the Yankees are trying to remain optimistic. At the same time, they seem uncertain and ultimately desperate. With the way the season has been going, they can use all the help they can get, especially from the captain.
The Yankees’ first half has been their worst since 2008, boasting a less-than-desirable 51-44 record. They are fourth in the AL East despite their hot start at the beginning of the season. With Mark Teixeira out for the year with a strained wrist and Alex Rodriguez struggling in his rehab assignment and facing a potential season-ending suspension, things have gone from bad to worse for the Bombers.
This is where Jeter comes in.
Though they added some power to the lineup during the offseason and have all the capabilities of being a contending team, New York has shown that they are leaderless, despite the veteran presence on the roster. That has been the main cause for concern. With Jeter, not only did they have stability at the top of their lineup, but they had a veteran leader on the field and off. The only question is whether he can stay healthy.
With the shortstop in the final chapter of his Hall-of-Fame career, can there be much left to be expected?
One could say that Derek Jeter doesn’t owe Yankee fans anything; he was a main contributor in bringing New York five championships and is respected not only around the league, but in MLB fan bases worldwide.
Yes, he has given them everything, but with Jeter proving to be resilient and set on returning after the All Star Break, could there be one final run left in the tank for a sixth championship?