Even though the Yankees’ offense only managed two hits in today’s 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, New York still did receive somewhat good news after the game. After the Yankees saw Derek Jeter play a simulated game in Staten Island today, it was announced by manager Joe Girardi that barring another setback, the Captain will be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon, playing shortstop against Matt Moore.
Jeter took eight at-bats in Staten Island and played some shortstop in the field and from all accounts, he is good to go, barring the aforementioned setback.
With Jeter’s return, that means a roster spot has to be cleared. Well, that was taken care of as designated hitter Travis Hafner is heading to the disabled list with a strain in his right rotator cuff. Hafner was already having a rough season, hitting .209 on the season and .143 in the month of July. Injury or not, the Yankees needed to see a lot more from Pronk in that DH spot. With Jeter’s return, there is a chance that Eduardo Nunez can also get some at bats at the designated hitter spot.
If it’s up to Jeter, as Girardi suggested, then he will try to make it into the lineup because of his competitiveness and I am sure he was able to see the box score of today’s game. With New York eight games back of the Rays in the AL East and just 58 games to go, everyday is crucial to getting some of these injured players back in what is now a bargain basement offense. The key will be how Jeter’s quad is feeling after he sprained it in his first attempt back against the Royals back on July 11.