The Captain is back! Derek Jeter returned to the New York Yankees lineup tonight, taking the field at short stop and batting second behind Brett Gardner. The Yankees are keeping a close eye on him, with a desire for him to be in the lineup for good.
Manager Joe Girardi knows the importance of Jeter’s return. Recently, he commented on Jeter’s rehab progress. “He has played three days in a row. From everything I understand, he felt pretty good. I don’t know if we can afford to be apprehensive.”
In his last three games in Triple A, Jeter has shown that he is ready. He went three for nine, including a double, an RBI and a walk. Reports say that he ran “under control,” meaning not at 100%.
“I wish I would have had more time to do things, but I didn’t, and we are where we are,” he said. “So now let’s move forward, and hopefully, there’s no more issues.” “I’ll try to do as much as I can to keep strong for this last month, but all I can do is go out and play and hope everything’s fine.
Jeter’s season has been a frustrating revolving door. He has bounced back and forth to the disabled list due to injuries to his ankle, quad and calf.
“We’re just going to go day by day, and see what I see the night before, and make the decision the next day,” Girardi said.
It is a good sign that Girardi elected to play Jeter in the field instead of using him as the designated hitter. That is an indication that the pain is gone and he is able to move well laterally.
“I’m hoping I have no other problems, I really am,” he said. “I can’t tell you what I’m going to do. I’m trying to be smart. I guess the game will dictate it. I don’t really think you can play not to get hurt. I think that’s when you get hurt.”
The Yankees now head down the stretch with perhaps their best lineup of the season. They have dominated the Blue Jays all year, so this series provides them with an opportunity to close the gap in their quest for the playoffs.