The New York Yankees got some terrific news on Monday, January 28. Superstar shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter resumed workouts for the first time since he had surgery to repair his broken ankle that he suffered in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS. Monday was the first time that Jeter stepped onto a baseball field for workouts since then.
Jeter took a stretch of fielding and batting practice and did not report any pain to attending Associated Press reporters. In fact, Accoriding to MLB.com’s Joey Nowak, Jeter told the reporters, “Everything went well.”
As a New York Yankee and Derek Jeter fan, I cannot be any happier about a player’s pending return from a serious injury. He is not only the captain, but the catalyst. A team full of talent such as the Yankees have should not need a catalyst. However, as soon as Jeter went down in the ALCS, so did the Yankees. They were already hitting very poorly throughout the postseason, but they seemed to lose all life after the injury. They are all talented and professional enough to put that performance aside and work toward another division title and World Series run. The division is much tougher now, but the Yankees still likely have what it takes to win it.
Individually, Derek Jeter needs a full season in regard to moving into the top five in all-time hits. He will begin in tenth place with 3,304 hits. He needs 211 more to take fifth place by himself. That is already tough enough to do in a full season of close to approximately 650 at bats. Jeter had 216 hits in 683 at bats in 159 games 2012. FanGraph’s Bill James Handbook projections have Jeter playing 154 games, having 642 official at bats, and getting 191 hits.
Even though Derek Jeter will likely play on Opening Day, I wonder if he will play this many games or get more days off. The individual records are great, but if it is better for the team, then Jeter may need and get more rest. Maybe he can DH enough to get the at-bats and still get some rest in between.
Derek Jeter returned to the field, and that is wonderful news for him, the Yankees, and the fans. The injury left doubt that he would begin the season on the active roster, but it looks more and more like Jeter will play on Opening Day.
Baseball Almanac, Career Leaders for Hits, baseball-almanac.com
FanGraphs, Derek Jeter Player Page, fangraphs.com
Joey Nowak, Jeter Works Out on Field for First Time Since Injury, yankees.mlb.com
Filed Under: Major League Baseball