Normalcy just took a step forward in New York, as the team and GM Brian Cashman confirmed this morning that Derek Jeter will indeed be activated from the disabled list and will be in this afternoon’s lineup. Apparently the only question that remained was whether he’d start at shortstop or as the team’s designated hitter during their game against the Kansas City Royals, according to what Cashman shared with ESPNNewYork’s Ian O’Connor:
After the game last night, after Travis Hafner got hurt, we looked at the weather patterns and I just decided to make the move for today. Derek was scheduled to DH in Scranton, so I figured, he could DH and sit around in the rain in Scranton, or he could DH and sit around in the rain in the Bronx. We chose the Bronx.
Jeter has been sidelined all season as he works his way back to full strength from a broken ankle that he suffered during Game 1 of last year’s ALCS. He was originally expected back earlier in the year before a slight setback (i.e. a second break that was discovered early in Spring Training) pushed that time table off. He played in just four games during a rehab stint with Triple-A Scranton, hitting .111/.385/.111 in 13 PA (one hit, four walks). He’s yet to play a full nine inning game, but reports have swirled for a few days about how anxious he was to get back into the Yankee lineup.
The long time Yankee captain will certainly provide a boost – both in performance and in morale – to a Yankee lineup that has been scuffling of late. A career .313/.382/.448 hitter since debuting during the 1995 season, Jeter at less than full strength still will likely offer more production than what the Yankees have received from their shortstops on the year. To date the team’s shortstops have ranked last in slugging percentage (.286), second to last in batting average (.211), and fourth to last in home runs (2).
New York’s been crushed by injuries for much of the season – with Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Jeter, and others all forced to miss significant time. Despite that the team has remained in the hunt in the AL East. Jeter’s return to the Yankee lineup may prove to be a nice boost for a team that was surprised many by remaining in contention.