After intensifying his workouts in Tampa Wednesday, [Derek Jeter] will start a two-game rehab assignment at Double-A Trenton on Saturday, setting him up for a return to the Yankees Monday in Cleveland.
“I feel good now,” Jeter told the Associated Press Thursday morning. “I feel a lot better. I’m ready to get out of here.”
While Jeter declared himself ready to take the field in Trenton, the Yankees have yet to confirm Jeter’s return to the field.
“Derek had another good day,” general manager Brian Cashman said before Wednesday night’s game. “He did full-bore baserunning today and full defense today with lateral movement. He got tested pretty good. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Cashman said that Jeter would repeat the same workout Thursday and possibly Friday. Barring any unexpected setbacks, Cashman anticipated Jeter would be in the Trenton lineup Saturday.
I’ve had a few people say to me in the past two weeks that the Yankees are just as well off without Jeter, but at this stage in their careers that is not true. Eduardo Nunez has been good, but not great. In 14 games since Jeter went down he is hitting .277 with a .716 OPS. Good not great and when we consider his horrible defense he just isn’t as good as the perception has been.
Jeter’s range might not be what it used to be, but his hands and arm clearly put him above Nunez. His .260 average and .649 OPS aren’t far behind either. Throw in Jeter’s on the field intelligence and the Yankees are simply a better team with Jeter.
Nunez does have potential and it shouldn’t be long until he improves and Jeter regresses to the point where he is better, but we are not there yet.