Jeter and A-Rod’s transition to DH has begun

We’ve been discussing it for years but it is finally happening. Derek Jeter is slowly beeing weened out of his shortstop position and Alex Rodriguez isn’t far behind him.

Last night, Yankees manager Joe Girardi started Jeter at DH while allowing Eduardo Nunez to start at short against the lefty and expect that to just keep happening more and more. This season the aging duo will share the DH position while Nunez and Eric Chavez get regular time in the field.

But how soon until it starts happening against righties? It can’t be that far away, especially because that’s where Jeter struggles the most. And imagine the temptation Girardi will feel if Nunez ever settles down in the field. After all, he is very athletic and the majority of his errors happen because he rushes too many plays.

He’s already got better range than Jeter, if he can just settle down in the field (much like Jeter himself did and Robinson Cano as well) than you might see Nunez getting regular playing time there.

The same goes for A-Rod. He’s got six more years on his contract. If the Yankees are working him into the DH position more this year, can it really be that long until they decide that the only way to keep him healthy over the remainder of his contract is to keep him off the field than this might be the start of him as a full-time DH.

The good news is that not everyone can DH at the same time. Raul Ibanez will get the bulk of the at bats against righties so Girardi is not likely going to increase Jeter and A-Rod’s at bats there right away. So how quickly this transition occurs could be determined by Ibanez.

Also, if Brett Gardner has a big season Girardi will likely want to see him in the lineup even against lefties. If that happens then we could see Andruw Jones starting more games as the DH than in the outfield taking away DH at bats from Jeter and A-Rod.

Eric Chavez will also have an effect on all of this. If he plays well and stays healthy than A-Rod will DH more. If Chavez is hurt or ineffective, the Yankees will have no choice but to leave A-Rod out there.

There are lots of scenarios that could play themselves out, but we’ve already seen the start of it. Jeter and A-Rod are being transitioned to the DH role.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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6 Responses to Jeter and A-Rod’s transition to DH has begun

  1. Matt_DC says:

    I was surprised it started in game 2. If Ibanez continues to hit they'll only be able to do this against lefties in the meantime.

  2. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but last year I looked up Jeter's and A-Rod's error rates, early in their careers (sorry don't have the data on hand right now), and Nunez was significantly higher…For the record, I like Nunez, but this is a glaring weakness in his game and in tight games will be a liability.

    Hopefully, Hughes can salvage a special, Easter Sunday W for us, before we move on to Camden Yards, tomorrow night with Kid Super Nova.

    • Jeter made something like 54 errors in the minors one year.

      • Ryan says:

        In the minors. What has he done in the majors? I'm not a google king so somebody else can do that. The main point for keeping Jeter at SS is that the Rays wouldn't have scored in the 1st inning with him out there. It's not just the number of errors, but the situations they occur in. This is when Jeter is at his best.

        A-Rod will be the DH. The Yanks are paying him all that money to do 1 thing and 1 thing only. Bring the HR title back to New York. It's just too bad it's his knee that's the problem. That will affect him even at DH.

  3. manny says:

    I don’t think this is nothing new,we all know that the yanks would love if “nuni”
    Gets 400 at bats.his has very good speed and hits the ball very well in the gaps.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    Everyone knew this needed to happen, but it makes signing Ibanez instead of a more flexible player like Damon, or Maxwell or Dickerson, look pretty foolish.

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