Yankees manager Joe Girardi was criticized early on when he used Derek Jeter as a DH in just the second game of the year. It seemed like overkill at the time, but looking back at it and Jeter was off to a hot start and hadn’t missed a single game up until Wednesday night when he took his first full day off all year.
“I think I’ve always been concerned with players’ health,” Girardi told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “You see that a lot of times injuries are caused by fatigue, and that’s a concern for me. And I think as you know your players better, you know how many days they can go before you think it physically starts to wear on them. … I think you can wear them down and then they don’t start to swing the bat as well, they don’t move as well defensively and they get frustrated, and you can get into bad habits.”
Jeter’s overall line of .366/.413/.523/.936 is amazing, but perhaps it was time to give him a day off. He has still hit in seven of his last eight games, but he’s stopped with the three or four hit games and has hit .250/.314/.250/.564 over those eight games.
Expect Jeter to get a few more full days off with Eduardo Nunez in the minors. The Yankees had expected to use him almost like a regular, but his poor defense forced their hand and they aren’t likely to use Jayson Nix, his replacement, as often. So there will probably be fewer half-days off for Jeet and more full ones.