Major setback will keep Derek Jeter out until after the All-Star Break

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Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be out until at least the All-Star Break after a CT scan revealed a small crack in the same area where he broke his ankle last October. This latest setback will not require surgery, but expect him to be out 2-3 months minimum.

“We have to back off and let that heal,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com. “This is obviously a setback. We are looking at, in terms of speculating on when Derek might be back with us, you are looking at some point after the All-Star break.”

Jeter had been overly aggressive about returning right from the start. Even back in October when doctors said it would take 4-6 months to heal, he stated that there was no possibility he wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day. When he pushed himself too hard in Spring Training he denied it and obviously didn’t learn his lesson because he’s had two major setbacks in about a months time.

It’s hard to blame Jeter. He’s never had an injury quite like this before in his entire career and we know he’s an extremely competitive guy. He just doesn’t know or understand the patience it takes to rehab. It’s probably why he threw a few jabs at Carl Pavano during his time with the team.

It should have been the Yankees responsibility to scale Jeter back, but with the future payroll slashing going on the team was very limited in what it could do this past offseason and counted on Jeter to have a big season this year. It’s very likely that they wanted to believe him so bad that, like Jeter himself, they got too excited and let him push himself too hard.

Just look at what happened this week. Jeter’s ankle wasn’t getting better, they gave him two days off to rest, and then just threw him back out there. They should have shut him down completely, had CT scans done a few days ago, and then gone from there. But instead he had another setback and needed to go in for the unscheduled visit to the doctor that revealed the small crack.

Cashman says Jeter will be back around the All-Star Break, but to me this is more like an August return if he even returns at all. When it comes to ankles, which need to be at 100 percent for fielding, hitting, and running, setbacks are unfortunately all too common. At this point it seems like maybe they shouldn’t count on him at all and anything they get from him should be seen as gravy.

Even if they can get him back, Jeter will likely never be the same player he was even last year. A shortstop who never had good range, had poor range last season, and it’ll be even worse whenever he does get back on the field. It’s very possible that, when he does come back, that Jeter will be little more than the right handed side of a DH platoon with Travis Hafner.

The Yankees will stick with Eduardo Nunez as their shortstop, but they should probably look into finding another backup infielder so they are not forced to rely on Jayson Nix too much and don’t have to use Robinson Cano at short or Francisco Cervelli at second base again. It’ll be a minor move, but improving their infield depth is a priority now.

This is a big blow for the Yankees (although that probably goes without saying). He’s a huge emotional leader when he’s on the field and while Nunez had done fine in his absence, especially now that he’s been better in the field, but they have been getting killed against lefties and could really have used Jeet’s bat as a shot in the arm against southpaws.

Hopefully Nunez continues to play well and maybe even get a little bit better if he can stop getting hit by pitches. And hopefully this time Jeter takes it easy with his rehab. The All Star Break is a good goal, but getting him back by mid-to-late August is better than not getting him back at all.

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12 Responses to Major setback will keep Derek Jeter out until after the All-Star Break

  1. Michael R. says:

    If he has actually broken the ankle for the second time, and this isn't something that was missed from the first break, then it doesn't make much sense that he would be ready by all-star break. Again, it's the Yanks "spinning" things. He'll be lucky if he returns at all this year.

  2. brian says:

    It's amazing how boring the Yankees are without Jeter… I'm getting no enjoyment whatsoever from this season..

    and you can't say it's the record because 8-6 is fine, they'll be fine, they just won't be much fun to follow

  3. Rob Abruzzese says:

    I've been thinking the exactly opposite, Brian. Maybe it's because I've been writing about them for so many years, but I find Jeter, A-Rod, and some of the other guys, not Mo, incredibly boring. They're very vanilla and they've been around forever. This year it's a new team, different expectations, and at least to me things have a different feel than they have in years.

    Maybe it's just the fact that it's so early in the season that it's a little hard to get into it.

    Does anyone else feel this way or are you in agreement with Brian?

    • Fred says:

      I'm with you here. Not that I necessarily find the old guard boring, but I think its refreshing watching this roster without some of them. For the first time in my adult life I'm watching a Yankees team that isn't built around Derek Jeter batting near the top of the order. Its very interesting.

      That and its been fun watching some of the new blood. Guys like Hafner, Wells and Youkilis are playing their butts off right now. All that said, I'll gladly welcome the captain, Tex and Grandy back into the lineup when they're healthy. But this team gives me a feeling that it could be something special, they're playing very well.

    • Matt_DC says:

      I agree with Rob – it's fun getting the early contributions from Cervelli, Hafner, and Wells. And even Lyle Overbay is looking like a good temporary fix compared to what they had at first. I can't see this lineup keeping it up (even when Tex and Grandy come back, I am not holding my breath for Jeter) but so far they are a likeable group of guys to watch.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    Jeter is sui generis. Must be the most boring interview ever, is terrible in the field, and essentially a singles hitter who strikes out too much and walks too little. Yet he has come up with more clutch fielding plays in the big games than any player not named Brooks Robinson. I just remember last year when Sabathia loaded the bases and the O's hit that squibber to short. No way he should have made that play, coming in hard on a soon to be broken ankle and throwing out the runner at first, no way. Yet with the game on the line I want the ball hit to him.
    I'm hoping that player and club come to their senses and give up on Jeter as an everyday SS. I say make him the back up 1Ber, back up 3Ber and 2/3-time DH for 2014.

    • brian says:

      I actually chuckle at this type of stuff…

      Jeter is one of the greatest Yankees and overall shortstops of all time BASED ON THE NUMBERS… we've all spent so much time picking him (and other greats) apart that we can't see the forest through the trees..

      Don't get me wrong, I agree with part of what you're saying… that for all his tangible greatness, we'll remember the little things more than anything…

      But let's not act like Jeter has been anything other than a great ballplayer during his career.. he's not a good player with "intangibles", he's great

  5. olie says:

    I don't usually agree with Tanned Tom but this time I believe he is on the mark. As good as Jeter has been in his career his defense (Range) is on the downhill side. Even the Greatest Yankee of them all "The Mick" switched positions late in his career. It is time to send Nunez out to shortstop everyday and see if he can play.

    • Matt_DC says:

      I'm not sure where else to put him. The outfield? Third? Platoon DH? If he does not retire after 2014 I do not think the Yankees would bring him back. It has to happen sometime but it is painful that it is an injury accelerating the inevitable.

  6. Michael R. says:

    I would agree that the new faces make it more interesting, as long as they continue to be competitive. I didn't really expect much from this bunch. So far it's icing on the cake.