Banged-up Jeter could be headed back to DL
By GEORGE A. KING III(NY POST)
SAN DIEGO — Derek Jeter wasn’t placed on the disabled list Saturday, but if his right leg doesn’t improve by tomorrow, a third visit to the shelf this season will be a strong possibility.
“Not thinking about it,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday when asked if Jeter’s right quadriceps problem had the Yankees contemplating putting Jeter back on the DL.
Cashman’s words, however, came before manager Joe Girardi announced Jeter, 39, wasn’t in Saturday night’s lineup in the Yankees’ 3-0 win over the Padres at Petco Park, and won’t start today because of the right quadriceps strain — as well as a calf problem that surfaced on Monday. After the game, Girardi said Jeter would be available today for pinch-hitting duty, if needed.
“He’s been battling a leg problem and I’m going to give him the next two games off and see where we’re at,’’ said the manager, who used Eduardo Nunez at short and Brent Lillibridge at third. “Did [the calf problem] come about because of the quad? I don’t know. It’s better today than it’s been, and we’re going to give it these two days and see if we can knock it out. It’s a concern of ours, and we have to try and get him healthy.’’
Jeter’s mobility in the field and on the bases during Friday night’s 7-2 loss wasn’t good. His right leg appeared weak, and likely wasn’t helped by an awkward slide into third base in the first inning.
Though Cashman said he wasn’t thinking about the DL, Girardi has his fingers crossed.
“My hope is that we don’t have to DL him,’’ Girardi said. “Get him in there against the White Sox and see how he does.’’
According to Girardi, Jeter didn’t complain of a calf issue after playing last Sunday in his first game off his second DL stint.
“When he woke up on Monday he felt a little something there,’’ Girardi said. “Today he said it’s the best he has felt in a few days. He felt it was better. It’s going in the right direction, and I want to keep it going in the right direction.’’
Monday was an off day and Jeter played short Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Angeles and Friday night against the Padres.
With the DH back in play starting tomorrow in Chicago against the White Sox, Girardi could use Jeter there if the leg problems allow it.
Nevertheless, keep in mind it was a calf issue that landed Jeter on the DL for almost three weeks in 2011.
After missing the first 3 1/2 months of the season recovering from two fractured bones in his left foot, Jeter came off the DL July 11. He didn’t make it through a full game, leaving with the quadriceps problem.
He missed a dozen games, came back July 28 and has appeared in four games since then with stern orders from Girardi to not push the quadriceps while running the bases.
After Friday’s loss, in which Jeter went 1-for-4 to snap an 0-for-9 slide, Girardi said: “I’m not sure he’s 100 percent. He’s trying to grind through it.’’
As usual, Jeter was being Jeter about the situation.
“I’m all right,’’ he said. “If I’m playing, I’m not hurt.’’
Since hitting a homer and a single being activated, Jeter was 1-for-13 and hadn’t gotten the ball past the infield in 11 of those at-bats. Nine were grounders and two liners.