It’s time to shut him down, Joe.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the club is not considering shutting down Derek Jeter for the rest of the season, per Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, and Girardi’s confidence in his captain is admirable.
However, Jeter has proven throughout the summer that he will not be able to overcome his nagging ankle injury in time to make an impact for the Yankees this season.
Jeter has played in just 17 games this year after fracturing his left ankle twice since last October. The future Hall of Famer didn’t make his season debut until late July, and he only lasted four games before winding up back on the DL.
He returned to play for a few series in late August and early September, but Jeter was clearly just a shell of his former self. He limped his way to a dismal .174 batting average in August, then followed it up by hitting .200 in September.
While it’s nice to think Jeter was going to round himself into form, he wasn’t exactly improving from game to game. He had just one hit in his past 14 at-bats before re-aggravating his ankle injury on Saturday.
Jeter is one of the best players of all time, but the Yankees would be better served by shutting him down for the season. Eduardo Nunez is a capable replacement, and although he lacks Jeter’s massive amount of postseason experience, a healthy Nunez is better than a gimpy Jeter.
The Yankees are still in the thick of the AL wild-card race, and they could gain some ground in their pivotal upcoming series with the Tampa Bay Rays. To give themselves the best chance to win, the Yankees should start Nunez, sit Jeter and let their captain begin the rehabbing process for next season.