The New York Yankees could get their captain back -- again -- this weekend, as Derek Jeter could be ready to play as soon as Sunday.
The 39-year-old will play in a simulated game Saturday, and if all is well, he'll be in the team's lineup for their series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Jeter has only played in one game this season, but suffered a quad strain legging out a ground ball in his first game back from a fractured ankle suffered in last year's ALCS. Although the Yankees tried to keep him on the roster, the quad strain turned out to be bad enough that a stint on the disabled list was needed.
He's sorely needed in New York. The stats show that the Yankees are one of the worst right-handed hitting teams of all time, if not the worst in comparison to other teams in the league. Shortstop has been handled primarily by Jayson Nix, but he's only hitting .236 and is now on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He had been spelling for Eduardo Nunez, who is hitting only .230 and also spent a large portion of time on the DL with an oblique injury, and is a worse fielder than he is a hitter. Stopgaps have included Reid Brignac, who hit .114 before being released in June, and Luis Cruz, who is currently hitting .182. Jeter's return will be more than just a moral victory in the Bronx -- he can hopefully provide a badly needed boost at a position where they've gotten little to no production.
Unlike the Alex Rodriguez situation, the Yankees appear to be genuinely pleased to have Jeter back.