New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter suffered another injury Saturday, aggravating his sore left ankle. The injury will keep the shortstop out of the Yankees lineup for at least two games, and triggered an outpouring of concern from national baseball writers wondering about the future Hall of Famer's viability going forward.
Due to the lengthy recovery from his broken ankle as well as subsequent injuries, Jeter has played only 17 games this season and is hitting .190. Scouts who have watched Jeter say the injuries are still bothering the shortstop, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports:
Scouts watching the Yankees have been saying all week that he doesn't look right, that his swing has been all upper-body, that he can't move around at shortstop and that his ankle problems even seem to be affecting his throwing.
Emblematic of that is a play that took place in the fifth inning of Thursday's game against the Red Sox:
The Yankees are not planning to shut Jeter down for the remainder of the season, manager Joe Girardi stated on Sunday. New York is only 2 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL Wild Card spot, and they will face the Rays three more times before the season is over
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, however, argues that Jeter and the Yankees need to be focusing on next season, writing:
But now it might be time for Jeter to turn selfish and focus on his recovery, even if it means missing the rest of the season....
The logical solution is for Jeter to exercise his player option, work like crazy to make a strong recovery and see what happens in '14.
Jeter owns a $9.5 million player option for 2014, along with a $3 million buyout. Jeter's weak play has ignited concern that he might choose to retire rather than return next season. Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked Jeter about his future with the team:
When I asked Jeter directly whether he expects to be back, he hedged several times before offering, "I never imagine not playing. This has been my job for 20 years."
Close, but not a definitive, "Yes, I am going to play." Which would have been his response any other time in those two decades.
Sherman states that he still expects Jeter to play next year, but was told by some of the players that Jeter could walk away if he is unable to make a healthy return.
Even if Jeter's future is unclear, one thing remains certain; writers and fans will remain interested, and whatever future is in store for the shortstop will be well-chronicled.