UPDATE: Lineups were just announced for tonight’s Yankees-Orioles tilt. The Captain will play. Damn. Now I owe Nick Swisher a million bucks. Hope he takes a check.
11:15 A.M. Derek Jeter got plunked on the leg during yesterday’s game and ended up leaving when his hamstring stiffened up.
The injury is being characterized as minor, but when asked if Jeter would go in tonight’s game against the Orioles, Joe Girardi said they’d have to wait and see. Nick
Johnson Swisher is more confident, however, saying “He’ll be back. I bet you a million dollars he’ll be in the lineup.” And I suppose he probably will be, Giradi’s caution notwithstanding.
Can’t help but wonder if he should be, though. The opponent is Baltimore, the player in question is getting older and the season is still young. No one on the planet is ever going to question Jeter’s toughness, so he has nothing to prove here. But there is at least a little something to be gained, is there not, by giving the Captain an extra day to stretch out the kink in that hamstring? This is especially true now that he looks to be climbing out of his sluggish start (he’s 17 for his last 35). Why risk a nagging ache when a day off against the worst team in baseball may keep you that much fresher?
No, this isn’t the most important thing in the world. I guess more than anything I wonder if Girardi actually makes this call or if Jeter does.
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.