6:00 p.m. EDT: After failing to talk his way out of the assignment, Jeter was placed on the disabled list by the Yankees, putting the chase for 3,000 hits on hold for at least 15 days. Eduardo Nunez will take over as the team’s shortstop. Ramiro Pena was called up to serve as a utilityman.
The official announcement isn’t supposed to happen until everyone gets settled in at the ballpark in hour or so, but everyone is saying that it’s likely that Derek Jeter will be placed on the disabled list today. Jon Heyman says the Yankees are “strongly considering” it. Most Yankees beat guys who have said anything have suggested that they would not be surprised.
It’s been some time since Jeter saw any DL time, but the danger in not doing it here is two-fold: (1) that the Yankees would be shorthanded in upcoming games against the NL in interleague play when you just know that Joe Girardi will want to get all double-switchy; and (2) more importantly, that the calf, if not completely rested and at least mostly healed, could become a chronic problem like Jimmy Rollins and some other players have had in recent years.
A third consideration — that the Yankees are really just gaming this so that Jeter can be back to get his 3000th hit in Yankee Stadium — is far to silly to be true, but far too delicious to be too mad at people for perpetuating in the first place.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.