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 Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.