From Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger:
The holding pattern with Derek Jeter, as Yankees manager Joe Girardi phrased it, entered its third day on Tuesday, without a resolution in sight. Once again, Jeter did not engage in pre-game drills due to his cranky left ankle. Once again, team officials dismissed the suggestion he could be shut down for the season’s final three weeks.
Jeter hasn’t appeared in a game for the Yankees since Saturday afternoon due to what is being described as soreness in his surgically-repaired left ankle and manager Joe Girardi acknowledged to reporters on Tuesday evening that there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the veteran shortstop.
“It’s just hard,” Girardi said Tuesday. “Because we want him to feel good about going out there and not having some pain, and being able to move the way we need him to move, and the way he wants to move. But we just don’t feel like he’s at that point. … My hope is we’re going to get him back. But I don’t know for sure.”
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.