Derek Jeter back on the disabled list. His season is “effectively over”

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And with this move, Derek Jeter’s nightmare season effectively ends:

Jeter last played on September 7, so if he was DL’d retroactively, he could theoretically make the last few games of the season (the Yankees have 17 games left). But that’s only if everything worked out perfectly for him. And nothing this year has worked out perfectly for him. And the Yankees seem to know this:

 

He’ll end his season having played in 17 games with a .190 average and a lone homer and lone double his only real production.

Jeter has a player option for 2014. It’s quite possible that he exercises it this winter and, much in the way Marinao Rivera came back for a final year, Jeter ends his career in action and healthy.  But you have to wonder, given how hard it has been for him to come back from last year’s broken ankle, whether he is physically able to do so. And whether, because of that, he doesn’t contemplate retirement.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉