Derek Jeter had a very rough weekend, including the first 0-for-7 game of his career, and is now hitting just .240 with a .582 OPS this season and .220 with a .566 OPS in 41 total games dating back to last season.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York wonders if Jeter should be moved to the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup and in doing so passes along this tidbit: Jeter is hitting just .220 on fastballs clocked at 91 miles per hour or higher, whereas MLB as a whole hits .261 on such pitches.
It’s no surprise that a 40-year-old is having trouble catching up to good heat and it’s also no surprise that when he does catch up to 91-plus pitches he isn’t able to drive them with much authority, managing just one homer and five total extra-base hits in his last 180 plate appearances.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.