The retirement gifts are nice, but Derek Jeter’s farewell tour has been a disaster from a baseball perspective. Buster Olney looked at the numbers this morning and they’re not pretty:
For Derek Jeter, the struggles continue: His OPS is down to .612, which ranks 154th out of 167 players. He is 164th of 167 in slugging percentage. He has two extra-base hits in the last 32 days.
I guess it could be worse. Of the qualified players with a worse OPS than him, four of them are shortstops. And the various non-qualifying players the Tigers have used at short have been worse than all of them. So I guess even in his diminished state Jeter still profiles as a major league shortstop.
But man, it’s hard to see someone of his stature slumming with the Adeiny Hechavarrias and Zack Cosarts of the world.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.