Derek Jeter got a break last night following his emotional Yankee Stadium finale on Thursday, but he’ll serve as the designated hitter and bat second for this afternoon’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Jeter left shortstop behind after Thursday’s game, so he’ll be limited to DH or pinch-hitter duties for the final series of his 20-year major league career. These games are meaningless from a standings perspective, but it’s still fitting that he’ll wrap things up against his team’s biggest rival.
This season has been a struggle for Jeter, but he’s going out strong. The 40-year-old batted .353 (12-for-34) with one home run, four doubles, and nine RBI over eight games during his final homestand.
Last night after ending his Yankee Stadium career with a walk-off single Derek Jeter said he wouldn’t be playing shortstop again, but indicated that he would play in some capacity during the Yankees’ season-ending series in Boston.
For tonight at least he’s not in the starting lineup at all, as the Yankees have Brendan Ryan at shortstop. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Brett Gardner are also sitting, so it’s a lineup devoid of regulars.
2B – Jose Pirela
CF – Eury Perez
1B – Francisco Cervelli
LF – Chris Young
C – John Ryan Murphy
DH – Austin Romine
SS – Brendan Ryan
3B – Zelous Wheeler
RF – Antoan Richardson
Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated that Jeter asked for the night off, so presumably pinch-hitting or even pinch-running is unlikely.
Bobby Abreu will announce his retirement tonight, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.
Abreu’s career appeared to be over when the Mets designated him for assignment in early August, but they called up him in September for one last hurrah.
Abreu ceased being a productive regular in 2011, but he had a dozen-year run as one of the best all-around hitters in baseball, consistently posting .300 batting averages and .400 on-base percentages with 20-homer power and 30-steal speed.
Overall for his 18-year, 2,423-game career Abreu has an OPS of .870, which is a higher mark than fellow retirees Paul Konerko (.841) and Derek Jeter (.817).
He was an on-base machine who racked up 2,469 hits with 288 homers and 400 steals. Among all active position players only Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have gotten on base more times than Abreu’s career total of 3,977 and only Rodriguez, Jeter, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Utley have a higher Wins Above Replacement total.
Great, underrated player.
David Robertson’s rough outing last night would be remembered a whole lot differently had Derek Jeter not come through with a walk-off hit following the closer’s blown save.
The legend Robertson replaced, Mariano Rivera, even joked about the situation after the game, saying now we can all remember how Robertson gave up two homers on purpose so that Jeter could get even more glory.
Here is Robertson’s sense of relief, in his own words:
[I went] from pretty much the all-time low to all-time high. Thankfully the game was still tied and we weren’t losing. So I could live with myself at least a little bit. That was a heartbreaker though to give up two home runs to two good hitters, but it worked out. I was really down, but now I can walk away and go to sleep tonight.
It created another Derek Jeter moment. As much as I wished I wouldn’t have created it, I’m glad it happened.
It should also be noted that, while he’ll never be able to fill Rivera’s Hall of Fame-sized shoes, Robertson has been very good this season by converting 88 percent of his save chances with a 3.13 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 63 innings. And he’ll cash in big as a free agent this offseason.