Hours after listing Derek Jeter as his designated hitter for Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he won’t deviate from the plan in order to help his superstar reach 3,000 hits as home.
But… that’s like… right after he listed Jeter as a DH…
The Yankees play their next 10 games at home and Jeter is 14 hits away from 3,000, so he could well get there if he heats up just a little bit. However, he’s likely going to have to be put on pace to play in all 10 of them, and that’s exactly what Girardi is thinking with the decision to let him DH tonight.
It is Jeter’s fifth start at DH this season. He went 4-for-19 with one RBI and no runs scored in the first four. Overall, he’s batting .260/.327/.325 while getting 100 percent of his at-bats from the first or second spot in the order. That’s certainly not something that’s going to change until after he reaches 3,000.
“You would love for him to do it here,” Girardi said. “We have 10 games on this homestand — 14 hits he needs. I would love for him to do it here, but you can’t physically wear him down or risk hurting him to do that. We are going to have to be smart about how we do this and we are going to probably play it the way we have all year long.”
Which basically means letting Jeter have his way and hoping that it doesn’t hurt the team in the process.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.