NEW YORK – Derek Jeter’s third trip to the disabled list during the 2013 season may take the New York Yankees shortstop longer to return from than expected and could potentially sideline him for his team’s stretch run.
A Yankees source with knowledge of Jeter’s current situation told me Sunday on the condition of anonymity that the aging shortstop is still far from a return to the field and some within the organization have deemed him unlikely to return to the major leagues during the 2013 season. Jeter has been out since early August with a right calf strain.
Jeter, 39, has appeared in just five games for the Yankees this season, recording a .211 (4-for-19) batting average while fighting injuries. He missed the season’s first three and a half months recovering from a broken ankle suffered in the 2012 American League Championship Series, only to suffer a Grade 1 quadriceps strain in his season debut and head back to the disabled list.
He returned to the field in Tampa on Monday, beginning the road back to the Bronx by taking live batting practice against a minor league pitcher and doing some fielding drills at Steinbrenner Field. Jeter also ran six sprints in the outfield, but did not run the bases. The latter is a key step that Jeter would need to complete before being cleared to start a rehab assignment.
With Jeter potentially out for a good portion, if not the remainder of the 2013 season, the Yankees will be forced to rely heavily on Eduardo Nunez to handle the shortstop position.