Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman both expect Derek Jeter to return at a high level
After joking that "[Jeter] said he would DH today," Girardi said it was "good to see Jeter's smiling face" in the clubhouse, and the skipper hopes that when his Captain returns, it will be as if nothing ever happened.
"Obviously, he'd like to be here under a lot different circumstances, but the guys are happy to see him and I was glad to see him," Girardi said. "Our hope is that he will just pick up where he left off last year. I don't think any of us are going to know until we get to that point, but we were under the impression that he would heal up, he would be a player for us, and he would play shortstop. He had a setback and we have to deal with it, and hopefully when we get him back and he's the same player he was at the end of last year."
That said, Girardi added that he has that expectation that simply because there's nothing else you can expect from a player like Jeter.
"He hasn't done anything in his career that would make me believe he's not going to be a good player when he comes back. I know he'll have had nine months off, but players get time off in the offseason and come back fine," Girardi said. "I don't think the extra time off will hurt him; he won't forget how to hit or do the things he does. There are questions as to how he'll be able to move, but that's something we'll just have to wait and see."
As for the general manager, Cashman said that he hadn't spoken to Jeter since after the Captain's doctor visit last Thursday, but he noticed that, as expected, Jeter's mood was great as he entered the clubhouse.
"His mood is spectacular…now he knows what's wrong, and he said 'I'll see you in six weeks'," Cashman said. "I've never seen Derek Jeter down, even when he came off that field in the playoffs and knew he wasn't going to play. I'm sure he has those moments, but he doesn't show it publicly or probably even privately."
Jeter will be with the team through this homestand and is unsure what will follow after May 6, but Cashman said he didn't think the Captain would travel with the team as Mark Teixeira has at times this season because it wouldn't make sense with his rehab schedule.
"I think he'll stay up here, because there's not much he can do now," Cashman said. "He's just got to keep (his ankle) immobilized in a boot for a period of time and he's got some doctor's checkups, but I think he'll be needing rest for a while."
And, like his manager, Cashman is unsure when Jeter might be back but believes that when he does return, he'll be the Derek Jeter of always.
"I would certainly hope to get him back as soon as possible, and Derek's never had anything but success, so I would expect a successful player," Cashman said. "It's hard to expect anything otherwise from a Hall of Famer like himself."
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