Jeter to DL with season-ending injuryYankees shortstop will be shut down to avoid further injury to ankle
“We’re going to put Derek on the DL, and effectively end his season,” Cashman simply told the media ahead of Wednesday’s game in Baltimore.
“This is what’s best for Derek.”
“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play, especially at this time of year. This is when I want to play most,” Jeter said, “but the entire year has been pretty much a nightmare for me physically.”
The DL stint is retroactive to Sept. 8, one day after manager Joe Girardi pulled The Captain from the Yankees’ 13-9 loss to Boston when he noticed that Jeter was not running well in the field.
Jeter had a CT scan that night, and according to Cashman, both team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson concurred that The Captain’s ankle is structurally sound, the recovery from that break is much more complex than just a bone healing.
“We had a meeting in New York when he got the CT scan, and going into that he admitted that he was feeling pain and it was creating difficulties on the field,” Cashman said. “We had conversations the next day about how important it is that we don’t put him in a position to have further damage, and we told Derek that he needs to articulate when he’s hurting because we can’t be in a situation where we lose him further.”
“The new info is that although the bone is healed, it’s a complicated structure down there in the ankle. A lot of components need to be strengthened up or he’ll continue to have problems,” Cashman said. “The initial thought was we’d give him a few days off and the pain would dissipate, but it’s a much broader situation; you have to let the pain dissipate and let the ankle strengthen up, and we’re not going to have enough time to do that.”
This will be Jeter’s fourth stint on the disabled list this season; beyond the initial re-break that kept him on the DL after Opening Day, the Captain has missed time with a strained quadriceps and a calf injury that both may be tied to that structural difficulty.
“It’s not an easy situation, and no one thought that we’d be sitting here after the injury last October still dealing with it, but I think one thing we’ve learned since that time is how severe and difficult it has been to solve that issue,” Cashman said. “The ankle is a complicated circumstance, and we’ve learned the hard way every step of the way that this is a more difficult situation than we expected.”
Jeter finishes the year 12-for-63 (.190) with one home run and seven RBI in 17 games, and admitted that he wasn’t 100 percent after his last comeback.
“I wasn’t running the way I want to run, hitting the way I want to hit and throwing the way I want to throw,” Jeter said. “If I’m not able to play how I want to, I’m not benefiting the team.”
As for the decision to disable Jeter officially, the GM referenced the calf strain suffered by Mark Teixeira last year – and his subsequent re-injury after coming back too quickly – as one of the impetuses for the shutdown.
“A week to 10 days isn’t going to do the trick; he could run out there and do what we need him to do if we needed it, but this is what’s best for Derek,” Cashman said. “You don’t know how these games unravel, and if you look at the end of the bench and see Derek Jeter available, who knows. … We need to protect ourselves from putting Derek in a position to hurt himself. By running him out there it makes him vulnerable and risks re-injury and that’s not something we’re willing to do.”
The Yankees acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan from Seattle late Tuesday night, and it will be he and Eduardo Nunez who man that position for the Yankees for the remainder of 2013, as Cashman also said that Jeter won’t return at all even if the Yankees make – and advance deep into – the postseason.
“We feel it’s best to shut him down and let him prepare for next year. That’s the safest thing to do,” Cashman said. “I’m told he should be back…and we’re not going to jeopardize 2014 by putting him out there.”
And as for Jeter, he’s already looking forward to that return in 2013.
“I’ve talked a lot with both Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Anderson, and we think that it’s just a matter of not having any strength,” Jeter said. “I haven’t been able to work out my legs since last October, and when I came back I had two other leg issues because of weakness there. I think having a normal offseason and being able to work out, no one foresees any new issues; that’s the key, the opportunity to have a normal offseason to work out and strengthen things physically.”