Monday, March 25, 2013
Who fills in for Jeter?
By Doug Mittler
If Derek Jeter so much as sneezes, it is a big story in the Bronx, so the news that the future Hall of Fame shortstop's ankle is still bothering him is an obvious cause of concern for the New York Yankees.
GM Brian Cashman said Sunday that it's "more likely than not" that Jeter will start the season on the DL.
Jeter was the DH in a minor league game Saturday, grounding out four times, and while he'd hoped to play in another minor league contest Sunday, that won't happen because he's too sore, reports Newsday's Anthony Rieber.
The Yanks had been playing Jeter play in minor league games rather than in Grapefruit League action so they could backdate any disabled list stint to an earlier date. As such, Cashman indicated the next goal is to have Jeter back by April 6 against the Tigers.
The leading in-house candidate to fill in Jeter, at least temporarily, is Eduardo Nunez, who has 18 errrors in just 77 games at shortstop. There also is Jayson Nix, who started 13 games at shortstop in 2012 but is far from an elite defender.
One name that immediately comes to mind is Yuniesky Betancourt, who is hitting .450 with nine RBI for the Phillies this spring. Betancourt has an opt-out clause in his contract if he does not land a spot on the Phillies’ roster. Betancourt could provide some short-term insurance without the Yankees having to make a long-term financial commitment.