Blog Entry

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Posted on: April 4, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 12:46 pm
The biggest concern of the Yankees' opening weekend was Phil Hughes, whose startling spring training decline in velocity continued into an ugly first start of the regular season.

But what about Derek Jeter?

It's only three games, and it was cold, and everything could change a month from now, or even a week from now. But in the Yankees' first three games of the season -- and they won two of them, don't forget -- one of the most stunning sights was Jeter's lack of mobility at shortstop.

"I'm shocked," said one Northeast-based scout who has followed Jeter's career. "I know there's been a lot of talk about his range the last few years, and I didn't really buy it until last year. But [this weekend], it was really down. He didn't react to balls off the bat.

"He almost looks overmatched by the ball."

Again, it's possible this is just an early-season blip. A scout who watched the Yankees this spring in Tampa said that while Jeter's range was a little down, it wasn't shockingly bad.

Jeter didn't look good at the plate against the Tigers, either (2-for-10), but that's less of a concern now than his defense -- even if the defense is a long-term concern.

Hughes' lack of velocity is already significant.

Scouts noticed it all spring in Florida, when he was throwing his fastball 87-89 mph (as he did in Sunday's loss to the Tigers). The Yankees played it down publicly at that point, but as Joel Sherman revealed in Monday's New York Post , even during the spring Hughes and new pitching coach Larry Rothschild worked on his mechanics in an attempt to get the velocity back (Hughes regularly hit 94 mph last year).

As Hughes told reporters Sunday, "It is tough for me to pitch at this velocity."


A few other opening weekend thoughts:

-- The Giants' defense is a serious issue, enough so that it could end up being the reason they don't repeat. One scout who watched their opening weekend series in Los Angeles came away convinced that the Giants are below average defensively at almost every position in the field. "Barry Zito pitched a very good game [Sunday], and he should have won the game," the scout said. "[Zito] competes with the stuff he has. If the defense makes the plays behind him, he'll compete enough to be a fourth or fifth starter."

-- The Angels bullpen was bad against the scrappy Royals, but one scout who watched them came away talking more about how bad Scott Kazmir looked. "Terrible. No velocity. No command. No nothing," the scout said.

-- When I wrote last week about teams that benefit from fast starts, I really should have mentioned the Orioles as a team that would be interesting to watch this year. It's going to be hard to do in the AL East, but the O's have the good young pitching that can help carry the momentum when a team starts strong (e.g. Padres 2010). One thing to remember about the O's: If they somehow stay in the race through midseason, you can count on them to be aggressive in the July trade market. "We'll be all-in," one O's person said.

-- One more thing about the O's. Scouts who watched them this spring were not surprised to see Zach Britton pitch so well Sunday against the Rays. One scout said Britton was the Orioles' best pitcher this spring, and two more said that they liked Britton ahead of Yankees superprospect Manuel Banuelos, who got more attention. Britton only started Sunday because Brian Matusz was hurt, but there's already speculation that he'll stay in the rotation even when Matusz returns.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:43 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 7:29 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 4:38 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:51 am

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:29 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:10 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:31 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:50 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

I was at Saturday's game and Jeter was fine.This is a non story. This &%*& just likes riling up Yankee fans

This is only a non-story to blinded Yankee fans like yourself who think that Jeter (or any other Yankee) can do no wrong and are the best players to ever play the game.  Take your blinders off pal, they are getting in the way of you forming objective opinions. 

And you were at the game and Jeter is fine?  What did you see that says so?  There were at least a couple of balls that he didn't get to up the middle, that most SS's would have gotten to without even having to dive. 

  What did I see? I saw an above avg ss Get on base a couple of times and field his position without error. He swing looked fine. He did not cost the yankees a run,nor was anything hit near him that should've been fielded as you stated above. As I replied before,he's not Hanley but he's not as broken down as .246 Rollins either. Go ahead and argue with 2,928 hits over 17 yrs genius

Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:44 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

 Never said Jeter was the best ss in the game. I was,at the game,still have my scorecard and yet again there was no Jeter issues. The Tigers did not score runs based on balls hit anywhere near Jeter. The last three were garbage time runs off of Luis Ayala and Boon Logan. Jeter's swing looked fine from where I was sitting.No he's not Hanley but he's not mr .246 at best Rollins either.

Since: Dec 17, 2007
Posted on: April 5, 2011 11:39 am

The great ones will always me their maker

This is one of the most hard things for me to get over.  Watching DJ slowly descend from the ranks of the elite
shortstops in the MLB.  This happens though, not to say he cant take a slow start and make it a great season.
Also, not to say his leadership cannot be a asset for this team. With that said though, I believe we need not
say should the yankees worry but need to say thank you to the yankees for stinking it out with jeter understanding
what he has done for this team and the winning spirit he has recreated in NY. This is not a time of Mourning.
It is a time of celebration of a career that may be winding down but was one of the greatest of our time.
Take this time to watch Derek, cheer him on through slumps and great times this year. We dont know how much longer
we will be seeing him on the field at SS. Remember him as a champion and only that because that is what he has meant to
baseball for his whole career. In a time of drugs and foul play, Derek jeter played the game the way it was meant.
The only person I remember playing the game like him and working as hard as him was Cal. Derek Jeter will be a hall of famer.
Lets not lose sight of that as his career comes to an end.

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