Girardi: Jeter has 'a chance' of playing this weekend
It appears that this odd, Jeter-less start to the season will be coming to an end soon, and according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, there is "a chance" that it ends this weekend.
"There's always a chance," Girardi said when asked of the possibility of Jeter making his season debut this weekend. "You just have to see how he does the next three or four days."
Jeter played in his third rehab game on Monday, spending five innings at shortstop and batting 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. The performance brings him to 1-for-6 with four walks and two runs through three games. While the production has been simply mediocre, what is encouraging is that Jeter has looked to be moving great on his surgically repaired ankle. He managed to run from first to third on a teammate's single during his game on Sunday, and he made several athletic plays in the field on Monday, all while showing no signs of pain.
What Jeter will have to do in order to be activated by the weekend is prove that he can play nine innings worth of baseball. Having played 10.0 innings at shortstop with no setbacks, it appears that he will be able to test his ankle further in the coming days, and a potential season debut over the weekend appears to be realistic.
The Yankees will welcome back Jeter with open arms whenever he is ready, not only because of his production and reputation, but because of the team's struggles from the shortstop position. Players such as Jayson Nix (.236 BA, .304 SLG), Eduardo Nunez (.221, .291), Luis Cruz (.222, .278) and Reid Brignac (.114, .136) have struggled mightily to produce in Jeter's absence.
Jeter batted .316 last year while leading the Majors in hits. He hit 15 home runs, drove in 58 RBI, and scored 99 runs in 2012, and the Yankees will hope he can be somewhere near as productive during the final few months of the season.