Friday, July 19, 2013
One game was all Derek Jeter could muster before he made a return to the 15-day disabled list on Friday. The Yankees' captain missed the first 91 games of the season due to a broken ankle and then strained his right quadricep in his first game back with the team.
When queried about his availability for this weekend's series in Boston, Jeter didn't give his patented answer of "I'll be in the lineup". Instead he said that he would have to wait and see how things were after the All-Star break. That was all you needed to know that Jeter's leg was not responding the way he wanted and needed it to.
Utility man Brent Lillibridge was called up from Scranton to take Jeter's place on the 25-man roster. No move has been made as of yet on the 40-man roster, which is maxed out at the moment. In all likelihood, either Alberto Gonzalez or Luis Cruz will be designated for assignment. My guess would be Gonzalez.
Jeter's return came against the Royals in a sparsely attended afternoon game in the Bronx a week ago Thursday. Jeter was originally supposed to return that Friday for a three game series with the Twins, but injuries to Brett Gardner and Travis Hafner made it necessary for him to return a day early. As the DH he went 1-4 in the game with an RBI and a run scored, but felt something tighten after his third at-bat. Gardner pinch-hit for him when his turn came up again in the order.
Lillibridge is a former Red Sox, who has shown some pop in his bat in the past (13 home runs in 2011), but he owns a career .609 OPS. He was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on June 21 for a player to be named later or cash. The 29-year old produced 7 HR and 15 RBI in 23 games for Scranton along with a .341 batting average and a .709 OPS. He also swiped five bases in seven attempts. Yankees will remember him for the two spectacular 9th inning game-saving catches he made while a member of the White Sox.