Yankees Notebook: Jeter running better than ever since return

Derek Jeter made his return Monday night. Credit: Getty Images
Derek Jeter has looked better and better since his return to the team in Toronto.
Credit: Getty Images

Despite scoring nine runs Monday, there was not really an individual performance that stood out for the Yankees. In other words, there was not someone hitting a big home run or having four hits or even driving in more than two runs.

However, if you look beyond the final box score, the day for Derek Jeter was the most noticeable and not just for his two RBI singles.

The more noticeable aspect was how Jeter ran a week after returning from the DL with a calf injury. The running aspect has been something to watch since Jeter has had ankle, quad and calf injuries in this unique year for him.

The combination of injuries has limited him to 46 at-bats entering Tuesday. That is two fewer than what he had in a 15-game cameo during the 1995 season and nine more than he had in an 11-game appearance with Greensboro of the Single-A South Atlantic League three years earlier.

In earlier returns, Jeter has been told to run restrained and to some extent he did Monday, at least once the Yankees were up by nine runs. Before that, there was nothing restrained about him taking an extra base on an error in left field or taking third on a fly ball to right field that required a throw.

“That made me feel pretty good,” manager Joe Girardi said. “And the fact that he got to second on the ball he hit. That made me feel better.”

It’s been an odd sight all year watching five others play shortstop in Jeter’s absence. It’s also been a strange sight watching someone go through what essentially is spring training in the middle of a playoff race.

“It’s been kind of a unique season,” Jeter said. “Now it’s just trying to have some good at-bats and swing at strikes and hopefully get some hits but sometimes you can do your job without getting hits. Sometimes my job is to move guys over and I’ve done that the last couple days. Of course I’d like to get hits every single time, but that doesn’t ever happen. But there’s still other ways to help teams win.”

In the meantime, Jeter will try to block out any thoughts of any injury when he runs the bases or ranges to make a defensive play.

“I don’t really have a choice,” Jeter said. “We only have 20-something games left, so our job is to win as many games as possible, and it’s kind of hard to play games when you’re thinking about not getting hurt.”

Still the Yankees are remaining cautious, which is why Jeter was the designated hitter for the second time in three games.

“I’m trying to make sure that we run him out there almost every day, nothing physical, just trying to run him out there every day,” Girardi said before Tuesday’s game.

Combating fatigue for Kuroda

One of the possible reasons for Hiroki Kuroda allowing opponents to hit .315 last month, his worst such month as a major leaguer, might be fatigue from throwing 171 1/3 innings.

Even if that is actually the case, which is possible, a team in the state the Yankees are in can’t afford not to pitch him unless there is some kind of injury.

They can afford to reduce some of the in-between start routines, which is why Kuroda did not throw his usual bullpen session over the weekend.

“You can back off on some of your work in between starts,” Girardi said. “But it’s not like you can afford not to start him. He got an extra day here and we’re hoping that helps. You can watch his pitch count and we’ve done that all year long and we haven’t extended him because he’s not one of those guys that’s 25 anymore. So we’ve had to watch him but he’s got to go out and pitch for us.”

Even without a bullpen, which a pitcher decides to do, other things such as throwing on flat ground take place.

“It’s a decision usually made by the pitcher, ‘You know what I think I’m going to skip a bullpen,’” Girardi said. “You don’t do it a lot. You don’t do it a number of times in a row but every once in a while you do it. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the same but sometimes you skip B.P. [batting practice] and those sort of things because you feel like some guys need to save their energy for the game and that’s what he did.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…