Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, plagued by an ankle injury that has sent him to the disabled list four times since Opening Day, has agreed to end his season and work on regaining his strength. Though he is officially on the 15-day disabled list, he will not take the field even if the club makes the playoffs.
The team captain, who has been one of the American League’s top shortstops – as well as one of New York’s most eligible bachelors – throughout his 18-year career, broke his left ankle while making a routine diving catch during Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series last October.
Jeter underwent surgery on his ankle and spent the off-season in physical therapy. In March of 2013, he suffered a serious setback when he sustained another fracture in the same ankle. That second injury set the tone for the season, which was marked by frequent trips to the disabled list. Jeter posted the worst numbers of his career, with only 17 games played and a batting average of .190.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman consulted with Hal Steinbrenner and Jeter’s surgeon, Dr. Robert Anderson, to come up with a plan for the rest of the 2013 season. The consensus was that allowing the star to play could put him at risk for another break. The best course would be to focus on getting him well for the 2014 season.
“The worst-case scenario is a break,” Cashman told the New York Times.
“You could be talking about a career-ending situation . . . and we’re not going to put him in that position."
Jeter’s last game was on Saturday, Sept. 7, when he was removed from a game against the Boston Red Sox. The shortstop, a New York icon who sports five World Series rings, is philosophical about his disastrous season.
“This entire year has pretty much been a nightmare physically,” he told reporters in the Yankee dressing room in Baltimore. “If you can’t play how you’re capable of playing and do what you’re used to doing, then you’re not really helping out,” he added.
Jeter – and his bosses – are confident that he will return to the lineup next season.
“I have not watched his last game,” Cashman said. “No one has.”