The Week, May 6, 2014:
Zero. That is how much Derek Jeter has been worth to the Yankees this year, per Wins Above Replacement (WAR.) Yet given Jeter's mythic status in the Bronx, and that this is his last season, he remains in the lineup, batting second as usual.Does the above fill your heart with glee? Are you looking forward to the delicious unfolding drama of whether (or, more likely, when) the Yankees decide to drop Derek Jeter from the #2 spot in their lineup, or replace him in the field late in close games?
Though Jeter's WAR could tick up as the season goes on, his accompanying stats underscore his terrible performance and suggest age may have finally caught up with him. The shortstop is hitting just .250 through Tuesday, and his power has completely evaporated; he has only four extra-base hits this year, all doubles. He's also whiffing way more than usual — possibly because he's struggling to catch up to fastballs — and his 71 wRC+ (basically a weighted measure of overall offensive performance, with 100 being league average) has him on pace for his worst year ever, discounting last season when he appeared in only 17 games.
And that's all without noting Jeter's defense is so porous that a bowl of pudding could conceivably field better than him at this point.
Congratulations! You are among "the most heartless of Yankees haters"!
Joel Sherman, Post, May 5, 2014:
Obviously, this is delicate. Jeter is a beloved, historic player and this is his final season, and only the most heartless of Yankees haters would want to see that turn into a funeral march rather than a victory lap. ...George A. King III, Post, May 7, 2014:
Understanding the explosive nature of the storyline, Brian Cashman told me "I am not going there" in discussing whether Jeter needs to be dropped from No. 2 in the lineup or turned into less than a full-time shortstop or even whether [Brendan] Ryan simply needs to play defense late in games the Yanks lead. ...
Scouts or the naked eye will tell you Jeter is struggling with good fastballs at a time when there are more hard throwers than ever. He is not driving the ball with any authority (three extra-base hits). ...
Jeter turns 40 next month. ... Girardi faces the unenviable role of playing bad cop, perhaps a lot sooner than later, as rain now looks like the forecast for this farewell tour.
Joe Girardi isn't ready to drop Derek Jeter's frigid bat in the lineup. Nor is the Yankees manager prepared to use Brendan Ryan as a defensive replacement for Jeter.More numbers: Jeter is currently hitting .255, with a .333 on-base percentage. Twenty-two of his 26 hits this season have been singles, giving him a putrid .294 slugging percentage, just about the absolute worse among all qualified American League batters. ... Mr. Clutch is hitting .231 with runners in scoring position. ... He has a .204/.218/.241 slash line at home. ... In May, he's batting .190.
"I haven't yet," Girardi said before Monday's 4-1 loss to the Angels when asked about moving Jeter down from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. "He isn't the only guy struggling, and we put them in the fourth and fifth spot. It's somewhat early to do that."
Jeter's spray chart for 2014 shows that most of his hits have been opposite field singles. He's virtually unable to pull the ball.