Thursday, February 20, 2014

Derek Jeter played in 17 games for the last season, and was a large part in the Yankees missing the playoffs for the second time since 2008. Coming back healthy this season, his playing time could again dictate the Yankees' playoff probability.

As Jeter said during his press conference Wednesday in front of almost everyone in the organization, this is going to be his final season before retiring this winter.

One of the things that Jeter talked about Wednesday was how much he plans to play this season.

"I want to play every day." he said. "It doesn’t make a different. Last year when I got hurt a couple times I wanted to play through it. That’s just how I’m wired. That’s just what I want to do. And this year will be no different."

But here's the thing: Jeter is going to be turing 40 this year. No team in the history of the game has had a winning season with a shortstop at least 40-years-old.

Not to mention, he's coming off a year in which he missed a ton of time because of a major ankle injury. We don't know, and really won't know until he starts playing in games, if that injury will have any lasting effect on him, and how much he can play this year. But that's not really something Joe Girardi is worries about.

“The biggest thing for me is seeing how he responds going back-to-back, back-to-back-to-back, back-to-back-to-back-to-back, that sort of thing,” Girardi said. “And trying to get a thought in my mind how many days you can push him in a row. That’s the biggest thing for me. I feel good about running him out there every day, it’s just how many days in arrow and what can I learn in spring training and early in the season and what can I do.”

Girardi also downplayed the possibility of pulling Jeter for late-inning defense.

“My goal is, when I run him out there, is to run him out there for nine innings,” he said.

As much as I would like to say that Brendan Ryan's role with the club will to be a late-inning replacement on defense for Jeter, it sounds like he might be subbing late at second and third base.

I'm not doubting that Jeter can play everyday. It's something that is very hard to do at his age, but Derek Jeter is not like the players that have played before him. He's a Hall of Fame shortstop and arguably one of the greatest players to ever put on the pinstripes.

And like he said Wednesday, playing the game is something that Jeter loves to do more than anything else. Unless he has to be restrained from taking the field, Jeter will be an everyday shortstop for the Yankees this season.

Yankees links worth sharing:

* Chad Jennings | Lohud Yankees blog: Whether he likes it or not, Jeter's farewell tour has begun.

* Ian O'Connor | ESPN New York: Jeter is going out the same way he came in -- as a shortstop.

* Wallace Matthews | ESPN New York: Jeter is going to be riding the same bus that Mariano Rivera took in 2013, and let's hope the ride is just as good.

* George A. King III | NY Post: Alfonso Soriano is contemplating retiring with along with Jeter after this season.

* Dan Martin | NY Post: The Yankees are hoping to give Jeter the proper send-off this season.

Today's warm-up song: "Cabin by the sea" by The Dirty Heads. Good. Very good.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer for Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter (below).


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