The Yankees have been spoiled for 20 years straight with some unknown guy at shortstop. April Fool’s…everyone knew and trusted Derek Jeter. And that’s the thing…the Yanks never needed an equal backup because Jeter was always counted on to make the game and perform.
Well, the era of Derek Jeter is over. And already fans and players alike are starting to see the importance of having reliable backups. Gregorious is out for now. Now backup Brendan Ryan will start off the season on the DL. While Didi is making his way back after a sprained wrist, the concern still lies with them getting injured so early on in the season.
Looking back at Jeter’s career, there were very rare instances where he was out for a long time due to injury: 2003 with the dislocated shoulder and, most recently, 2012 with the broken ankle against the Detroit Tigers in the playoffs.
No matter his age, he was ridiculously durable and a reliable player. When you look at Didi, in spring season of his first season on the Yanks, and Ryan, who is in his second season with the squad, both of them getting injured after playing just 29 partial games, is not a good sign for the upcoming season.
Yes, baseball players are susceptible to injuries all the time…just ask Mark Texiera. But the Yanks need someone who will be reliable in such a tough baseball environment. Shortstop is a vital position on the field, guarding the middle infield and the deep hole on the left side and if the Yankees can’t keep someone talented on the field at all times, they will struggle defensively.
Didi has proven so far that he has the range and strength to fill that hole, but will his intense level of play keep him from being out there the entire season?
Hey, if all else fails, maybe A-Rod will get a reunion with his coveted shortstop position. But in the meantime, the Yanks will hope for the durability at shortstop that they’ve been blessed with for 20 years. Didi and Brandon, we’re counting on you.