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Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Posted on: April 4, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 12:46 pm
The biggest concern of the Yankees' opening weekend was Phil Hughes, whose startling spring training decline in velocity continued into an ugly first start of the regular season.

But what about Derek Jeter?

It's only three games, and it was cold, and everything could change a month from now, or even a week from now. But in the Yankees' first three games of the season -- and they won two of them, don't forget -- one of the most stunning sights was Jeter's lack of mobility at shortstop.

"I'm shocked," said one Northeast-based scout who has followed Jeter's career. "I know there's been a lot of talk about his range the last few years, and I didn't really buy it until last year. But [this weekend], it was really down. He didn't react to balls off the bat.

"He almost looks overmatched by the ball."

Again, it's possible this is just an early-season blip. A scout who watched the Yankees this spring in Tampa said that while Jeter's range was a little down, it wasn't shockingly bad.

Jeter didn't look good at the plate against the Tigers, either (2-for-10), but that's less of a concern now than his defense -- even if the defense is a long-term concern.

Hughes' lack of velocity is already significant.

Scouts noticed it all spring in Florida, when he was throwing his fastball 87-89 mph (as he did in Sunday's loss to the Tigers). The Yankees played it down publicly at that point, but as Joel Sherman revealed in Monday's New York Post , even during the spring Hughes and new pitching coach Larry Rothschild worked on his mechanics in an attempt to get the velocity back (Hughes regularly hit 94 mph last year).

As Hughes told reporters Sunday, "It is tough for me to pitch at this velocity."


A few other opening weekend thoughts:

-- The Giants' defense is a serious issue, enough so that it could end up being the reason they don't repeat. One scout who watched their opening weekend series in Los Angeles came away convinced that the Giants are below average defensively at almost every position in the field. "Barry Zito pitched a very good game [Sunday], and he should have won the game," the scout said. "[Zito] competes with the stuff he has. If the defense makes the plays behind him, he'll compete enough to be a fourth or fifth starter."

-- The Angels bullpen was bad against the scrappy Royals, but one scout who watched them came away talking more about how bad Scott Kazmir looked. "Terrible. No velocity. No command. No nothing," the scout said.

-- When I wrote last week about teams that benefit from fast starts, I really should have mentioned the Orioles as a team that would be interesting to watch this year. It's going to be hard to do in the AL East, but the O's have the good young pitching that can help carry the momentum when a team starts strong (e.g. Padres 2010). One thing to remember about the O's: If they somehow stay in the race through midseason, you can count on them to be aggressive in the July trade market. "We'll be all-in," one O's person said.

-- One more thing about the O's. Scouts who watched them this spring were not surprised to see Zach Britton pitch so well Sunday against the Rays. One scout said Britton was the Orioles' best pitcher this spring, and two more said that they liked Britton ahead of Yankees superprospect Manuel Banuelos, who got more attention. Britton only started Sunday because Brian Matusz was hurt, but there's already speculation that he'll stay in the rotation even when Matusz returns.


Since: Aug 31, 2009
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:09 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

I don't understand all the hateful comments here.  The guy is saying the truth.

A really good defensive shortstop has range factors of around 5.00.  If you look it up in history, you'll see that truly great defensive shortstops (Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken, Larry Bowa, etc.) all consistently had over 500 assists per season, or least 475.  With range ractors of 5 and above.

For the vast majority of Jeter's career, he has hovered around the 350 assist mark per season, with range ractors of around 4.00.  And it isn't due to his pitching staff or any other excuse.  In the seasons where he has missed appreciable time and his backup played at least 30 games, the backup always had range factors of 4.50 or better.

He has always been an average (at very best) defensive shortstop.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:03 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

I would ask the question: Why bother writting this article, but I read it so I guess i answered my own question. But still... At this point I really don't see a point in writting stuff about jeter just to have an article with the word JETER in it. You know people will read it and comment on it, but the substance of the article is fluffy nothingness. "Should the Yanks worry?" "Jeter is older now and not as good as when he was younger", "Hughes lost a game!" I mean really... is this reporting? Are you providing news about something? Are you giving us a unique look into anything? Nope. Nothing at all. i can just go to a bar and listen to any number of morons say "jeter sucks" "Yanks better start worrying about him"

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:25 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter? No.

Three games into the 2011 season : The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Jeter's older, give him some time to tone. Hughes is younger, give him some time to tune.
Speaking of being older, at least Jeter doesn't crop his mugshot at the top so readers can's see the baldness. That's a "Dr." Wayne Dyer bookcover trick,,,
Also, I wonder if some of the "scouts" mentioned were Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts,,,? Hmmm.

Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:24 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Jeter?..everybody knows...he's a declining player but not bad..
Kazmir is very disappoint...3/4years ago i'd have sworn that he became one of the best
Zito...he's on the way to become again a baseball player(never worth that kind of money..but at least he comes back to be a pitcher)
What happens to Hughes?...he's on the way to become a reliever...
Baltimore young arms are now the most exciting pitchers in MLB

Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:11 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Knobler gets paid to write. So, he writes.  Most of the time, his written contribution is far more masterbation than mastery. Knobler and similar parasites write to incite the largest media market they can-the East Coast. They play to the philosophy that bad PR is better than no PR. 

The days of sportswriters being knowledgeable AND credible are over. Most are neither. They should stick to giving bad fantasy baseball advise to naiive customers less likely to complain. 

Derek Jeter's reduced range isn't breaking news. Phil Hughes' loss of 4 mph in March isn't news. The sky isn't falling, but if it were, CBSSports would report it as something the Yankees and/or Redsox were invloved in.
Quite possibly the most accurate post since I have reading these boards.  Almost every article written is intended simply to stir the pot with most meatballs in it.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:36 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Knobler knows nothing about baseball. He writes nonesensical articles every week. CBS Sportsline should just allow Scott Miller to write. He knows the game and loves the sport. Scott also has a sense of humor and humanity. Knobler is a slob who should thank his lucky stars he has a job. He's a humorless cretin.

I hate the Yankees with a passion, but would never knock Jeter or Rivera because they play the game right, have 5 championship rings and never spout off nonsense like their idiot ATM, er GM. Jeter still is a solid defensive SS who makes most of the plays and does it without showboating. This article smacks of a writer(and I use that term loosely) who isn't smart, nor creative enough to actually write something interesting or at least credible. It's lazy writing, by a lazy, untalented hack.

Jeter will have his usual solid year. He's the least of the Yankees problems. Their worries involve their starters not named CC Sabathia. Those guys will make-or-break their year.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:25 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

God!!!  I hate the Yanks, but really lay off Jeter.  Its 3 games, and yah his range is not what it was 10 years ago but come on. 

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:10 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

What exactly does jeter have to do with Red Sox start? Only a yankee fan could turn something like that around.
All we need now are some apples and some oranges and we can have a real conversation.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:07 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Where have you been Mr. Knobler?  Derek Jeter's range has been a concern for at least 3 years, let alone 3 games.  I don't know what scout your are referring to but he looked "overnatched by the ball?"  Let's not go crazy here, I watch a lot of Yankee spring training games and all three games and did not notice anything that bad.  

Perhaps some of your opening weekend thoughts should have mentioned how the team that this web site picked to win the world series (the Red Sox) looked "overmatched" by many, many balls pitched, thrown and hit in Texas over the weekend. 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:02 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

isn't this bald f#ck a phillies fan? you really need to get over 2009!!!

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