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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: Oct 11, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:40 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

F the yankees in all

Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:33 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:22 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

The Red Sox are terrible and are going to lose every game this year.  
The pitching staff is going to have an ERA north of 6.

You should really worry about them more.

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 5, 2010
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:08 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

Couldnt agree more, these writers play with themselves...but they get what they want and thats a rise outta people so just take it with a grain of salt and smile!!

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:58 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

"Should the Yanks worry about Hughes"?
"Should the Yanks worry about Jeter"?

Are you freakin serious??? I swear, anything to rile up Yankee fans and their haters. They kick the crap out of the Tigers 2 of of 3 games, meanwhile, the "unbeatable, greatest team ever assembled" Red Sox get clowned all weekend by the Rangers. Every pitcher they put out their got rocked and looked like they belong in single A ball and yet these idiots try to find something to knock the Yankees down. Stop with the nonsense!!!

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:55 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

I was at Saturday's game and Jeter was fine.This is a non story. This &%*& just likes riling up Yankee fans

This is only a non-story to blinded Yankee fans like yourself who think that Jeter (or any other Yankee) can do no wrong and are the best players to ever play the game.  Take your blinders off pal, they are getting in the way of you forming objective opinions. 

And you were at the game and Jeter is fine?  What did you see that says so?  There were at least a couple of balls that he didn't get to up the middle, that most SS's would have gotten to without even having to dive. 

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:51 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

While I think Jeter's lack of range is a legit topic (how did he win a Gold Glove last year),
Come on, really?  He won the Gold Glove because it's basically a popularity contest, and they said his fielding percentage was near the top.  Well, it's only near the top because he doesn't get to MANY balls that other SS's can get to.  The Gold Gloves are a joke, and have been for years.  That's a fact, not an opinion.

I should also point out that I am a Yankees fan, so there is no Yankee "hate" coming from me.  It's just pretty obvious that Jeter's range has declined tremendously, and he never really had A+ range to begin with.  For instance, his "patented" jump throw from deep in the hole...a SS with range could get behind the ball and not have to jump and throw while fading to the 3B side of the infield.  Sure it looks great when he makes that play, but he's making that play and not the one a SS with range would make, because he can't get around and behind the ball.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:44 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

JETER:  Should Knobler be worried about appearance?

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:31 pm

Should Yanks worry about Jeter?

"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). "

are you fucking retarded?  He was hitting 91 on his fastball you fcking clown.  YES talked about ALL FUCKING GAME.  Try and get your "facts" right you genderless (hey, you're profile...just saying) assclown.

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