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Monday, August 19, 2013
First Pitch: The Forgotten Yankee

By Wallace Matthews

BOSTON -- While for the past two weeks it has been all A-Rod, all the time, on the same day the New York Yankees' problem-child third baseman rejoined the team -- and got suspended for 211 games -- the Yankees' no-drama captain went on the disabled list for the third time this year.

And yet, it is almost impossible to squeeze in a question about Derek Jeter's recovery with all the Alex Rodriguez talk that monopolizes all Yankee conversation these days.

Jeter is supposed to play "a somewhat simulated game" today in Tampa, which Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted was really just some live batting practice. Jeter still has not run the bases and seems to be at least a week, if not more, from returning to the lineup. Considering there are only 12 more days left in August, it is quite possible we won't see Jeter again until September. By then, it may be too late for the Yankees, who by Girardi's own estimation need to win another 28 games to have a decent shot at a playoff berth.

Jeter has appeared in just five games all season, so with 39 games left, the question must be asked: How many of those games will Derek Jeter actually play in?

Girardi has all but ruled out a return during the four-game series with the Blue Jays that begins with Tuesday's makeup doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, which cuts Jeter's remaining opportunities to just 40 games in total this season -- the 35 left and the five he has already played.

But considering how difficult it has been for Jeter to remain on the field this season, that seems like way too optimistic an estimate.

Let's set the over/under on 25 games for Jeter in the entire 2013 season. And although I have the utmost respect for Jeter and belief in his ability to overcome hardship, I've got the under on this one.

What have you got? When you look at the back of Jeter's baseball card at the end of the 2013 season, how many games will he have appeared in?

Let us know in the comments section, or via my Twitter feed, @ESPNNYYankees.

UP NOW: Andrew Marchand's Rapid Reaction of Sunday night's comeback win, plus all the details of the continuing soap opera that is A-Rod, including his second-inning beaning that got Joe Girardi tossed last night and subsequent homer in the sixth; Marchand's story on his planned grievance against the Yankees for allegedly mistreating his hip injury last October, and my story on why Brian Cashman is now afraid to talk to his highest-paid player.

ON DECK: A day off for the Yankees, followed by who knows? There is sure to be some new development in the A-Rod saga, and Marchand, Mike Mazzeo and Johnette Howard will have you covered, so check in all day long. And thanks for choosing ESPNNewYork.com as your go-to place for all things A-Rod, and Yankees.