Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Updated: June 14, 8:14 AM ET
Joe Girardi won't overuse Derek Jeter
By Andrew Marchand
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter said he would "love" to reach 3,000 hits on the New York Yankees current 10-game homestand. Jeter is 14 hits shy of becoming the first Yankee to reach the mark.
"I would love to do it here," Jeter said before the Yankees-Red Sox series began Tuesday night.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi would also like to see hit No. 3,000 in the Bronx, but the manager will not deviate from the 2011 game plan.
"You would love for him to do it here," Girardi said. "We have 10 games on this homestand -- 14 hits he needs. I would love for him to do it here, but you can't physically wear him down or risk hurting him to do that. We are going to have to be smart about how we do this and we are going to probably play it the way we have all year long."
Jeter was the Yankees' designated hitter on Tuesday night. This was not unusual for Jeter. Since Jorge Posada's blow-up with Girardi the last time the Red Sox were in town a little less than a month ago, Posada was relegated to a DH platoon. Posada only starts against right-handers.
Against lefties, Jeter and Alex Rodriguez often get a semi-day off, which allows Eduardo Nunez to play the field. On Tuesday, Nunez started at short.
"I could have played (Jeter) at short and maybe DHed Alex," Girardi said. "I wasn't going to DH Nunez because he is fresh all the time. I thought it is just a way to do it to keep him fresh. We came off a long (nine-game) road trip, where he played every day."
Jeter entered Tuesday with 60 hits in 55 games. He would have to pick up the pace a little bit to reach 3,000 before the Yankees head to Wrigley Field on June 17th. Jeter is 28th on the all-time hit list, having just passed Sam Rice. Next up is Roberto Clemente at 3,000.
"Anytime you get a chance to do something special here at the Stadium, you appreciate because of the atmosphere and the environment," Jeter said.
Jeter thought he won't really think about the record until he is within five, because then he could potentially do it in one day.
With 10 games in a row, on Girardi's regular formula, Jeter would likely receive an off-day at some point during the stand. Perhaps Girardi will skip what might have been a day off and replace it with another DH day. Girardi would never admit to doing that, but it is certainly possible, despite the manager's comments.
On Tuesday night, Jeter planned to wear new DJ3K silicone bracelets. The blue and gray bracelets will be sold for $5 for a set of two, with one dollar of the proceeds going to the Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation.
Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley contributed to this report.