Resting Jeter And A-Rod – Good Or Bad?
It’s been emphasized time and time again this year, that the aging superstars Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez need rest and won’t be playing every day of the week, as they once did for many years. With both being on the wrong side of 30 and production dropping considerably, Joe Girardi believes the more rest the better for the (it’s debatable) future Hall-of-Famers.
As evident in the opening games of the season, Girardi seems to be serious about his plan to rest the veterans, as in just the second game of the season, Jeter was at DH with Nunez at shortstop. And last night, A-Rod was the DH with Nunez playing third. Joe recently said that this cycle of resting A-Rod and Jeter will continue throughout the season, primarily when the Yankees face lefties.
And that’s where I got a little thrown off and of course questioned Joe’s decision. Take Braves third basemen Chipper Jones. Still the third basemen yet being 40 years old, Chipper has played only 10 games as the DH since 2007, when he was 35. Though facing injuries including one right now that sidelined him for the beginning of the season, when healthy and playing third Chipper still is able to put up productive numbers in the middle of Atlanta’s lineup.
Who can’t say the same about Jeter and A-Rod? In 2010 at age 36, Jeet played in 157 games. 157. He batted .270, but nonetheless still played in the majority of the games and at shortstop. I really don’t understand why Joe thinks resting them will boost their production. Maybe that’s not his idea, and it’s just to prevent injury.
But both Jeter and A-Rod are fit and healthy athletes, and in recent years they still played most of the games at their usual positions. I don’t like the idea, or pre-determined thought that once a player hits 35+ every move to his left or right could be a strained hamstring. It just makes no sense to me.
When the whole left side of the infield is resting or DH-ing every other game, it hurts the team as a whole more then it prevents hurting Rodriguez and Jeter. You want the most experienced, battle-tested, championship-winning players on the field, don’t you? Having Eduardo Nunez filling in every night for them is not something that I want to see, despite the Yankees ironically going on tears whenever he’s in the starting lineup day after day.
I have nothing against Nunez or Girardi, and maybe it’s just the simple bias Yankee fan who wants to see Jeter play every night. But either way, I feel that this system of rest is kind of corrupted, and is not the ideal way to play out the final seasons of two of baseball’s greatest figures.