Yankees decide to place Jeter on DL
Shortstop just six hits away from 3,000 in career
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's pursuit of a 3,000th hit will be stalled until the end of the month, as the Yankees' captain was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with a strained right calf.
Jeter pleaded his case to remain on the active roster, meeting with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad before Tuesday's game against the Rangers, but was ultimately overruled.
The roster move freezes Jeter with 2,994 career hits, the last of which came on Monday off the Indians' Carlos Carrasco.
"I guess the timing wasn't very good," Jeter said. "It's a little bit frustrating, but even if I wasn't at this point, I'd still be frustrated.
"I don't like not to play, whether it's going for 3,000 hits or 100 hits. It really doesn't make a difference to me. I'd rather be out there playing."
Infielder Ramiro Pena was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Jeter's place on the active roster. Eduardo Nunez will be New York's starting shortstop in Jeter's absence.
There was a thought that Jeter might be able to avoid the DL if his calf would be ready for game action in six to seven days, under a best-case scenario. But Ahmad told Jeter that he would need to rest more than 10 days, making the decision easier to accept.
Jeter can walk without much difficulty, but the concern is his first step out of the batter's box, when he needs to be explosive. Handling such injuries can prove tricky.
Last August, Alex Rodriguez sat out for three games with a similar strain, then re-aggravated the injury by playing, forcing him onto the disabled list.
"The risk is, to me, that he tries to [play] after six or seven days and re-injures it. Then you're looking at two or three weeks," manager Joe Girardi said.
Jeter's history pursuit ended on Monday as he limped off the field following a fifth-inning flyout, though he said he first felt the injury jogging off the field after playing defense in the top of the inning.
It is Jeter's first disabled list assignment since 2003, when he suffered a dislocated left shoulder in an Opening Day collision with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby.
"He's a tough player," Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia said. "He usually plays through everything. It's just a weird situation, but he'll be back in two weeks and keep going."
A MRI taken at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Monday revealed a Grade 1 strain of the right calf, the lowest severity. Jeter said that his calf had been sore for a few days, but he didn't consider that abnormal. He felt the strain jogging off the field before his fifth-inning at-bat.
"It almost felt like a charley horse in my calf. That's what I thought it was, initially," Jeter said. "I was trying to stretch it out and get rid of it, but it didn't happen.
"I haven't done anything to my calf before. It's been sore for a couple of days, but I thought it was normal soreness. Evidently, something grabbed."
Jeter would be eligible to resume his chase of a 3,000th hit on June 29, when the Yankees play the middle game of a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Yankee Stadium.
From there, the Yankees travel across borough lines to visit the New York Mets for three games from July 1-3, then will spend Independence Day in Cleveland, opening a three-game series with the Indians.
"I'm disappointed because I know a lot of people are looking forward to getting the opportunity to see it, especially here this week," Jeter said. "I feel bad for that. Hopefully in time that day will come."