Derek Jeter Scratched Because of "Cranky" Ankle

USA TODAY Sports

Derek Jeter was supposed to start today, batting second and playing shortstop against the Phillies, but that won't be happening. Jeter reportedly had trouble loosening up his surgically-repaired ankle during batting practice and it felt too stiff to chance it in the field or in any game situation at all. While this doesn't mean he aggravated the injury or that it will continue to hamper his performance and reduce his playing time, it is significant that Jeter would sit out because of it.

Known for playing through injuries, whether it's the right decision or not, has been something he has been known for throughout his career. He has been very cautious about the injury this spring and it could be because of a multitude of things. Jeter might simply understand the severity of an ankle injury or he could be worried about his ability to either play hurt or stay on the field all season as a 38-year-old shortstop. We talk about baseball immortality, but when someone as unearthly as Mariano Rivera can go down for the season after a freak injury, those around him must realize that no one is safe.

The Yankees have discussed having Jeter DH on Opening Day and even DHing regularly against left handers. They have very limited options that, thankfully, outnumber the Cardinals and Peter Kozma. Eduardo Nunez is here, for better or worse, and Jayson Nix is still hanging around. We might see less of Jeter in the field, and that's to be expected with a nearly 40-year-old shortstop who just had ankle surgery. With 2014 getting closer, you have to start thinking if this is the end.

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