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Post-3000th-Hit Letdown: Jeter Still Isn't Hitting

Remember that beautiful Saturday afternoon? I hope so, it was only 10 days ago. The Captain, Mr. November, Derek Jeter, went 5-5 including homering into the leftfield seats for his 3000th career hit. It was a glorious day in Yankee-land.

Now that we're somewhat removed from that game, we can look at our shortstop more objectively, and one thing stands out: he still isn't hitting. His OPS (.672) is the lowest on the team among players with at least 100 PA. The only "regular" he's ahead of is Francisco Cervelli (.536)... I'll let you read that sentence again.

The defensive metrics have him, at best, as an average shortstop (Eduardo Nunez has 12 errors in 143 chances, mind you).

It's a harsh reality, but frankly, Jeter got a reprieve because he went on the DL and then was within striking distance of 3000. Since that special day, he's gone 5-22 with no extra-base hits and one walk against seven strikeouts.

My beef isn't even with Jeter, it's with Joe Girardi, who still insists on forcing him into the leadoff spot where he doesn't belong. Brett Gardner should be in that spot, and here's why: he's second on the team in OBP (.368), he's second in the AL in steals (27) and sixth in MLB in pitchers per PA (4.25). What about that doesn't scream "leadoff hitter"?

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