Jeter's defense on the decline

The talk about Derek Jeter's defensive issues may kick up again, with Sunday night's game being a case in point.

Two Mets base hits to center field rolled under Jeter's glove, as he moved to his left to try to make a play.

Over the last two seasons, Jeter made significant improvements, making plays on balls hit to the left of where a shortstop typically plays.

Baseball Info Solutions, which evaluates every batted ball in the majors, based on how often the play results in an out, has Jeter rated as a -7 on balls hit to the left of where a typical shortstop would play.

Basically, what this means is that Jeter has made seven fewer plays than the average shortstop would have made, on balls hit to the left of where a shortstop would play. Or in simpler terms, Jeter is missing out on some balls that are ending up as base hits to center field.

That's shows signs of decline from the previous two seasons in which Jeter was rated -1 (2008) and +2 (2009).

It should also be noted that Jeter does rate well on balls hit to the right of the typical shortstop (in between Jeter and Alex Rodriguez). His +7 rating on balls hit to his right is, early on, a significant improvement over his -18 (2009) and -3 (2009) ratings the past two years. That means he has improved in cutting off potential base hits to left field.

Overall, on the plus-minus scale, Jeter entered Monday ranked 24th among major league shortstops (+1). Last season he finished at +6, which ranked 14th.