NEW YORK -- At some point, the Yankees may have to move Derek Jeter down in the order. Jeter has two hits in his last 24 at-bats. His average is down to .240.
The bigger issue is his failure to drive the ball. He hit a ball off the wall on Opening Day. On Friday -- in the midst of his 0-for-7 night -- he forced Desmond Jennings against the padding in right center for an out. Overall, though, his bat lacks life.
Buster Olney wrote about it in his Insider blog on Sunday.
Derek Jeter has three extra-base hits in the first month of his final season, and in his past 52 plate appearances, he has 12 hits, all singles, and four walks. His OPS is .606, at a time when his offensive production needs to be the best of what he does, given his defensive range.
ESPN Stats & Info also produced a pretty interesting stat in Olney's column: Entering Sunday, Jeter's batting average against fastballs 91 mph or more was .220. The league average is .261.
On Sunday, in the fifth, Jeter came up with two men on against Erik Bedard. Bedard used two high-80s fastballs to go up 0-2 before an 89-mph fastball forced Jeter to fly meekly to right.
In the seventh with two outs and men on the corners, lefty Jake McGee fired four high-90s fastball. Jeter grounded out to first to end the inning.
"I feel good," Jeter said. "If you feel good, the hits will come."
Jeter's legend is built around winning. His ego might be hurt a little by moving down in the order, maybe even batting ninth, but if Girardi is going to stick with his "Not managing a farewell tour" credo, he may have to put the team before Jeter. At this point, Jeter deserves a little more time.
Amazing Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki seemed to have only one position when spring training broke: Left out. Ichiro, though, has proven to be a valuable member of the Yankees.
Ichiro is 18-for-48, which is good for a .375 average. That is his second best start since he began at .438 in 2005 after 48 at-bats. Ichiro is 40.
Ichiro is an excellent reserve in case any of the Yankees' extra outfielders were injured. He also, though, may become a serviceable trade chip come July. His $6.5 million salary will be mostly paid off by then. The $6.5 million and his lack of production in recent years were the reasons the Yankees could not trade him in the winter or spring.