Ah, the questions. When will shorstop Derek Jeter return to the New York Yankees? Where will he hit in the lineup? If he leads off when he returns from the disabled list, does he stay there once he reaches 3.000 hits?
Jeter, 37, is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. That isn't going to happen. Jeter is running, throwing and taking batting practice as he works to come back from the calf strain that sidelined him, but he won't be ready by Wednesday. Will he be ready by the weekend, when the Yankees are at Citi Field to take on the New York Mets? Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has "no idea."
Jeter is six hits away from 3,000 and chasing the historic hit at Citi Field would add some excitement to the Subway Series.
As for the other question, the 'where will he hit in the lineup?' question, manager Joe Girardi has been firm in stating that Jeter will stay in the leadoff spot once he returns. Once he gets there, though, all bets are off. There has been an increasing clamor for speedy young left fielder Brett Gardner to lead off with Jeter dropping to the bottom third of the order. Gardner is deserving of the clamor, having hit .347 this month with a .420 on-base percentage and six stolen bases.
Inevitably, Jeter will be moved down in the order. His former manager, Joe Torre, said he will handle it fine.
"It’s somebody else’s decision, and I’m sure Derek would tell them that," Torre said. "Just because you don’t necessarily like something doesn’t mean you’re not going to do it. That’s our job.
"He’s always respected what the uniform stood for, and the people who made the decisions."
No doubt, Jeter won't like it when the Yankees tell him it is time to move aside for Gardner in the No. 1 hole and Curtis Granderson at No. 2. The time is coming when he will find out for sure exactly how the Yankee Captain will handle the move.