In his first game at Yankee Stadium since breaking his ankle in the 2012 playoffs, Derek Jeter singled in his first at-bat. He also didn’t hit the ball out of the infield and ultimately needed a pinch-hitter after he suffered a thigh muscle injury.
The New York Yankees captain’s season debut Thursday — he also drove in and scored a run in an 8-4 victory against the Kansas City Royals — was somewhat of a microcosm of the team’s season, one in which aging, accomplished players have been slowed by injury while offering occasional rays of hope.
Yankees shortstops hit .211 with a .269 on-base percentage in Jeter’s absence, and the club entered Thursday as one of the weakest-hitting teams in the majors.
But though the captain’s steady bat undoubtedly will help his club, it remains to be seen how much Jeter can contribute in the field. Although Jeter was never a rangy defender, his ability to chase down grounders might be further limited by his injury. He served as the DH on Thursday but said he was not concerned about his ankle, which suffered a second break during spring training.