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Yankees Would Be Smart To DL Jeter, Martin

The injuries continue to mount for the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter is the latest injury concern after leaving last nights game in the fifth inning. After having an MRI, the captain’s injury is classified as a Grade 1 calf strain.

While they may sound minor, calf injuries can be very tough to overcome, as Yankees fans will remember well from Alex Rodriguez last season. Rest is generally the best option in order to prevent the injury from becoming more severe.

Russell Martin was a late scratch from last nights game with a stiff back. The back has been giving the catcher problems since he injured it last week weightlifting. Martin had missed four games before returning to the field on Sunday. Sunday may have been to soon as Martin appeared very sluggish and uncomfortable at times.

Francisco Cervelli replaced Martin in the lineup yesterday. Back injuries are also very hard to manage at times and Martin’s appears to be one of those. A good two weeks off would be smart.

With interleague games in National League parks approaching this weekend, the Yankees can not afford to play with a limited bench. A deeper bench is important as there will likely be more pinch hitting situations when pitchers are forced to bat during interleague play. Keeping Jeter and Martin on the active roster will limit the teams.

What is more devastating; missing two weeks in June or missing a month or more later in the season?

The Yankees have plenty of minor league options available if they choose to place Jeter on the DL. They could call up Ramiro Pena or Brandon Laird to be an infield bench player.

If they place Martin on the DL, the Yankees could decide to give top prospect Jesus Montero his Major League debut. Of course Yankees fans would love to see that. Having Montero debut on the road would also take away some of the pressure by not having to play in Yankee Stadium immediately. If the Yankees are not ready to call up Montero, they could bring back Gustavo Molina who is playing in Triple-A as well. Montero would be an upgrade offensively over Molina and even over Cervelli.

With Jeter being just six hits away from 3,000, the timing of this injury stinks. Of course, the captain would need a big three games in order to get the milestone at home in Yankee Stadium. A milestone is secondary to the leadoff hitters health now.

Sure, you would hope the injuries just need a day or two to rest but the Yankees must decide if it’s worth the risk. Placing one, or both, of these players on the disabled list is the smart move and the team should do this sooner rather than later.

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