In case you didn’t hear, Derek Jeter got his 3000th hit today. That’s certainly the big story of the day, and it’s great for him to get the pressure of the 3000th hit off his chest. However, for the Yankees as a team, there is recent news that may significantly impact their season going forward. Amid all the Derek Jeter media frenzy came news that Alex Rodriguez has a torn meniscus in his right knee.
That A-Rod has a knee injury is no major surprise for anyone who has watched him play over the past few weeks. While he has continued to be productive offensively and defensively, earning a starting spot at the All-Star Game, A-Rod’s power production has been down, and he has been running the bases somewhat gingerly. He has battled through the injury and continued to play pretty well, but he may not be able to maintain his performance without taking care of the knee. Surgery would keep A-Rod out for a month or so, and now he faces an important decision of whether to get the surgery now and miss a month of the regular season, but ensure that he’s back and pain-free come September. Alternatively, Alex could delay having surgery until the offseason, and continue to play through the pain.
A-Rod will be getting a second opinion on his knee in Florida tomorrow (the All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time), but I would imagine that the options will remain the same. He is unlikely to get any better by continuing to play on the injured knee, but if he is not feeling too much pain, he may want to keep playing. A-Rod missing a month in the middle of the season could jeopardize the Yankees’ playoff hopes, but I think the Yankees need to look even more long-term here. Alex is under contract for big money through 2017, and it would behoove the Yankees to do everything they can to keep him healthy for the duration of that contract. It may cost the Yankees a few wins to have Eduardo Nunez (I assume) replacing A-Rod at 3rd base for a month, but I still think it is in the best interest of both the Yankees and A-Rod for Alex to have the surgery as soon as possible.
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