MIAMI — Joe Girardi was there at the beginning, when Derek Jeter homered on opening day in his rookie season. He was there at the end, too, 18 years later, when Jeter beat out a high chopper to third base and walked off the field to a standing ovation — at Fenway Park, of all places.
“To me, it was a movie,” Girardi said. “His career was a movie.”
Surely, then, the Phillies’ manager must have a few favorite scenes. As Jeter, now the Marlins’ chief executive officer, braces to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Cooperstown, N.Y., Girardi was asked to reflect on the iconic New York Yankees shortstop’s career after having witnessed so much of it as either his teammate from 1996 to 1999 or his manager from 2008 to 2014.
“The way that he closed out the old Yankee Stadium was vintage Derek Jeter,” Girardi said, referring to Jeter’s speech on the field after the season finale in 2008. “His last hit [at Yankee Stadium] was vintage Derek Jeter, the line drive to right field. His career started off with a bang. He was somebody that you could pencil in there every day.
“He would always give Joe Torre a hard time when he’d give him a day off. He’d get like two or three a year, and he’d say, ‘How am I ever going to catch Cal Ripken if you keep taking me out of there?’ You just never worried about him. He did everything the right way.”
Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius also has a connection with Jeter. The Yankees traded for Gregorius to follow — don’t say “replace,” or you’ll get an earful from Gregorius — Jeter at shortstop. How do you follow the face of a franchise anyway? Gregorius said he got advice from none other than Jeter before his first spring training with the Yankees.
“I met him before spring training,” Gregorius said. “We just had a really good talk about the game and how to better my game. It was really important to me.”
In five seasons, Gregorius became a popular player in New York. He batted .269 with 97 homers and a .759 OPS and helped the Yankees reach the postseason four times, making him a worthy successor to one of the greatest players in team history.
“I was never going to erase that dude, so why worry about that?” Gregorius said. “I was not going to try to do that. He’s a legend, an icon, and obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”
Bohm banged up
It’s unlikely Alec Bohm would have been among the Phillies’ first call-ups last week when rosters expanded to 28 players. But he wasn’t a consideration anyway after injuring his wrist last Sunday.
Bohm was out of the lineup at triple-A Lehigh Valley for a fourth consecutive game in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader after getting hit by a pitch last Sunday.
“He was able to do defensive work [Friday] and reported that it felt a lot better,” Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate he hasn’t played the last few days. There was a rainout involved [Wednesday] and he got plunked. Just been a lot going on. But he’s been working.”
Taking the fifth
An offshoot of the Phillies’ decision to rearrange the rotation to give Zack Wheeler two starts in the season’s final week is having to piece together Sunday’s series finale against the Marlins with relievers. Girardi said lefty Matt Moore could be in that mix, assuming he wasn’t needed in relief on Saturday night.
Could Moore regain the No. 5 spot in the rotation when it comes up again Friday at home against the Colorado Rockies?
“Yeah, I mean, he could,” Girardi said. “But our plan is probably just to bullpen these days.”
Moore’s starts have, in essence, turned into bullpen-heavy games anyway. He has completed the fifth inning only once in his last four starts and four times in 13 starts overall. Moore has a 6.55 ERA as a starter and a 6.17 mark in eight relief appearances.
Phillies first-round draft pick Andrew Painter gave up one hit and struck out two batters in one scoreless inning in a rookie-ball game Friday. It marked his professional debut. ... Catcher Andrew Knapp and utilityman Luke Williams are eligible to return from the COVID-19 restricted list on Tuesday if they receive the requisite number of negative tests. Regardless, Girardi said they likely will go out on minor-league rehab assignments before rejoining the Phillies. ... After facing Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernández (1-1, 3.62 ERA) on Sunday, the Phillies will pit Wheeler against Brewers ace Brandon Woodruff (9-7, 2.35) on Monday in Milwaukee.