Of course, this isn’t anything new. Jeter has hit into at least 15 double plays in all but one season since 2004, and since 2007 he’s recorded 21, 24, 18, and (so far this year) 17 double plays, respectively. And as Matthews notes, Jeter is 3rd among active players in career GIDP, and could easily move up to 2nd soon. Just read a Twitter feed comprised of Yankee bloggers and frequent commenters during a game when Jeter comes up with a runner on 1st and less than two outs and count the GIDP references sometime. It’s not pretty. But of course, Jeter has still managed some pretty good seasons in those years, including last year’s fantastic campaign. And that’s because double plays, while very irritating when they happen, are a somewhat fluky happening. Jeter might hit into a lot of them, but he’s kind of always hit into a lot of them, and that hasn’t kept him from being a great player.
That said, Jeter does have one very big red flag this season; his ground balls. 67% of his batted balls have been grounders, which leads the league by 7 points. More worrisome, his 4.12 GB/FB ratio is enormous, easily the tops in the league, and easily the worst of his career. This probably explains why his BABIP is only .312, compared to a career average of .357, and would explain a lot of the drop in his hitting numbers as well.
Why is Jeter hitting so many groundballs this year? Your guess is as good as mine, but Jeter is swinging at nearly 29% of pitches outside of the strikezone this year (career average 20%), and making contact on 70% of those swings, so the easiest explanation is that he’s hitting more bad pitches and not making solid contact. Whatever it is though, Jeter had better figure it out and make appropriate changes fast, because he’s not going to be productive much longer with those batted ball numbers.