To absolutely no one’s surprise, Derek Jeter said today that he still believes he will be ready for Opening Day. He refused to call this week’s ankle soreness a setback and said he wouldn’t see any point in opening the season on the disabled list.
“It’s normal,” Jeter said. “This is what’s supposed to happen. It’s not going to go away. It’s not going to just magically disappear if I take off two days or three days. It’s something you’ve got to deal with. … My job is to try and be ready on Opening Day, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
General manager Brian Cashman said he doesn’t expect Jeter to play in another major league game this spring. By restricting Jeter’s playing time to minor league games, the Yankees will be able to backdate a potential DL assignment so that Jeter only has to miss roughly the first week of the season — back as early as April 6 – not the first 15 days.
Jeter said he expects to resume baseball activities tomorrow (I assume that means grounders and batting practice, not playing in a game). He said yesterday’s cortisone shot has already made a difference. Jeter also said he does not need to play a full nine-inning game in spring training. He can be limited to five or six innings in the spring and still be ready for nine innings in the opener.
“Five innings, nine innings, I don’t think it really makes a difference,” Jeter said. “If you’re out there, you can play nine innings. It’s not like in the sixth inning you start getting tired. It’s not basketball or running around a track. It’s baseball. Like I told you before, I don’t think I’ve played nine innings in a spring training game in years anyway, so I don’t really think that makes a difference.”
• Phil Hughes said he will pitch in a minor league game tomorrow. That means the Yankees are giving him only three days off after Monday’s short sim game (something Joe Girardi had previously mentioned as a possibility). Hughes continues to make steady progress after that back injury that shut him down earlier this spring.
• Robinson Cano is obviously back in Yankees camp. He said he actually feels rested after the World Baseball Classic, and he clearly loved being a part of the tournament. Looks like Cano will play back-to-back games right away because he’s scheduled to make tomorrow’s road trip to Fort Myers.
• Lefty Juan Cedeno is also back in Yankees camp after leaving for the WBC.
• Cashman said he wasn’t sure, but Chien-Ming Wang might throw a bullpen today at the minor league complex. Wang’s audition for Yankees scouts will include more than one bullpen, so it’s not going to be a one-day thing. The Yankees are deciding whether it’s worth signing Wang as a Triple-A starter.
• Clay Rapada said he’s still on track to try to throw a bullpen off flat ground this weekend.
• Boone Logan is scheduled to get in another game today. Dave Robertson is scheduled to throw on back-to-back days for the first time this spring. There will also be a Mariano Rivera sighting today.
• Catcher Bobby Wilson played in a Triple-A game today, but he’s still in big league camp and will make tomorrow’s trip to Fort Myers.
• Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley are throwing sides today. CC Sabathia, Vidal Nuno and Joba Chamberlain are each scheduled to throw sides tomorrow.
• Today’s second string: C Austin Romine, 1B Dan Johnson, 2B Gil Velazquez, SS Walter Ibarra, 3B Ronnier Mustelier, LF Addison Maruszak, CF Melky Mesa, RF Thomas Neal
• Today’s scheduled relievers: Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, David Aardsma
• Tomorrow’s travel squad
Pitchers: Preston Claiborne, Jim Miller, Ivan Nova, Branden Pinder, Josh Spence
Catchers: Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson
Infielders: Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Walter Ibarra, Dan Johnson, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Pirela, Gil Velazquez
Outfielders: Brennan Boesch, Ben Francisco, Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal, Juan Rivera
Associated Press photo