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Notes from Cashman: Jeter, Boesch, Hughes, Rapada, Nuno

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Brian Cashman just met with writers in the back of the press box here in Tampa. Here’s a player-by-player breakdown.

Basically, the Jeter situation is something beyond day-by-day. It’s kind of hour-by-hour. Jeter could play in a minor league game tomorrow afternoon, but that depends entirely on how he feels when he gets to the park morning.

“There is no plan right now other than, he’ll show up tomorrow (and) get stretched out by Stevie Donohue,” Cashman said. “We’ll have a conversation about how he’s feeling, and then we’ll come up with tomorrow’s program after that. It could be just another workout on the field. If he’s sore you back off. If he feels great, maybe you put him in some game activity. I don’t know.”

When the Yankees team bus got to Fort Myers, Boesch asked trainer Donohue for a heat pack, then revealed that he felt some stiffness around his left rib cage. Boesch had an oblique issue in Tigers camp earlier this spring, but Cashman said today’s stiffness is in a different spot. Cashman said that, for now, there are no tests planned but that could change tomorrow.

“He felt some soreness there,” Cashman said. “I don’t think he described it as significant, but we banged him just as a precaution. So he won’t play today or tomorrow regardless of how he may feel he can. We’ll see more, a little bit more tomorrow.”

Hughes reached nearly 60 pitches today, which would seem to put him in line for 75 hit next time out and 90 the time after that. In theory, that leaves him stretched out enough to start a major league game on April 6 in Detroit. Cashman said that’s possible, but it’s also possible Hughes will wait another turn before making his season debut.

“He’ll be a close call in the end,” Cashman said. “I think he’s certainly going in the right direction, but I think it’s just a time issue for him. If it’s better to backdate him on the DL and have him ready for the next turn in the rotation, we could do that.”

There is no question that Rapada is opening the season on the disabled list.

“He’s on the DL. He’ll start the season on the DL. He’s not on the DL officially yet. He did the bullpen today, what, 15 fastballs? So it wasn’t a full bullpen, but 15 fastballs, and he feels good. But in terms of a time frame, he’s going to need a little bit of April. So, he won’t be ready, but he’ll be ready pretty quickly.”

Cashman was asked whether the Yankees would simply open the season with one left-hander in the bullpen. He brought up Nuno’s name, unprompted.

“Still talking about it,” Cashman said. “Obviously Nuno has opened everybody’s eyes and taken a run at it, still trying to force his way on. We’ll go with one lefty, or we’ll go with two.”

Associated Press photo