As I type this, Derek Jeter is on the field, taking batting practice against Tony Pena, and making small talk with Robinson Cano and Jayson Nix. He’s only here for a couple of days, and it’s a sort of vacation.
“I wanted to come up,” he said. “You’ve got to break it up. … If I tell you (rehab) is boring then they’ll just come up with something else for me to do. It’s tedious. It’s difficult. It’s not fun. But I wouldn’t use boring. It’s a long process. I’ve been doing this since pretty much November, December. I’m over it now. It’s just too long. The process has been too long.”
Jeter said he’s doing “pretty much everything” except running outside. He’s taking batting practice and fielding ground balls with side-to-side movement. He said he feels good, the ankle feels strong, and he’s just going through the process.
“Our plan is to get him back as a shortstop, and that’s what he’s working toward,” Joe Girardi said.
It would seem that a broken ankle would rob Jeter’s ability to maintain lower-body strength, but Jeter said that’s not actually an issue.
“I was able to do things,” he said. “There’s exercises you can do without bearing weight. There’s lying on the ground and using one of those big balls. There’s things I’ve been able to do in order to keep the strength, so I don’t think I’m behind in that. … As long as it feels good, I don’t think it really makes a difference. Before I couldn’t play because it didn’t feel good. If I don’t feel anything, then I’m not concerned.”
Jeter said he doesn’t try to find out his schedule ahead of time. He prefers to go through the process day-by-day, so he’s not sure when he’ll start running. He assumes it will be within a few days, “but that’s an assumption,” he said. “So write down ‘assumption.’
“… I feel good. Everything has been going as good as it can go up to this point.”
• Ivan Nova will be here tomorrow to make a spot start. As for a long-term plan for Nova — whether he stays in the rotation, moves to the bullpen or goes back to Triple-A — Girardi said that’s still up in the air. “Don’t really have one,” Girardi said. “Let’s see what happens.”
• This is one of those cases when I actually believe Girardi when he says there’s no definite plan in place. Could depend on any number of factors, including how well Nova pitches tomorrow. Speaking of which, the Yankees have not announced a move to open a roster spot for Nova. That seems to depend on what happens today.
• Alex Rodriguez had five simulated at-bats yesterday. He walked twice and had a hit. “He’s facing a pitcher and it’s an at-bat,” Girardi said. “He doesn’t know what’s coming, so it’s an at-bat.”
• Francisco Cervelli has started taking dry swings. Girardi said he’ll start doing tee and toss “shortly.”
• Nothing really new on any of the other guys down in Tampa. “They all seem to be progressing,” Girardi said.
• Has Girardi spoken to Vernon Wells about possibly taking a smaller role going forward? “If I did, I wouldn’t tell you,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photos