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Jeter expected back tomorrow; Hafner to the DL

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Derek Jeter played a simulated game this afternoon at Staten Island. He faced one of the Yankees low-level minor league pitchers, got eight at-bats, and simulated events in the field. If he still feels good tomorrow — which is the expectation — he’ll be at shortstop for the Yankees.

“It’s obviously someone we’ve been waiting for a long time (to get back),” Joe Girardi said. “We had him for one day. We won that game. Hopefully his ratio continues.”

That one game at DH, the Thursday before the All-Star break, is Jeter’s only “game” action since finishing off a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month. He ran the bases the previous two days, and he today went to the Yankees short-season affiliate to basically pretend to play.

“They simulated the best they could,” Girardi said. “Ran first to thirds, singles, second to home. Had him stand and take ground balls; kind of stand there and simulate as much of a game (as possible). You can be in tremendous shape, but playing shape is a little bit different because you’ve got to get used to the standing around, starting and stopping, so we had him do all of that. As of right now, he came out very well, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Girardi made it clear he expects to use Jeter in the field tomorrow, not at designated hitter.

The Yankees will be without struggling Travis Hafner for at least 15 days. He was put on the disabled list after today’s MRI revealed a strained right rotator cuff. Hafner was dealing with a shoulder issue earlier this season but said just a few days ago that it had cleared up quickly after a mid-May cortisone injection.

Associated Press photo