Derek Jeter is going to play another Triple-A game tonight, and another tomorrow. If Jeter joins the Yankees this weekend, it won’t be until Sunday, and Monday in Toronto is looking like the safer bet.
“The fact is, we need him to play tonight, feel good and be able to bounce back the next day,” Joe Girardi said. “If that all goes well, we may see him really shortly after that.”
Did he bring his passport with him to Scranton?
“I’m sure he did,” Girardi said.
Last time the Yankees tried to push Jeter a little quicker than expected, it seemed to be a minimal-risk situation — he started at DH on a day he was supposed to play in a minor league game — and Jeter wound up with a quadriceps injury. After that, the Yankees tried to bring Jeter back without a minor league rehab assignment, only a simulated game, and he strained his calf.
The Yankees seem determined to take their time and get it right this time.
“It’s really hard, but you’ve also got to make sure that he’s able to do what we need him to do,” Girardi asid. “You have to make a move and you have to make sure he can play.”
• Curtis Granderson is back at DH tonight, and it seems like this will be the regular lineup construction going forward. “(Alfonso Soriano) has talked about, he has not DHed much,” Girardi said. “Not that Curtis has either, but Curtis seemed to respond to it OK and that’s how I kind of kept it. … We feel that Grandy has adjusted to DHing OK so we’ll just stay with it. But I know there’s days where I’d like to be able to DH Sori and I’ll throw Grandy out there. Or DH Ich and throw Grandy out there.”
• Of course, it’s worth acknowledging that Granderson is a better defensive player than Soriano. “I’m OK with it,” Girardi said. “It seems to be working, so I don’t really have any issues with it. … (Granderson) is a guy that you asked to move positions too, and left field is different than center field. Fonzie has been playing out there a lot.”
• Lyle Overbay was a late scratch from the lineup after he showed up sick. He’s been throwing up and Girardi described his symptoms as flu-like. That leaves the Yankees with a bench of Austin Romine and Vernon Wells.
• For now, it seems the Yankees are prepared to keep playing without a backup infielder. They’re playing with fire a little bit to try to get through this stretch when the bullpen has been used a lot because of the doubleheader and the spot start. “You feel like you’re playing a little short, but we understand the situation,” Girardi said. “I’m OK with that.”
• Adding to the potential problems in the infield, Eduardo Nunez’s hamstring is still not quite 100 percent, and he’s the only shortstop on the roster. “He’s still guarding his a little bit,” Girardi said. “That’s more of a concern than playing short-(handed), but we know what we have and we’ll make it work.”
• Joe Maddon has said the Rays will not throw at Alex Rodriguez this weekend. “I respect that,” Girardi said. “I respect Joe for saying that.”
• Congratulations Tampa Bay on the most unusual Mariano Rivera retirement gift to date. The Trop has a sand sculpture of Rivera. It’s pretty cool, but obviously pretty weird.
Associated Press photos