Those of you who are ready to see Derek Jeter do more than take batting practice and field ground balls should check back March 10 — that’s about when general manager Brian Cashman expects the Yankees captain to participate in his first exhibition game.
Jeter’s entry into game action will come as a designated hitter, approximately 23 days before Opening Day against the Red Sox on April 1 at Yankee Stadium.
Are 21 exhibition games enough for a 38-year-old shortstop coming back from a broken left ankle to get ready?
“Twenty days of Derek Jeter in spring training is still better than what the alternative [is] for what we have to run out there,’’ Cashman said.
The Yankees would have to use Eduardo Nunez or Jayson Nix at shortstop to open the season if Jeter isn’t ready.
A decade ago, three weeks would have seemed like an eternity for Jeter, who has developed patience and expects to be ready by the target date.
“I don’t see any reason why not,’’ Jeter said. “When I first got here I was a couple of weeks behind. On that schedule, I don’t see why not.’’
Jeter mentioned his 2009 World Baseball Classic experience as a measuring stick to what he is going through now.
“When I played most recently, I only played in four or five [WBC] games,’’ Jeter said. “I came back and there was two weeks [of spring training] left. I don’t think it will be that difficult.’’
A year ago, Jeter played in 15 exhibition games and had 44 at-bats.
“I think it’s more of a feel thing, you know when you feel as though you are ready,” said Jeter, who increased his activity Saturday when he ran in the outfield and very slowly around the bases. “I have left spring training not feeling good and gotten off to good starts and the opposite, too. I don’t think there is a number [of at-bats] that you necessarily need.’’
Jeter targets March 10 game action
New York Post | Feb 25