Derek Jeter should be ready to play in his first spring training game "around March 10, give or take," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Jeter’s first few exhibition at-bats will be as a designated hitter.

The captain agrees with that timetable. "I’ve learned patience," said Jeter, who fractured his left ankle in October’s ALCS opener. "I’m probably a couple of weeks behind what everyone else is doing anyway."

Jeter began light running on the bases two days ago but is doing everything else required on the field. He remains on track to start opening day. "Twenty days of Derek Jeter in spring training is still better than whatever alternatives we’re going to run out there," Cashman said.

Youk’s debut

Off the bat, Kevin Youkilis thought he’d hit a grand slam in his first spring training at-bat in pinstripes. "The wind kind of drifted it more to the gap," Youkilis said. "At Yankee Stadium, I think that ball might go."

Youkilis (0-for-3) had two warning-track fly outs and a hard line out to third base. "Today was a good day – a good confidence thing going in," the long time former Red Sox said of fine-tuning his swing. Defensively at third base, Youkilis – signed to fill in for the injured Alex Rodriguez — got locked up on a ball he should’ve backhanded that went for a hit. "That’s my mistake."