As rain soaked this city, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter furthered his rehabilitation at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla. Jeter took batting practice for the first time since being shut down after four at-bats in a minor-league game on March 23. Jeter also tested his sore left ankle by running on the field for the second consecutive day. Jeter completed a step in his progression toward running the bases. He also fielded ground balls. The report heartened Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who remains cautiously optimistic about Jeter’s eventual return. Girardi indicated Jeter would receive a day off Thursday. But there was reason for cheer with yesterday’s progress. "The fact that he didn’t have to back off from the running I think is a good sign," Girardi said. The downpour in Cleveland postponed Wednesday night's game. Thursday's is in jeopardy, too. The Yankees were prepared to make this one up on May 13. By then, they hope their shortstop will have returned. Jeter returned to on-field activity on April 1 after eight days of rest. He is charting a more cautious course as he attempts to build strength in his surgically-repaired ankle. Jeter had hoped to be ready for Opening Day. Instead, he experienced a setback in late March. He hasn’t played the field in a game since March 16. In the interim, Eduardo Nunez has replaced Jeter. Nunez has just a .604 on-base plus slugging percentage in seven games, and also missed two more due to a bruised right biceps. Still, the team appreciates Nunez’s speed, and will likely keep him in the lineup in various capacities when Jeter returns. But when Jeter will come back remains a mystery. Girardi has little interest in putting a date on it. He saw how Jeter pushed himself, as a 38-year-old just a few months removed from ankle surgery, to be ready for the season’s first game. The team wants Jeter to be ready for regular action when he returns this time. He’ll need to play in something like four out of five games in a rehabilitation stint before Girardi and the team will feel comfortable bringing him back. Besides Jeter, there was plenty of other activity at the complex. Outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken right forearm) told the Associated Press he hoped to begin throwing Thursday after undergoing an X-ray checkup on Tuesday. "Everything is looking good," he said.
Derek Jeter takes batting practice, continues running program
Newark Star-Ledger | Apr 11