Derek Jeter was removed from New York’s lineup against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., on Tuesday for “precautionary” reasons because his surgically repaired left ankle feels “stiff.” He said he might be able to play today, and doesn’t consider this a setback.
“I’m not concerned because I was told this was going to happen,” Jeter said. “From everything I’ve been told by the doctors, it’s normal.”
The 13-time All-Star shortstop was slated to play his first road game this spring, but was scratched after taking batting practice. Jeter broke his left ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS against Detroit. He played in his first spring game on March 9 and is 3-for-11 so far.
“It’s just stiff but it’s not in the part that I broke; it’s around it,” Jeter said. “I was told I’m going to feel it around the ankle because I was in a boot for so long. It takes time to strengthen. It’s normal, just have to deal with it and move on.”
The 38-year-old Jeter led the American League with 216 hits and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBI last year. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday morning Jeter might begin the season as a designated hitter against Boston if the Red Sox start a left-handed pitcher.
Jeter, however, still plans to be ready for the opener.
Furcal rejoins Cardinals
St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to the Cardinals’ spring training complex for the first time since undergoing ligament replacement surgery by Dr. James Andrews last week, saying the operation went well and he is ready for rehab.
Furcal says Andrews is “happy we did this,” and confident the infielder will be ready for next year. Furcal originally injured the elbow late last season. He had hoped off-season rehabilitation would prevent the need for surgery. Furcal was never able to throw at 100 percent in camp, and after a few weeks opted for surgery.
Andrews performed the surgery in his Pensacola office. Furcal plans to rehab from the surgery in South Florida.
Cubs’ Stewart battles injury
Chicago Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart will begin the season on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps.
Stewart had not played for the Cubs this spring and re-injured the quad during a minor-league game last week.
The team also announced Tuesday that right-handed starting pitcher Scott Baker, returning from elbow-reconstruction surgery, will be sidelined after developing fluid in the elbow from his first spring start on Sunday.
Baker had elbow surgery this time last year while with the Minnesota Twins.
Baker started against the Oakland A’s on Sunday and retired just one batter, giving up three runs and three hits, including a three-run homer by Chris Young.
Dirks bruises right knee
Detroit Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks bruised his right knee running into a wall while chasing a ball Tuesday in a spring training game in Lakeland, Fla. Dirks says he is day-to-day. His competition for the starting left field spot is Quintin Berry, who is also day-to-day because of tendinitis in his left knee. Dirks was injured while going after a double hit by Tampa Bay’s Jack Cust.
Rangers send down Olt
The Texas Rangers optioned top prospect Mike Olt to Triple-A Round Rock and reassigned right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama to their minor-league camp.
Olt was a long shot to make the Opening Day roster as a corner infielder and outfielder. He was hitting .194 with 12 strikeouts in spring training. Tateyama has a 4.50 ERA in four innings this spring.