Derek Jeter held his first press conference of the spring at the Yankees’ spring training complex on Sunday morning, fielding many questions surrounding his surgically repaired ankle.
One thing of note comes for fans who bought tickets hoping to see Jeter play this spring: it is going to be a rare occurrence. “I’m on Mo’s schedule,” Jeter told reporters. “Five innings and I’ll be ready to go.”
Jeter did acknowledge that he will have to push himself in order to be fully ready for opening day, but also noted that April 1 has been the goal all along. “I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” said Jeter. “Up until this point, the ankle has healed perfectly, now it’s just a matter of getting everything else in shape.” The veteran shortstop mentioned that despite having a plate and screws in his ankle, he did not expect it to hinder him during the season.
- David Adams (back) did report to the team’s spring training complex today, where he told reporters that he is about a week behind everyone else. He said that his back had been sore most of the winter, and that the Yankees eventually gave him an epidural.
- Speaking of Adams, the minor league infielder was one of three names mentioned by Joe Girardi when asked if anyone was expected to push Eduardo Nunez or Jayson Nix for one of the reserve infield spots. The other two players were Corban Joseph and Dan Johnson.
- Nunez may be limited to shortstop this season, but he may also have a semi-regular role. With no obvious option to serve as a designated hitter against left-handed pitching, Joe Girardi indicated he might give that role to Derek Jeter in an effort to keep the veteran fresh while finding a regular role for Nunez.
- Joe Girardi was able to confirm that newly signed Travis Hafner is in camp strictly as a designated hitter. Though he may serve as Mark Teixeira’s backup at first base, Hafner has not played the field since the 2007 season. In past years with the Cleveland Indians, Hafner has not taken part in defensive drills during spring training. Hafner indicated he had not thrown regularly in about five years.