Updates from Monday, Feb. 24
Derek Jeter won't play against a college team on Tuesday, and he won't go on the road Wednesday. Instead, the New York Yankees shortstop is on track to make his spring training debut at home on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"It's been a while since I played a game," Jeter said. "I think everyone looks forward to the first game in spring training. You want to get games under your belt. I'm looking forward to it, but don't rush it. I told you, one day at a time."
Updates from Friday, Feb. 7
Anthony McCarron of The New York Daily News has the latest update on Jeter's road to recovery:
TAMPA — David Phelps has been working out for only three days at the Yankees’ minor-league complex, but one thing has jumped out at the pitcher already:
“Derek (Jeter) looks amazing. That’s awesome.”
You can tell he’s determined to go out there and do well,” Phelps said. "If you had to place a bet on it, you know he’s going to go out there and have a good year. I’m really looking forward to seeing him play again. He’s having a lot of fun right now.”
New York Post reporter Kevin Kernan has the latest on when Jeter is expected to play:
"It's been difficult, because you're starting over from scratch. You're basically going for a whole year where you can't really work out. You can't really strengthen anything. You're starting over. It's a long process, but it's been enjoyable to get back to this point. It's enjoyable now, not necessarily going through it, I should say. ... it's not like I have milestones. It's just to get ready. We still have six weeks of spring training. The goal is to be ready opening day, not the first day of spring training."
Updates from Monday, Feb. 3
The Associated Press (via ESPN) has the latest on Derek Jeter's rehab and recovery:
"Everything is good so far, knock on wood," Jeter said.
"This offseason is like a normal offseason," said Jeter, who was in a walking boot until early January last year. "I'm four months ahead of where I was last year. Last year, quite honestly, I want to forget about it."
Less than a month before the New York Yankees report to spring training, their captain has finally received some good news on his bothersome left ankle.
Derek Jeter went through on-field workouts for the first time since the 2013 MLB season on Jan. 20, fielding grounders and going through typical baseball activities, per the Associated Press (via ESPN). The workout, while minimal, represents a huge step for Jeter as he looks to return from what can only be described as the worst year of his baseball career.
"I don't think about it, and that's a good thing," Jeter said. "It's good to have a normal offseason and get some work in. Everything is normal now."
Jeter first broke his ankle in Game 1 of the Yankees' 2012 ALCS matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Expected to return for the beginning of the 2013 regular season, Jeter instead broke his ankle again in April and sat out until July. A calf injury compounded the mounting series of leg ailments, and then he re-injured his ankle one more time in September to cut his season short.
In total, Jeter played only 17 games. It was the first time in his career he had ever missed more than 50 games in a season and only the second time in his career he had suited up for fewer than 130 contests. While Jeter's season never really got off the ground, it was a miserable affair during his short period on the field. He had only 12 hits in 63 at-bats (.190 batting average), hit a single home run and didn't steal a base.
Per FanGraphs, Jeter's wins above replacement (WAR) was negative for the first time in his career—excluding his shortened 1995 big league stay that doesn't count toward his service time.
The 2013 season also proved disappointing for the Yankees, as they missed the playoffs for just the second time since 1994. They looked to rectify that during the offseason by signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, but Jeter's pinstriped teammates have undergone more changes than possibly ever before.
Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera retired, leaving Jeter the last member of the "core four." The Seattle Mariners outbid the Yankees in the Robinson Cano chase. With Alex Rodriguez suspended for the 2014 season, barring a successful appeal, Jeter's two longest-running infield mates will be gone this season.
Jeter turns 40 in June, and it's clear the times are changing in the Bronx. It will be interesting to see whether he'll be able to stick around this season to be a part of it.
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