He's getting closer. The aging veteran of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter, had a solid game for the Triple-A Rail Riders. As he continues to play well and prove there are no limitations with his ankle, the Captain inches closer to a return to the active roster. Yesterday was another step in that process.
Jeter collected his first hit of the rehab assignment, drew a walk in his first at-bat, and scored a run. Jeter was used as the designated hitter in the game since he had started at shortstop on Saturday. That is a similar formula the Yankees will likely employ when he returns to the 25-man roster. However, according to Andrew Kappes of MLB.com, Jeter has no concerns over his ankle now.
"I'm not concerned with that," Jeter told reporters at his postgame news conference. "I've done a lot of that down in Florida. It's good to get back into a game, but I don't have a checklist."
With Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both on rehab assignments, could the Yankees suddenly be infused with enough talent to make a run in the second half? It's tough to say right now. The team has performed well despite all the injuries, but they have been struggling of late. Yesterday, they seemingly had the game in the bag until Adam Jones of the Orioles launched a home run off Mariano Rivera to give Baltimore the win. That game pushed the Yankees to 5.0 games out of first.
Jeter has not played since the American League Championship Series last year when he fractured his ankle. He played in a couple spring training games as he tried to come back, but ultimately he re-injured the ankle. His return will be a welcome relief to the Yankees and their fans.
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