Could the New York Yankees finally get their #1 catalyst back in the lineup? If all goes as planned, it could happen this Saturday. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch and Adam Berry report that shortstop Derek Jeter resumed batting practice and fielding ground balls on Monday in hopes of returning to the lineup when eligible to come off the disabled list.
Jeter is on the disabled list for the second time this season, this time with a Grade 1 quad strain. He suffered the injury during his only game this season on July 11 while trying to run out a ground ball. Initially, he and the Yankees thought that he could play again right after the All-Star break, but he was not ready then.
Jeter said that he no longer has any pain in his leg and that he is ready to get back into action. He told ESPN's Buster Olney in an interview during Sunday night's game, "Everything feels pretty good now, and I hope to get back soon.... My Number 1 focus is to try to get back on the field and help this team win."
The Yankees need Jeter back on the field. They won with him on July 11, but since then, they have lost five of seven, scoring just 19 runs. The team held strong during his absence throughout the first half, but tough times have hit. They are still waiting not only Jeter's return but also the returns of Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez (who had a setback and could face suspension), Phil Hughes, Jayson Nix, and Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees are also looking to add offense in the form of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
For Jeter, his presence and leadership can spark the offense. Manager Joe Girardi said that Jeter is progressing daily. The Yankees are seven games behind in the division and 4.5 games out of a wild card spot. Although not certain, Jeter could return on Saturday, which the Yankees really need.
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