New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter stepped up his rehabbing efforts, getting back on the diamond for the first time since re-injuring his ankle earlier this year. Jeter took 25 dry swings and fielded 20 ground balls on Monday at their Tampa area facilities. In addition, Jeter threw from 180 feet.
Jeter hasn’t played at all this year despite thinking he would be able to start Opening Day after breaking his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS last season against the Detroit Tigers. He said he had some discomfort when he began playing in Spring Training, and it was revealed that there was a small crack in the surgically-repaired ankle.
Yankees fans actually blamed former right fielder Nick Swisher for the shortstop’s injury after he misplayed a pretty routine fly ball, thus extending the inning. Jeter got injured after the Tigers got an extra out to play with. Swisher acknowledged this in a postgame interview because of the heckling he received after the injury, leaving a bad taste on his Yankees career.
Now, Jeter’s timetable is to return sometime after the All-Star Break. His backup, Eduardo Nunez, is also on the DL for around a month with an oblique injury. Nunez took ground balls at the Yankees’ minor league complex. He has been replaced by a combination of Jayson Nix and Reid Brignac. They have been serviceable replacements for Jeter and Nunez, but don’t bring the experience and presence of Jeter and the possibility of explosiveness and speed that Nunez does.