After latest rehab game, Derek Jeter says he'll rejoin Yankees on Monday
MOOSIC, Pa. -- After playing his second Triple-A game in as many nights during his latest rehab assignment, Derek Jeter said he's "ready to go" and will be with the Yankees in Toronto on Monday.
But there's one hurdle in his way. Before rejoining the Yankees, Jeter said, he will play for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre again Saturday night in the RailRiders' 7:05 home game.
"I'll be in Toronto," Jeter said Friday night. "I feel good and I feel like I'm ready to go. But I understand I have to play some games and I have to play one more tomorrow. For me, it's just playing games. For them, it's making sure I'm all right, and I get it after the last two times."
Jeter, who was at shortstop and batted second, played seven innings and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the RailRiders' 4-1 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox at PNC Field before a capacity crowd of 10,000.
Jeter, on the disabled list since Aug. 5 because of a right calf strain, slid into home just ahead of the throw and scored on a wild pitch in the seventh.
"I'm running fine," he said. "I'm not concerned about running. I'm pain-free."
Jeter said he was told by the Yankees that he will rejoin them Monday in Toronto because, he said, it doesn't make sense to fly to Tampa to play one game Sunday, then fly with the team back north.
For the second straight night, Jeter hit against a knuckleballer. After Thursday's game, he said batting against 65-mph knuckleballs can "throw all your mechanics out the window because it's like playing softball." But he downplayed that concern Friday night.
"I've faced pitching in simulated games, so it's not just like I'm just coming off the couch and playing here," Jeter said, referring to the games he played before getting clearance to begin the rehab assignment.
Jeter struck out in his first at-bat, grounded into a double play in his second and walked on five pitches in his third plate appearance. He grounded into a forceout in his fourth and final at-bat and advanced to second on an error. After reaching third on a forceout, he scored on a wild pitch.
Jeter had plenty of action in the field. He made similar plays in the second and fourth innings on balls hit up the middle, ranging to his left and making accurate throws on the run. He committed an error on a similar play Thursday. He also caught a sailing line drive during the fifth without having to move much.
Jeter, 39, has had the majority of his season robbed because of ankle, quadriceps and calf injuries. He's 4-for-19 with a home run with the Yankees.
After breaking his left ankle in the postseason last October, Jeter vowed to be ready by Opening Day, but that didn't happen. After breaking the same ankle during spring training, he tweaked a quad in his first game back last month. Then, despite not running at full speed, he strained his right calf and at that point referred to the season as a "nightmare."
Jeter repeatedly has said he will do what the organization asks of him to ensure he is healthy without putting up much of a debate. For him, that means one more Triple-A game.
"They just want me to play in games, and I get it," Jeter said. "I'm just following orders this time around."