From the start, Derek Jeter maintained he'd be ready for Opening Day 2013. That steady march continued Monday morning. For the first time since surgery on his broken left ankle in October, the 38-year-old shortstop worked out on the field.
Jeter, who broke the ankle pursuing a ground ball in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers on Oct. 13 and had surgery a week later, hit in the batting cage and fielded 55 grounders at the team's minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla.
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"Everything went well," Jeter told The Associated Press.
Jeter and the Yankees consistently have said the shortstop will be ready for the season opener against the Red Sox on April 1 at the Stadium, announcing his recovery time as four to five months.
"So far, so good," general manager Brian Cashman said Monday. "He's right where he needs to be. Obviously, the whole plan is to get him ready for Opening Day. We'll start with guardrails, I'm sure, early in the spring and take things slowly, but he'll get to where he needs to . . . We'll protect him early in the spring whether he needs it or not."
Cashman did not describe the "guardrails," saying doctors have not mapped out Jeter's schedule for spring training.
Jeter received the go-ahead to resume baseball activities two weeks ago but decided to stick with his long-established routine of beginning them in late January. Speaking Jan. 16 at a launch party for his annual Turn 2 Foundation charity golf outing in Tampa, Jeter said: "In terms of baseball activity, I'm right where I need to be."
Jeter has not yet begun running, the next significant step in his rehab. Earlier this month, he started walking on an underwater treadmill at the team complex.
Pineda stepping upMichael Pineda, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder May 1, is ready for his next step in rehab. Cashman said the 24-year-old righthander threw his final flat-ground session Monday and will begin throwing off a half-mound Tuesday. "No setbacks so far," Cashman said of Pineda, who could return by June. "Tomorrow begins the next phase.''
The Yankees, still in need of a righthanded hitter, signed outfielder / first baseman Juan Rivera, 34, to a minor-league deal. He was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1996 and played for them from 2001-03 . . . Righthander Freddy Garcia, 19-14 with a 4.29 ERA for the Yankees in 2011-12, reportedly signed a minor-league deal with the Padres.