Derek Jeter struggles, may not be ready to rejoin Yankees
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MOOSIC, Pa. - Derek Jeter wants to leave his Triple-A rehab assignment with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, but he might not be ready to return to the Bronx after struggling Wednesday night.
However, Jeter said he felt good otherwise despite going 0-for-3 and committing a throwing error in seven fielding chances during a seven-inning stint -- his longest in four games. Overall, he is 1-for-9.
"I felt good," he said. "It was good to do an array of things out there tonight. There were a number of different situations for me tonight. My timing was off a little bit on a couple of plays. But I still feel comfortable."
Jeter also indicated he did not know whether he would be back Thursday night with the Railriders or return to the Yankees. Although many in the Yankees organization believe Jeter will return Friday when the team hosts the Twins, general manager Brian Cashman said Jeter will return when "he is ready."
"I really don't know what the plan is [for tonight]," Jeter said. "I just have to wait and see. I said I was ready in January, but I'm excited to get back and be ready to contribute."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows Jeter's return will provide a spark to the club.
"The fans are going to be extremely excited he's back, when he's back, and so will we," Girardi said. "But we understand that he's one guy and we know that he can only do what he's capable of doing."
In his first at-bat Wednesday night, Jeter -- who led off -- worked the count full, then grounded to short for the out. In the third, Jeter hit a 1-and-0 pitch to short and was thrown out. During his final at-bat, Jeter was called out on strikes after a 1-2 count.
"I feel all right at the plate," Jeter said. "I have been walking a lot down here and looking at a lot of pitches."
In the top of the third, Jeter was active in the field and appeared a bit uncomfortable. He fielded a two-hop grounder with ease and threw out the first batter. But he then struggled with his next three fielding chances.
Jeter fielded a slow grounder to his right side and flipped a low throw to third baseman David Adams, who juggled and dropped the ball. He then fielded a hard grounder to his left and tried to force a runner at second, but his flip was behind second baseman Addison Maruszak, who didn't field it cleanly.
In his final chance in the inning, Jeter appeared handcuffed on a grounder, but he managed to flip it to second for a force play. During the fifth inning, Jeter was charged with an error when he fielded a grounder and his throw took two hops past first baseman Dan Johnson.
"I feel fine," Jeter said when he was asked about his lateral movement at shortstop. "I feel like I have been moving better each game. The ball up the middle I tried to one-hop and it went past him [first baseman Dan Johnson]. On one of the other plays, I should have thrown to first instead of flipping it to second. It is a matter of playing with guys I haven't been with as well."
A veteran scout for major league baseball who spoke on condition of anonymity said, "It looked like Jeter, acted like Jeter, but it wasn't Jeter out there tonight. He'll be fine with his bat, but he doesn't appear to be comfortable in the field."
Yankees adviser Gene Michael was in the stands, but his lone comment, the same he relayed to Cashman, was "Jeter will be OK."
Jeter didn't return in the seventh after a power delay.