TAMPA, Fla. -- It appears unlikely that Derek Jeter will make his spring training debut Sunday, the date given by Brian Cashman two weeks ago.
But that doesn't mean the shortstop is in peril of missing the date that matters most to him and the Yankees.
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"That's my job, to be ready on April 1," Jeter said of the season opener against the Red Sox at the Stadium.
Jeter's ankle is healing and he's progressing with his on-field activities, but he's not to the point where he feels even spring training-game ready.
"Do I feel like I'm able to play today?" Jeter said before yesterday's 8-2 loss to the Dominican Republic's WBC team. "No. If I could play today I'd be playing today. I still have to do a couple of things, but I'm getting close."
Jeter hasn't run the bases at a full sprint. "That's probably one of the most important things," he said.
Hiroki Kuroda induced a soft fly ball to leftfield off the bat of Robinson Cano, but the Yankees pitcher wanted more. "I wish I could have struck him out," Kuroda said with a smile. Yesterday afternoon brought the somewhat odd sight of Cano in a different uniform as the second baseman playing for the Dominican Republic WBC team. Cano went 1-for-3.
Mariano Rivera was set to make his spring training debut Wednesday but instead the closer returned to New York for personal reasons, Joe Girardi said. The reasons have nothing to do with an injury and Rivera is expected to pitch Saturday against the Braves . . . David Robertson, scratched from his scheduled appearance Tuesday with shoulder stiffness, will be out at least another "couple of days," Girardi said.