Joe Girardi knows he needs to give Derek Jeter the rest he needs

Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter watch batting practice

Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter watch batting practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 1, 2014 in Tampa. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Iskowitz

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Joe Girardi understands.

He understands that fans want to see Derek Jeter when they're at the ballpark, especially at the Stadium, where they might be going to a game for the only time this season.

But he also understands his primary responsibility when it comes to his 39-year-old shortstop.

"I have to manage him with the focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,'' Girardi said before Saturday's game against the Red Sox, one in which Jeter wasn't in the lineup. "I wasn't hired to put on a farewell tour.''

Jeter played in 10 of the Yankees' first 11 games, with his previous day off coming April 4 in Toronto. Girardi said Jeter needs an occasional break and will get it.

"There's not a whole lot I can do about that,'' Girardi said. "When you start running guys out there too much, you risk injury. I'm sure people will be a little bit more upset if he was out two weeks or a month or something like that. I understand fans want to see him play and I get that. I want to see him play. I'd love to run him out there 162 times, but I have to do what's best for him and our team . . . I'm sorry if people came to see him today, but I have to be smart about it.''

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Tex: I'll be back in a week

Mark Teixeira (right hamstring strain) is due to come off the disabled list a week from Sunday, and he all but guaranteed he'll be in the lineup that afternoon against the Rays. "I fully plan on being with the team Sunday in Tampa,'' he said.

Teixeira has been doing mostly stretching therapy, though he took batting practice in the cage with hitting coach Kevin Long before Saturday's game.

"This is a very minor injury,'' Teixeira said. "If this was the second half of the season, I'd still be playing. This is a very minor thing that when it's early and it's cold, the team just doesn't want to push it in April.''

As Teixeira said when the Yankees put him on the DL, one positive is that he can focus on strengthening his surgically repaired right wrist.

"This time off can only help the wrist from a long spring training, a lot of work in spring training,'' Teixeira said. "Hopefully when I come back, the wrist will be even better.''


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D-Rob progressing

David Robertson, on the DL since Monday with a left groin strain, threw on flat ground before the game, his second throwing session of the week.

"I'm going to let it loose a little more," Robertson said before going out to throw. "I feel great. About where I thought I'd be.''

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