Joe Girardi still noncommital about Derek Jeter's return

Derek Jeter #2 of the Yankees waits to Derek Jeter #2 of the Yankees waits to step into the cage for batting practice before the start of a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 14, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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BOSTON - Derek Jeter continues to make progress, but not to the point that Joe Girardi is ready to put a timetable on the injured shortstop's return.

"I guess anything is possible," he said of the likelihood that Jeter will rejoin the team by Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. "But until he's able to run freely, I don't think you can really put a date on it. And he hasn't done that yet."

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Jeter, on the DL since Aug. 3 with a calf strain, took grounders and batting practice for a third straight day at the club's minor-league complex in Tampa. Girardi said Jeter moved more "side to side" during his infield work and will play in a simulated game Monday. Beyond that, he figured Jeter will need a few more simulated games or "a couple of games in the minor leagues possibly."

Jeter was eligible to return Sunday, but Girardi said he's not surprised that the injury is taking longer to heal than originally thought. "You're always hopeful it will be 15 days," he said, "but a lot of times it isn't."

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Keeping Sori hot

Curtis Granderson was the DH for a second straight game, but Girardi said that had everything to do with Alfonso Soriano, who started in leftfield, having gone 15-for-22 in his previous five games. "Sori's been on such a roll, I don't really want to change anything that he's doing," Girardi said. "I don't want to screw anything up."

Soriano went 0-for-6.

Numbers gameGirardi said he's given thought to what the Yankees will need to do to reach the postseason. "I really believe in my heart, to be in the playoffs, you're going to have to be in the 90s when it comes to wins," he said. The Yankees are 64-59, so just to reach 90, they have to go 26-13.

Setting the rotationGirardi said Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes will start Tuesday's split doubleheader against Toronto at the Stadium. Andy Pettitte and Adam Warren will pitch Wednesday and Thursday, not necessarily in that order.

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