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Derek Jeter back to shortstop? Still not sure

Derek Jeter reacts after he struck out swinging

Derek Jeter reacts after he struck out swinging in the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Sept. 16, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Joe Girardi made it sound unlikely that Derek Jeter will return to shortstop Tuesday night when the Yankees host Toronto.

Jeter went 1-for-4 with a walk, a run and an RBI in Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Rays, his fourth straight start as the DH since leaving Wednesday’s game with a bone bruise in his left ankle.

The Yankees are off Monday. Eduardo Nuñez, who had three stolen bases and scored two runs, will continue at shortstop until Jeter is ready and then will get some DH at-bats against lefties, Girardi said.

Of Jeter, Girardi said: “I think it still hurts. I don’t think he’s a shortstop yet, right now as we speak.”

Jeter seemed to run well once and not so well on another occasion Sunday. In the third, he sprinted to second on a throw home after hitting an RBI single, his major league-leading 199th hit. But in the next inning, he didn’t show any burst going first-to-third on a two-out double by Robinson Cano that leftfielder Desmond Jennings lost in the sun.

“I thought he ran pretty good to second on the base hit he had,” Girardi said. “He told me that on the ball Robbie Cano hit, he was running under control, and that’s hard for him. I thought there was still a little limp there. But he said it was hard because he was trying to run under control.”

Jeter did not address reporters after the game. Girardi did leave open the possibility that Jeter could “feel a lot better in 48 hours. But we’re going to have to see.”

...Russell Martin is batting .343 (12-for-35) with three home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games ... Girardi on whether he planned to check the score of the later Athletics-Orioles game, which turned out to be a 9-5 Baltimore win: “I’m sure I’ll check scores today. But that won’t be the only score. I’ll check National League scores and I’ll check what everyone’s doing ... I’ll check the football scores and I’m going to check the NASCAR race.”


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