TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter took batting practice and fielded grounders at shortstop on Friday at Steinbrenner Field. It went so well that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the captain could play in a minor-league exhibition game at soon as Saturday.
"We'll see how he feels from everything he's done,'' Cashman said. "It's even possible we'll get him some game activity as early as [Saturday]. But we really won't make that decision until [Saturday].''
It was Jeter's first action since he was scratched from Tuesday's exhibition game with stiffness in his surgically repaired left ankle.
"Everything's good,'' said Jeter, who was given a cortisone shot on Wednesday and still hopes to be ready for the Yankees' April 1 season opener. "It felt better than it did Tuesday.''
The Yankees have a plan for Jeter to play only in minor-league exhibition games for the rest of spring training so he can be backdated if he has to open the season on the disabled list. That would mean he would miss only the first four games of the regular season.
But Jeter has other ideas.
"I understand it, but I also understand plans change sometimes,'' he said. "Today was here. Tomorrow we'll see what happens and we'll move forward from there.''
Cashman didn't rule out using Jeter in a big-league exhibition game but said: "It's not probably in our best interest for that to happen.''
Captain to captain
Jeter said he is "happy'' for new Mets captain David Wright. "I played with David in the WBC and I've gotten to know him throughout the years playing against him,'' he said. "He's represented that organization as well as anyone. He deserves it.''
Manager Joe Girardi was not pleased that Brennan Boesch didn't reveal that he has a sore rib-cage muscle until the team arrived in Fort Myers for its game against the Twins. Boesch was scratched from the lineup.
"He wouldn't have made the two-hour-and-15-minute trip,'' Girardi said before the return trip to Tampa. "Not very smart on his part. Now he's got 2:15 back. We'll probably keep him out until Tuesday. That way, he gets a couple of extra days. We don't think it's serious."
Said Boesch: "I probably should have spoke up before I got on the bus, but I wanted to play.''
Ivan Nova allowed five runs (four earned), seven hits and a walk in 51/3 innings, striking out three, as the Yankees beat the Twins, 9-7. Ben Francisco singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Third base long shot Ronnier Mustelier went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and is batting .313 . . . Phil Hughes threw 57 pitches in a minor-league game as he continues to recover from two bulging discs in his back. Hughes, who allowed three runs (two earned) in three innings, is likely to miss his first turn in the regular season . . . Hiroki Kuroda threw seven shutout innings in a different minor-league game . . . Clay Rapada (shoulder bursitis) will start the season on the DL, Cashman said. Independent league signee Vidal Nuno, who has impressed in spring training, could be a candidate if the Yankees desire a second lefty.
With David Dorsey
in Fort Myers