Derek Jeter is progressing in the rehab of his injured left ankle, and will take batting practice on the field today down in Tampa, Fla., according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger. Previously, Jeter had only taken some swings in the batting cage. Yesterday, he took grounders and ran sprints for the first time since appearing in a game on March 23.
The 13-time All-Star will run “arcs” today, which will build him back up towards running the bases. So far, Jeter has experienced no ill effects of the soreness in his ankle that caused him to miss the start of the season.
This represents a major step in Jeter’s rehab process. Manager Joe Girardi emphasized that Jeter would likely need more than just two or so rehab games to be ready to return to the big league club. Therefore, expect him to appear in 4-5, in which he plays nine innings back-to-back. When the Captain comes back, the Yankees plan on using him as their starting shortstop. Replacement Eduardo Nunez is currently 5-for-23 (.250) with an RBI. The organization is reportedly looking at May 1 as a target date for Jeter’s return.