The New York Yankees injury-depleted roster is expected to take another hit-Derek Jeter, the Yankees' captain, is "more likely than not" to start the regular season on the disabled list, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
Jeter fractured his ankle in the opening game of last year's American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers and has spent the entire offseason rehabbing it. He made his spring debut at shortstop on March 12 but was scratched from the lineup earlier this week due to a "cranky ankle," as Jeter termed it.
A precautionary MRI showed some inflammation and at the time Jeter shrugged it off and said he expected to be available for Opening Day. When told of the inflammation Jeter told The New York Post "I'm not concerned because I was told this was going to happen. From everything I've been told by the doctors, it's normal."
Jeter registered four at-bats as the designated hitter in a spring training game on Saturday and Cashman told the media afterward that he felt sore. Cashman also said Jeter would not appear in any exhibition games for a few days to allow the ankle to rest. ''April 1 is unrealistic in my mind now,'' Cashman said Sunday according to the Associated Press. ''There's nothing new going on other than growing pains as he gets through these final hurdles of his rehab.''
Jeter, who batted .316 last year with 15 home runs, 58 RBI, and 99 runs scored will join third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira, and outfielder Curtis Granderson on the disabled list. Rodriguez is out until at least mid-July while he rehabs from hip surgery, Teixeira is in danger of missing the season with torn tendons in his wrist and Granderson will miss the first month with a fractured forearm.
The Yankees can backdate Jeter's DL stint to Friday, meaning he could be eligible to return to action as early as April 6th. Cashman's main concern is having Jeter available to play in the field, as opposed to simply using him as a designated hitter.
''We have to get him to be able to play shortstop,'' Cashman said. ''I don't think it's going to get him healthy DHing for us.''