TAMPA, Fla. — Derek Jeter will likely join Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson on the New York Yankees’ star-studded disabled list for the season opener against the Boston Red Sox on April 1.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says it’s “more likely than not” Jeter will start on the DL because of a sore left ankle, still recovering from surgery last October.
“April 1 is unrealistic in my mind now,” Cashman said Sunday. “There’s nothing new going on other than growing pains as he gets through these final hurdles of his rehab.”
Eduardo Nunez, known for his bat more than his glove, would fill in at shortstop for the 13-time All-Star, who broke the ankle Oct. 13 during the AL championship series opener against Detroit and had surgery a week later.
The 38-year-old, who has repeatedly vowed to be ready for opening day, played in his first big league spring training game on March 9 as a designated hitter. He returned to shortstop four days later, then played consecutive games on March 15 and 16 before inflammation kept him out of the lineup.
He received an anti-inflammatory injection Wednesday and had four at-bats as a DH Saturday in a minor league exhibition game.
“I know Derek extremely well, and I can read his face,” Cashman said. “And his face today tells me that the reality of his circumstances is starting to sink in, and the disabled list might be necessary. I told him what I think, and he didn’t fight me on it. That’s reality.”
Jeter is 3 for 11 with a double in five spring training games. New York could put him on the DL backdated to Friday, meaning he could be activated on April 6, when the Yankees are at Detroit.
“It’s a goal, it doesn’t mean an absolute,” Cashman said. “We’ll respond to how he’s feeling. That’s all we can do. At some point this will be behind him.”