New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter did not play in the team’s first two Spring Training games. Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reported on Wednesday that Jeter is expected to make his Spring Training debut on Thursday.
Jeter posted a letter on his Facebook page on Feb. 12 that he will retire succeeding the 2014 season. This has made every game he plays a ‘hot’ commodity among the media.
On Sunday, Chad Jennings of The Journal News/LoHud.com reported that Jeter was likely to make his Spring Training debut on Thursday. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi told Jennings, “…the Yankees want to have Jeter run the bases one more time before he gets in a game.”
It appears that Jeter looked really good running the bases. Matthews reported on Wednesday that Jeter is expected to make his Spring Training debut on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He is expected to start at shortstop and bat second in the lineup. He will probably play for four innings, according to Jennings.
Girardi is going to be treating Jeter similar to the way he treated Mariano Rivera last season; his final season before he retired, according to Jennings.
Girardi has also said Jeter will be on ‘the Mariano Rivera program,’ which means a limited workload for most of the spring, few if any road trips and for now anyway, no back-to-back games. ‘And if I have to back off, I’ll back off,’ Girardi said. ‘But right now the plan is to run it like a normal spring training.’”
The Pirates will be using Charlie Morton as their starting pitcher in the 1:05 p.m. game at George Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Fla. Jeter will be facing Morton for the first time in his career, according to ESPN.com.
Everything Jeter does on Thursday will most likely be over analyzed by the media. Thursday will most likely mark the first time that Yankees’ fans and many non-Yankees fans will be cheering for him this season.