ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Jeter did everything but water the infield Tuesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark, taking live batting practice on the field with his teammates, fielding grounders at shortstop and running a half dozen moderate-intensity wind sprints in the outfield in the triple-digit heat. And as you might have guessed, he proclaimed himself ready to return to action when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday.
"Everything is good so far," the New York Yankees shortstop said. "If I [was eligible to] play today, I’d be lobbying to play today, so I’m sure I’ll be lobbying to play on Saturday."
Jeter took a regular turn in the batting cage in a group that included Robinson Cano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells, then moved to short, where he took a couple dozen grounders hit to either side of him, requiring to move a few steps in either direction. He also practiced turning double plays with Cano before moving to the outfield grass, where he ran six 30- to 40-yard sprints with team conditioning coach Dana Cavalea.
He has yet to run the bases, which is likely something he will have to do before the Yankees feel comfortable enough to activate him.
"The one thing I need to happen is for my 15 days to be up," Jeter said when asked what else he needed to do to be ready. "It’s just a day-to-day thing. They haven’t told me you need to pass any kind of tests. So hopefully it goes good the next couple of days and we can get going."
Jeter missed the first 91 games of the season with a twice-broken left ankle, returned on July 11, then had to leave again in the eighth inning of his first game back after straining his right quad accelerating out of the batter's box on his third at-bat of the day.
Jeter conceded it was impossible to duplicate game conditions in pregame drills but said, "I just have to be careful when I first come back, but I’ve done it before. Today [the pain] is not there, which is good. That’s the key, you don’t want to feel it, and I don’t feel it."