ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Derek Jeter is playing a game for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders tonight, and Joe Girardi said he is also "scheduled" to play for the Yankees' AAA affiliate on Saturday, so it appears highly unlikely the Yankees' captain will be activated for any of this weekend's crucial three games against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"The fact is we need him to play tonight, feel good and be able to bounce back the next day," Girardi said. "If that all goes well, maybe we see him really shortly after that."
New York Yankees
Since Scranton is playing at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night, it would seem to preclude a Jeter sighting on Sunday, since the Yankees-Rays finale is at 1:40 p.m. and it would appear to be foolish to fly a 39-year-old shortstop overnight to play a day game. Plus, by the manager's own admission, Jeter has yet to run at 100 percent. But Girardi hinted that Jeter could be with the club when it opens a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday night.
Asked if Jeter had brought his passport with him to Scranton, Girardi smiled and said, "I'm sure he did.''
Here are few more notes from St. Pete:
The Rays, who had a day off yesterday, are 1-10 following an off-day and have lost their last eight in a row following a day off. The Yankees, who are 5-14 at Tropicana Field since 2011, have split the six games played here so far this season.
Tonight's starter, Hiroki Kuroda, has made just three career starts against the Rays, going 2-1 with a 6.11 ERA, his highest career ERA against any opposing team. He did beat the Rays here last September 5, allowing four earned runs in six innings of a 6-4 Yankees win.
Rays starter Archer threw a two-hit, 1-0 shutout against the Yankees on July 27 in the Bronx. He became the first Rays pitcher to shut out the Yankees in the 268th game played between the two divisional rivals.