ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Girardi said he still hasn't heard otherwise, so unless something unanticipated happens, the Yankees expect to see Derek Jeter when they arrive in Toronto tonight, fit and ready to play in the three-game series with the Blue Jays that starts on Monday.
Jeter left the ballpark in without speaking to reporters after going 1-for-3 in a game for AAA Scranton Saturday night, and Girardi said he had not spoken to his 39-year-old captain. But from the admittedly sketchy reports he has gotten, Girardi said the plan is for Jeter to be in the starting lineup tomorrow night at the Rogers Centre.
"He’s played three days in a row and from everything I understand he felt pretty good,'' Girardi said.
Asked if he would be "apprehensive'' about how to use Jeter, who has been on the DL three times and has played just 5 games for the Yankees this season, Girardi said, "I don’t know if we can afford to be apprehensive is the thing.''
Girardi said he would proceed through the rest of the season -- there are 33 games left -- under the assumption that both Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, his 38-year-old third baseman, are fit to play every day.
"Hopefully, they'll play a lot,'' Girardi said. "But I’m gonna have to see how they’re doing. There is no schedule for them the next 33 games or whatever we have left for each guy. There isn’'t. I’m just going to go day-by-day, see what I see the night before, and make a decision the next day.''
• Girardi gave Rodriguez the day off because the Yankees are in the midst of a six-game stretch on artificial turf, which is especially tough on aging legs. He said he hopes to be able to play A-Rod all three games in Toronto, but "I'll have to see how he's doing. Whenever we get on this turf six days in a row, it's a concern for some of our guys, and that’s partly because of age. We try to manage them carefully. Sometimes you can run em into the ground and then they’re not productive when they’re playing so you have to pick your days.''
• The Yankees will have to make a player move to accommodate adding Jeter to the roster tomorrow, but Girardi said he did not know who it would be yet. With the yankees carrying 13 pitchers, it will undoubtedly be a relief pitcher, probably David Huff.
• Today's starter, Ivan Nova, is 6-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 11 career games (10 starts) vs. TB, and 2-1 at the The Trop, although his ERA is 5.29 here. Rays starter Alex Cobb is 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees. Cobb has already beaten the Yankees twice this season, pitching into the ninth inning both times and allowing just two earned runs. His ERA in those two starts is 1.08.