TAMPA, Fla. -- The day Yankees fans have been awaiting since last Sept. 7, when Derek Jeter singled in a run off John Lackey in the bottom of the sixth inning of a game against the Red Sox, left for a pinch runner and was shut down four days later, has finally arrived.
The Captain will play his first game since that one this afternoon against Pirates at The Boss, batting second and playing shortstop. Joe Girardi said Jeter will play 4 or 5 innings, the same regimen he follows with all of his regulars during spring training. And Jeter insists this spring, his final after 19 seasons in the big leagues, will be different from last spring, in which he was unable to play two games back-to-back without having to be set down for a few days. This spring, Girardi says he will use Jeter every other day, and rarely if ever on the road, before attempting to play him in consecutive games just before the start of the season.
Here is the Yankees lineup for today's game, first pitch at 1:05 p.m.:
Derek Jeter SS
Russ Canzler 1B
David Phelps RHP
Pre-game notes: Turns out the malady that struck down Eduardo Nunez yesterday was food poisoning caused by some department-store restaurant salmon. Nunie said he was OK this morning, and will make the trip to Lakeland for tomorrow's game against the Tigers ... The pitchers slated to follow Phelps today are Jim Miller, Mark Montgomery, Roberto Coello and Yoshinori Tateyama ... Today's game gets the full treatment on the YES Network and WFAN radio.