Derek Jeter will probably miss Major League Baseball’s Opening Day for the first time in 12 years as the New York Yankees’ shortstop and captain is set to start the regular season on the disabled list.
Jeter, 38, wasn’t able to play in a minor-league game yesterday because of soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, which he broke during an Oct. 13 playoff game.
“This continues to tell you that it’s just not ready yet for the full duties,” Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told reporters yesterday in Tampa, Florida. “It’s looking more likely than not that he will start the season on the DL, and a more realistic goal is April 6.”
The Yankees, who open the season in a week at home against the Boston Red Sox, already are without first baseman Mark Teixeira and outfielder Curtis Granderson at least through May, and third baseman Alex Rodriguez through midseason.
Eduardo Nunez would probably replace Jeter as the Yankees’ shortstop to start the regular season, Cashman said.
Jeter had a pain-killing injection in his ankle last week after being scratched from a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He returned to action two days ago in a minor-league game and didn’t run at full speed to first base on any of the four times he grounded out.
“He’s feeling more discomfort in a different spot,” Cashman said. “He realizes that things are happening, the Opening Day schedule is approaching and he’s not 100 percent just yet. I think the reality is setting in.”
Jeter has played on Opening Day in 16 of the past 17 years. The last time he missed the start of the regular season was in 2001, when he was recovering from a quadriceps injury and Luis Sojo filled in at shortstop.