Derek Jeter likely won’t be ready to return from the disabled list when he’s eligible Wednesday, but he took an encouraging step in his rehab from a calf injury earlier today.
According to the Associated Press, Jeter took 27 swings off the tee and 30 swings of soft toss today at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Florida. It was his first time swinging a bat since being placed on the disabled list with a right calf strain on June 14. While Jeter also played catch for a fifth straight day, he has yet to test his calf by running.
“We just have to make sure his legs are under him and he can make those sharp cuts he needs to make and he can get out of the box fine,” Girardi said before Saturday’s game against the the Colorado Rockies. “We have to make sure he’s ready, that we don’t push this.”
Wednesday can safely be ruled out at this point, but we’ll have a more clear indication about a timetable once he begins running without discomfort. It’s expected that he will need to go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment before being activated.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.