Alex Rodriguez may end up missing the entire first half following hip surgery, but Derek Jeter thinks he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup despite breaking his ankle in the ALCS.
Just two weeks ago Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Jeter’s status for Opening Day “a little bit of a question mark” but today during a radio interview with Michael Kay the 38-year-old shortstop said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready for Game 1:
I’ll be in the walking boot for another few weeks and then I’ll be good to go. It’s been a long process. What’s it been, six or seven weeks, where I haven’t been able to move too much? But it’s healing probably just as expected. We still got a long way to go before the season starts but I’ll be ready.
Kay also asked Jeter about the New York Post photo suggesting he’d put on some weight during the rehab process and he brushed it off: “I thought it was pretty funny. I guess there’s a lot of things you can do with a picture.”
Sure enough Jeter took a picture yesterday with Harold Reynolds that shows he’s anything but chubby.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.