Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported a little less than two weeks ago that “Yankees people” were targeting May 1 as a potential return date for injured shortstop Derek Jeter. But that’s not happening anymore.
According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, Jeter is “not close to game action” and the Yankees are easing off any sort of projections for his return. “He’ll be back when he’s back,” manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Jeter is taking daily rounds of batting practice and fielding ground balls at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Florida, but his surgically-repaired left ankle is simply not where it needs to be.
The Yankees interviewed Aaron Boone for their managerial vacancy on Friday, and today it was Chris Woodward’s turn. That makes at least five interviews since the offseason began, and Woodward’s likely won’t be the last.
Like fellow candidate Eric Wedge, whom the Yankees interviewed just last week, Woodward has never played or coached for the club. He spent the majority of his 12-year career with the Blue Jays and picked up brief stints with the Mets, Braves, Mariners and Red Sox before returning to Toronto for his final season in 2011. Following retirement, he served as the Mariners’ minor league infield coordinator and infield and first base coach from 2012-2015. During the 2015 offseason, he jumped over to the National League to work with the Dodgers as a third base coach, and saw his first postseason run since the Mets lost to the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.
While Woodward has yet to manage at the major league level, he was named manager of the New Zealand national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. It’s certainly conceivable that the Yankees would prefer a candidate with significant experience leading a major league team, but right now the only person who fits that bill is Eric Wedge — and, well, it’s Eric Wedge.