Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is suddenly making quiet progress in his recovery from left ankle surgery.
According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the rehabbing veteran took groundballs to his left and right Saturday at Yankee Stadium and told reporters afterward that the drill went “as good as it can go.”
Jayson Nix watched his teammate work out and offered the following review: “It was the first time I’d seen him take ground balls since spring training. He looked like he did before he got hurt. Just the spring in his step. I don’t think that was there when I saw him the last time. … He looked good to me.”
The Yankees are not mapping out a timetable for Jeter’s return, but it seems very possible that he might be ready shortly after the mid-July All-Star break. He hasn’t played in a game since Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.