Derek Jeter takes grounders at Yankee Stadium

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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.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.