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 Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.