Thursday, February 27, 2014

For the first time since September 7th of last season, Derek Jeter will return to the Yankees lineup, making his spring debut for the Yankees today in Tampa.

It's sure to be a crazy day at George M. Steinbrenner Field, as Jeter will be playing the first game, albeit not a real game, since announcing that he'll be retiring after this upcoming season.

"I'm looking forward to getting out there," Jeter said. "I think everyone, when Spring Training starts, looks forward to getting the games underway so they can get into a routine.

"The first few days of Spring Training, it's just going through a lot of drills, trying to get in baseball shape. Once the games start, you can get into a daily routine, so I'm looking forward to that."

After playing in just 17 games last season, Jeter worked extremely hard during the offseason, and has gone through fielding and running drills without any problems this spring, and is not worried about how his body will hold up during games.

"Not at all. I've done my work," he said. "I feel like I'm ready to go. Every year that you come, it's always a little bit different when you start playing. You're hitting, and you're running.

"You're doing things at game speed that you don't do in the offseason. You can't really replicate it in the offseason. You have to pretty much just go through the games and start playing. Nothing out of the ordinary."

Jeter will be starting at shortstop for the Yankees today, and is expected to play four or five innings before coming out of the game. He should get two at-bats, and possibly three is the Yankees' offseason is able to get through a couple of turns in the first few innings.

David Phelps will be on the mound for the Yankees to start the game. He's one of the four starters going after the fifth start job, and when factoring in his solid showing with the Bombers last season, Phelps has a good chance to win the job.

Girardi isn't exactly going with his Opening Day lineup today, as Ichiro Suzuki, Brian Roberts and Francisco Cervelli are the 3-4-5 hitters, and Russ Canzler is the starting first baseman.

Brendan Ryan will be coming into the game to replace Jeter when Girardi thinks it's time to take him out. John Ryan Murphy and the famous Zealous Wheeler will also be getting some playing time off of the bench today. The relievers today are people you have probably never heard of: Jim Miller, Chris Leroux and Mark Montgomery are among the notables.

To watch today's game, you can tune-in to YES, MLB Network, MLV.TV, or listen on WFAN. You can also follow on Twitter, of course.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank for game coverage.


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