Yanks captain injured during return to team on July 11; Lillibridge added to roster
BOSTON -- As they have nearly all season, the Yankees will continue to play without Derek Jeter on their active roster.
Jeter was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday, retroactive to July 12, with a Grade 1 strain of his right quadriceps. Jeter has missed all but one of the Yankees' 96 games -- and counting -- this year, and will be sidelined until at least July 27.
"I don't like watching games, period. It's been kind of odd," Jeter said. "We've played almost 100 games and I've played one. It doesn't sound right."
Jeter suffered the strain in a July 11 win against the Royals at Yankee Stadium, making his season debut on a day that saw the 39-year-old captain log both an RBI and an MRI.
"I think we've been tested. We've been tested and we have to pass the test," Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said. "We have our captain, and the first day he comes back, he goes down the same day. It's like a teaser. You give your kid a toy, and in the afternoon, you take it back."
Jeter felt the tightness in his quadriceps during his third at-bat, a groundout to second base, and had an exam on July 12 that revealed the strain. Jeter was hoping that some days off, plus the All-Star break, would permit him to resume playing on Friday.
A follow-up MRI performed on Thursday in New York, however, did not show enough progress for Yankees doctors to clear Jeter to play. Jeter has not run since and was limited to a stationary bicycle and playing catch on the field at Fenway Park on Friday.
"It's tough to tell time-wise, but I think we kind of felt like it would be a DL," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "Derek wanted to see if we could take advantage of those four days with the break and then re-evaluate. I think the MRI showed some minimal healing, but he's not ready to jump off that training table and come back in this series.
"He has reported to me that he doesn't feel it walking anymore. Obviously that's a plus. Normally, how you handle a progression on this stuff is you to go to a bike and then a light jog and then full run, and eventually baseball activities."
Jeter said that he expects to continue to travel with the team while he is on the disabled list. The earliest possible date Jeter could return is July 27 against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, but there is no guarantee that he will be ready.
"Your hope is that it's the 15 days, but I think it's hard to put a timetable on a strained quad," manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll continue to evaluate him every few days to see where's he's at. He did start riding the bike today, which is more than he's done the last few days, and we'll take it day by day."
Girardi said that he was told Jeter will need at least another week from Thursday. Jeter expressed confidence that he will be ready to play when eligible.
"Why not? I was hoping to play today," Jeter said. "If you ask me, I want to play."
To fill Jeter's spot on the 25-man roster, the Yankees signed infielder Brent Lillibridge to a Major League contract and selected him to the 40-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees unconditionally released outfielder Brennan Boesch.
The last nine months have comprised the most frustrating time period of Jeter's career. He fractured his left ankle in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, requiring surgery, and rehabbed the injury with hopes of playing on Opening Day.
That did not happen, as Jeter fractured his ankle again in a different spot while playing Grapefruit League games this spring. Jeter said that he might try to "run under control" more when he is activated, not showing maximum effort on ground balls to the infield, but said he otherwise will not change his approach on the field.
"It's not like I want to play any more now than I did before," Jeter said. "I want to play every single day that I'm here. I don't like sitting games out. I never like sitting games out. I look forward to getting out there."