02/18/2013 4:22 PM ET
Cano ready to provide Dominican big boost
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Dominican Republic's chances in the World Baseball Classic will lean heavily on Robinson Cano's potent bat, and the Yankees second baseman said he can't wait to play in the tournament.
"It's always good when you can go represent your team, when you're one of the main guys that can play for the team," Cano said.
Cano said that the Dominican squad will miss the contributions from sluggers like Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista, but he is hoping to contribute a few big hits to the attack for manager Tony Pena.
"You don't have Pujols, you don't have Bautista," Cano said. "Those type of guys you don't have on your team, but it's more about your country. For me, I love the Dominican, grew up in the Dominican. Why not go now and have a chance to represent my country? I have a chance to represent my country and do my best."
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who is playing for Team USA, is the Bombers' only other Classic participant this spring.
Jeter gets back into the swing of things
TAMPA, Fla. -- The last time Derek Jeter was spraying batting practice liners around a field, it was before Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, a contest that the Yankees shortstop would not be able to leave under his own power.
Jeter was back in the swing on Monday as the Yankees held their first full-squad workout of the spring. The captain showed off his cuts and went through defensive drills at shortstop, showing no grimaces or limping on his surgically repaired left ankle.
"I felt fine. I felt good," Jeter said. "[It was the] first time I was doing everything on the field in terms of hitting on the field and ground balls on the dirt. Everything went good."
Jeter had been taking grounders on grass only and hitting in the batting cages recently at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa.
He did not run the bases on Monday and said that he has been told to take his progress slowly; Yankees head athletic trainer Steve Donohue has excused him from running drills and stretching on the field with the team for now.
"I thought he looked OK," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "From everything I've heard and everything I've seen, I thought he took his ground balls, he moved, he turned some double plays, and it's kind of what I expected to see right now.
"There's a plan that we'll increase a little bit each day and get stronger each day, and we'll get him in a game when we can."
Jeter said that he is "a couple of weeks behind" where he usually would be at this point of the spring, but is convinced his ankle will not be a problem. He did say that "everything else feels a little rough" as he knocks the winter rust off.
"Everything [is sore]. Where do you want to start?" Jeter said. "Neck. My shoulder. My back. My calf. My foot. I'm just talking about getting in shape in general. You talk to guys who worked out all offseason, the first week of Spring Training, they're sore -- so don't make a big deal out of this."
• Derek Jeter playfully tried to convince reporters that if all went well at camp on Tuesday, he would be cleared to play in the World Baseball Classic. That won't happen, but Jeter will be rooting for manager Joe Torre and Team USA when the Classic begins.
"I enjoyed my experience in the WBC. I had fun doing it," said Jeter, who mentioned coaches Willie Randolph and Larry Bowa, plus trainer Gene Monahan, among those on Team USA he'd like to see. "There's a lot of guys, so I would have loved to have done it, but unfortunately I can't."
• Yankees pitching prospect Mark Montgomery has been sidelined due to back spasms. Montgomery was scheduled to pitch a live batting practice session on Sunday, but had to be scratched, and manager Joe Girardi said he expects Montgomery to be back in action in a few days.
• Travis Hafner hit the Yankees' first batting practice home run of the spring, lining a solid shot into the right-field seats at George M. Steinbrenner Field and hearing cheers from the fans in attendance. Hafner was in the first group of Yankees hitters, along with Jeter, Cano and Eduardo Nunez.