03/07/2013 6:30 PM ET
Nova 'really happy' with outing, progress
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Ivan Nova continues to progress in his quest to solidify his spot in the Yankees' 2013 rotation, as well as to put a disappointing 2012 behind him.
Nova pitched three innings in a 7-6 loss to the Cardinals, allowing a run on three hits -- all of them ground-ball singles. He struck out two and walked one. Nova threw 45 pitches, 27 strikes.
For a pitcher who, at his best, relies on throwing strikes and getting ground balls, it was an encouraging outing.
"I feel so happy," Nova said. "I'm getting back in shape, and I feel so good. I threw three innings. I feel really good, like I did last time. I was throwing strikes today."
Nova got off to a solid start in 2012 but faded badly in the second half. He posted a 7.05 ERA after the All-Star break and did not make an appearance for the Yankees in the postseason.
Johnson, Rivera to get bulk of time at first
JUPITER, Fla. -- As the reality of doing without Mark Teixeira settles in, it appears the Yankees have at least a tentative plan in place for handling his absence.
Teixeira is expected to be out until approximately mid-May after suffering a right wrist strain on Tuesday. He joins Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez on the list of Yankees regulars who will miss the start of the season.
Manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that the bulk of the first base work in Spring Training will go to Juan Rivera and Dan Johnson, each of whom has played first base in the Major Leagues. Rivera, a right-handed hitter, has 83 starts there. Johnson, a lefty, has 306. Girardi indicated that it was unlikely the Yankees would make any significant move to add a first baseman from outside the organization.
"These two guys have played in the big leagues," Girardi said. "It's something you look at. I know [GM Brian Cashman] talked about, you can't go out and do too much, and then what do you do after a month when [Teixeira] comes back? I think whatever you do, you have to be careful. For me, my job is to look from within, because that's what I know we have. So that's what I'll do."
Kevin Youkilis could be an option at first, though that would open a hole at third base. Still, Youkilis will likely see a little bit of time on the right side of the infield in the spring and in the regular season.
"If we feel it's easier to put a guy at third and move Youkilis to first, we'll do that," Girardi said. "If it's easier to put a guy at first and leave Youk at third, we'll do that. Could it be a combination of the two? Yeah, it could be a combination of the two. He could play both."
Jeter cleared to resume full baseball activities
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Yankees announced Thursday that Derek Jeter has received final medical clearance to begin full baseball activities. He is expected to be at the team's Spring Training facility in Tampa on Friday.
Jeter had what the club called "a routine and scheduled visit" with Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday. Anderson performed the surgery on Jeter's broken ankle in October after he suffered the injury in the Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Manager Joe Girardi did not indicate when Jeter might first appear in a Grapefruit League game for New York.
"I'll talk to him when we get back from this trip and see where he's at," Girardi said. "I'm not just going to throw him at shortstop and leave him out there for a long time. We'll probably DH him first. Start with two at-bats and go from there."
Jeter has not played in a game since suffering the injury at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 13.
Rapada ailing; Logan, Robertson on mend
JUPITER, Fla. -- As though the injuries in their lineup aren't enough, the Yankees are also dealing with some issues in their bullpen.
Manager Joe Girardi announced on Thursday afternoon that left-hander Clay Rapada has been shut down due to bursitis in his throwing shoulder. Rapada joins Boone Logan and David Robertson on the list of Yankee relievers dealing with injuries.
However, Logan and Robertson appear to be progressing. Logan, who is dealing with a sore left elbow, is "feeling better" according to Girardi. Robertson has some shoulder discomfort but it is not believed to be serious.
The Associated Press reported that Logan and Robertson both played catch at the team's complex in Tampa, as did starter Phil Hughes, who is recovering from a back injury.
Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.