04/05/2013 5:28 PM ET
Yankees trying to prevent Jeter setback
By Chris Vannini / Special to MLB.com
DETROIT -- Derek Jeter is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but the focus right now is simply getting the captain back on the field in Tampa.
Jeter was sidelined on March 19 due to soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, and he hasn't seen game action since. The Yankees are making sure that the next time Jeter returns, he won't suffer another setback. He's been playing long toss and doing therapy in Tampa recently.
"I know he was so geared on being here Opening Day," manager Joe Girardi said. "He had to work really hard to get to that point, and it just wasn't quite ready. I'm not necessarily surprised. Our hope was he'd be here Opening Day; it just didn't work out.
"I think they're spending time strengthening it more, so hopefully the next time he does go out on the field, he doesn't go through the same thing."
There have been rumors of a return date for Jeter, but the Yankees haven't said anything. First baseman Mark Teixeira is hoping to come back on May 1, but Girardi has no idea about Jeter. When he does come back, Girardi warns that Jeter will need some time to get back into the groove, given the amount of time he missed in Spring Training.
"I have not thrown out a date," Girardi said. "My date is Derek will be ready when he's ready. Position players always tell you they don't need six weeks. Pitchers do. How many weeks he needs, I think it depends how he bounces back each day when he goes out and plays."
Nunez hit by pitch, has bruised biceps
DETROIT -- The last thing the Yankees can deal with is another injury.
The good news is that shortstop Eduardo Nunez is listed as day to day after taking a pitch off the right biceps in Friday's 8-3 loss to the Tigers.
In the fourth inning, Nunez was hit in the right arm with a pitch. He immediately fell to the ground and was visibly in a lot of pain. Nunez said after the game he thought his arm was broken.
But the X-rays came back negative, and Nunez was diagnosed with a bruised biceps.
"I felt he would be OK, but I saw he was in a lot of pain," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's going to be day to day, but my thought is he won't play tomorrow. We'll see how he feels. He got hit hard on the biceps. They did X-rays. Those were negative, which is good news. We'll just have to see how he is."
The Yankees have been shorthanded for quite a while, with several sluggers out. One of those is Derek Jeter, leaving few options for the Yankees at shortstop. Jayson Nix filled in for Nunez on Friday.
Girardi said he doesn't expect to call anyone up, and catcher Francisco Cervelli is available to play infield in an emergency situation. Cervelli has played two games at third base and one at second base in his Major League career. Those three games came in 2011, but he didn't start any them.
The Yankees have been quite snakebitten in 2013, but it appears they dodged a bullet Friday.
"You can't lose everybody," Girardi said. "That's the thing. I don't think we've lost Nunez for a while. He's got a bruise. We'll get him back, I think, fairly quickly. We're fortunate it wasn't more than that. You can't have too many guys go down, that's for sure."
Teixeira maintains eight-week timetable
DETROIT -- As Mark Teixeira walked into the visiting clubhouse at Comerica Park on Friday morning, he went past a television showing MLB Network. The headline on the screen said Teixeira could be back sooner than expected.
The first baseman saw it, flashed a big smile and laughed before updating the status of the partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. The injury occurred while preparing for the World Baseball Classic in early March.
"Eight weeks is still my timetable," Teixeira said. "Eight to 10. They're not going to let me come back in six or seven. May 1 is right around eight weeks. I think it's eight weeks and a day, so that's a nice round number for me. … I'm not sure where that came from.
"I'm no calendar expert, but when you look at a calendar and it says eight weeks and May 1, it is what it is. Nothing has changed, though, no."
Teixeira has been fielding grounders, working on strengthening and says he feels good. He'll visit again with a doctor when the team returns from the road trip late next week. If all looks well, he'll start swinging again.
As for why he's with the team rather than being in Tampa, Teixeira has seen plenty of Florida in the past month.
"I want to be with the team," he said. "I want to be as supportive as I can and be with our training staff, too. Being in Tampa is great, but we were just there for six weeks, and I kind of want to be with the team as long as I can. I'll go to Tampa once I'm ready to play games."
Boesch gets first start in return to Detroit
DETROIT -- The Tigers will raise the American League championship flag and hand out rings in the home-opening series this weekend, but there's one member of the Yankees who was a part of that.
Outfielder Brennan Boesch was released by the Tigers on March 13 and picked up by the Yankees shortly thereafter. Boesch hit .259 with 42 home runs and 175 RBIs in 380 games over three seasons with Detroit. He had just one at-bat for the Yankees in the opening series against the Red Sox, but Boesch was batting fifth in his first start Friday.
"It's not weird at all. Definitely not," Boesch said of returning to Comerica Park. "It'll be a fun experience. Opening Day here's a blast. Being on the other side will be a little different, but it's great to be a part of Opening Day here, because Detroit loves their opening days and the energy's going to be great."
Boesch is staying at the team hotel, as he doesn't own property in the area. Asked before the game about the reaction he expected from the fans, Boesch didn't expect anything special.
Manager Joe Girardi put Boesch in the lineup because he's 7-for-12 with a home run in his career against Tigers starter Doug Fister. As for the homecoming, Girardi said the decision didn't have anything to do with that.
"I don't want him to get too up for that. That's a concern," Girardi said. "But he's had some success off of Fister, and that played into it. I also want to get all our guys going."
Boesch was appreciative of the Tigers for letting him go early in camp, as he had enough time to land with another organization.
"I think it was probably an indication of the kind of organization and the people that run it and what kind of people they are," he said. "That's kind of behind me. I'm just looking forward to being a Yankee. It's been great since I've been over here. Went from one classy organization to another. It's pretty cool."
• Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is throwing a bullpen session Friday. He has been dealing with discomfort in his bruised right middle finger since being struck by a line drive Wednesday against the Red Sox, but Girardi expects Kuroda to be ready for his next start.
• Girardi says second baseman Robinson Cano will likely stay in the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the time being while a number of notable sluggers are on the mend, including Teixeira, Jeter and Curtis Granderson. The goal is to get Cano as many at-bats as possible.
Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.