4/16/2014 12:08 A.M. ET
Yanks honor Mandela prior to tonight's nightcap
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Yankees will unveil a plaque to honor Nelson Mandela on Wednesday, an event that was to coincide with the annual celebration of Jackie Robinson Day by Major League Baseball but was postponed a day due to rain.
Mandela's grandson, Zondwa Mandela, will be present at the Stadium, and the Yankees said that South African Consul General George Monyemangene and Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang will also attend. The formal unveiling of the plaque will take place in Monument Park prior to the Yankees' 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Cubs. A news conference is scheduled for 4:30.
Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, and their daughter Sharon are also expected to be at Yankee Stadium, joined by Commissioner Bud Selig.
The Yankees will be represented by managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, general partner Hank Steinbrenner, general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal and president Randy Levine.
Singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins and Rev. Al Sharpton have also committed to attend.
The Yankees announced their plans for the Mandela plaque last December. The plaque will celebrate the life of the former South African leader and commemorate his June 21, 1990, visit to Yankee Stadium.
On that day, Yankee Stadium was opened to fans, who enjoyed musical performances from Richie Havens, Tracy Chapman, Mighty Sparrow and Judy Collins.
Following a day of meeting and addressing New Yorkers in various locations around the city, Mandela arrived at Yankee Stadium and spoke to the assembled crowd, then donned a Yankees cap and jacket before declaring, "You know who I am. I am a Yankee."
At the time of his appearance, Mandela was just four months removed from having spent 27 years in prison. Mandela died Dec. 5 at the age of 95.
While Monument Park is well known for honoring former Yankees, several non-baseball tributes are also included. There are plaques to honor Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, all of whom visited the Stadium, as well as a monument to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Quad tightness keeps Jeter out of lineup
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are managing another injury situation with team captain Derek Jeter, who was held out of Sunday night's lineup against the Red Sox with a tight right quadriceps.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Jeter felt his quad tighten during Friday's 4-2 loss to Boston. Jeter had a scheduled day off on Saturday against the Red Sox, and Girardi decided to give Jeter another day on Sunday to take advantage of Monday's off-day.
Girardi said that no tests are scheduled, and that Jeter would be available to come off the bench in an emergency. Jeter is still scheduled to play on Tuesday against the Cubs, Girardi said.
"He's not real happy, but I told him missing one game is better than possibly missing four to six weeks if something was to happen," Girardi said. "I feel really good about putting him out there on Tuesday as of right now."
Girardi noted that Jeter dealt with some tightness this spring and was able to get through it without missing time.
"I didn't see him move around a lot different on Friday, but it's a concern of mine when someone tells me something is tight," Girardi said. "I think it's more apt to do something serious if you don't work that stiffness out."
Jeter was limited to just 17 games last season by a variety of injuries, including a strained right quadriceps that sent him to the disabled list in July. Girardi said that he needs to be proactive in guarding Jeter against more significant injuries.
"I think you have to," Girardi said. "He's 39 years old, and I think you have to be smart about it and understand there are times you're going to have to give him a day off. I ran him out there seven days in a row, and it's something that I'll think about the next time.
"I was going to watch him, basically. It wasn't going to be an exact science. A lot of it depended on how he was doing, and he looked great; he looked fine. He was swinging the bat, so I left him in there."
Jeter is batting .286 (10-for-35) with two doubles and an RBI in 10 games this season.
Beltran looking to find stroke vs. lefties
NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran had eight hits in his previous 21 at-bats entering play on Sunday, but that is just one half of the story for the switch-hitting outfielder.
Beltran said that he feels like he is clicking from the left side of the plate, showing off his form by slugging a two-run homer in the Yanks' 7-4 win on Saturday, but he still needs to fine-tune his approach from the right side.
"I feel good at the plate. From the left side, I feel like my swing is there," Beltran said. "From the right side, it's a little bit in-between. That's what happens when you're a switch-hitter. It hard to keep both sides sharp."
Coming into Sunday's game, Beltran was just 1-for-11 with a double against left-handed pitchers this season, compared to 10-for-30 (.333) with two homers and four RBIs against right-handers.
"I feel better every day. But we don't face many lefties," said Beltran, who faced Boston left-hander Felix Doubront on Sunday. "Hopefully I can find something to get me going."
Beltran's career average against lefties is .288, higher than his .281 lifetime mark against righties. Last season with the Cardinals, Beltran hit just .252 (41-for-163) with seven homers and 28 RBIs against left-handers, compared to .315 (123-for-391) against right-handers.
Teixeira takes BP, return in one week possible
NEW YORK -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who hopes to be activated from the disabled list when he is eligible in one week, took batting practice on the field Sunday prior to the team's game against the Red Sox.
Teixeira has been on the DL since straining his right hamstring in an April 4 game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. The earliest possible date that he could play is April 20, against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
"He is hitting on the field today, which is, to me, a really good sign," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He did some light jogging on the field yesterday, which is good. I don't imagine it will be a whole lot longer, as long as he continues to progress running."
Yankees closer David Robertson, who is on the disabled list with a left groin strain sustained on April 7, could be activated on April 22 against the Red Sox in Boston.
"He's doing great, too," Girardi said.
• The Yankees have been carrying a 13-man pitching staff since April 9, and Girardi said that there have not been discussions about reducing that number yet.
"That's a great question," Girardi said. "We have not talked about making any changes, but that doesn't mean that we won't."
The Yankees could stay at 13 pitchers until Teixeira is eligible to be activated in a week. Right-hander Shane Greene was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 9, but has not yet appeared in a game.
• On this date in 1978, the Yankees defeated the White Sox, 4-2, on "Reggie!" Candy Bar Day. Jackson hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and the field was showered with the chocolate and peanut treats, which were given out free to fans entering the game.