As the Yankees broke camp on Saturday to head to Houston, they were proud to report there were no major injuries during the course of Spring Training (well, except for Jacoby Ellsbury‘s sore calf, but he’ll be in the lineup on Tuesday). They couldn’t say the same thing this time last season.
Last season the Yankees were missing Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Phil Hughes and Curtis Granderson before Opening Day. They lost Francisco Cervelli a month into the season, lost Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis two months into the season and lost Brett Gardner for the last three weeks of the season. It was safe to say the Yankees weren’t the Yankees since they missed the playoffs for just the second time in the last 19 years.
Derek Jeter reported no problems with the ankle as he comes back for his 20th and final season as the Yankees shortstop, despite hitting .137 in 51 spring at-bats. Jeter played in only 17 games last season as his ankle injury continuously flared up.
“Everything I came to do I did,’’ Jeter said to the New York Post. “Now it’s time to get going. I feel good. Spring training is a progression, both physically and being game ready. I am where I want to be right now.’’
One thing is certain for the Yankees as they begin their season against the Houston Astros–when April 1st, 7:05 p.m. rolls around, all of the big names will be there and they’ll be ready to chase for their 28th championship.
“We have a lot of talent but you have to perform on the field, that’s the bottom line,’’ Jeter said. “ I like the guys we have and we are healthy for the most part. That’s the key for the most part but you have to do the job on the field. It’s a long season and it takes a while before you get a great feel for a team but I am pretty optimistic.’’