Jeter resumes on-field activity in Tampa
Nursing right calf strain, Yankees' shortstop throws long toss
CINCINNATI -- Derek Jeter is taking his first steps back toward the Yankees lineup, and manager Joe Girardi says that the captain's leadoff spot will be waiting for him upon his return.
Jeter has resumed on-field work at the team's training complex in Tampa, Fla., moving closer to coming back from a Grade 1 strain of his right calf.
The 36-year-old threw for the first time on Tuesday, and his workout included long toss, indoor workouts and treatment, according to The Associated Press.
"He's going in the right direction," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday, after the game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park was postponed due to rain.
Jeter's first stint on the disabled list since 2003 has pushed back his quest for career hit No. 3,000. He is six hits shy of becoming the 28th player -- and first in a Yankees uniform -- to reach the milestone.
"I guess the timing wasn't very good," Jeter said on June 14, one day after suffering the injury. "It's a little bit frustrating, but even if I wasn't at this point, I'd still be frustrated.
"I don't like not to play, whether it's going for 3,000 hits or 100 hits. It really doesn't make a difference to me. I'd rather be out there playing."
In Jeter's absence, the Yankees have used Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher in the leadoff spot, and both players have been productive. Girardi was clear that wouldn't be enough to wrestle the job from Jeter, however.
"Derek's been our leadoff guy," Girardi said. "We'll see how he feels, but yeah, [he will lead off]."
Girardi said that it is likely Jeter would require at least one Minor League rehab game before returning.
"You may want him to go through a game just to see how it feels and how he bounces back the next day," Girardi said. "The one thing that you'd hate is if he was to come back, play a day, and have to take another couple days off."
Jeter is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 29, when the Yankees are scheduled to play the middle game of a three-game Interleague series with the Brewers. From there, the Bronx Bombers will visit the Mets (July 1-3) and the Indians (July 4-6).
The AP also reported that right-handed starter Bartolo Colon, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, started a throwing program that included long toss on Tuesday.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.