Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Yankees GM unconcerned about Jeter's health

TAMPA — Yankees GM Brian Cashman has no concerns about the health of SS Derek Jeter, who was limited to 17 games last season due to leg injuries.

Jeter is scheduled to play today against the Pirates in his first spring training game of his final season.

Cashman said Wednesday that he is "more curious as to like how the weather report is for (today) than what (Jeter's) going to look like."

"What happened last year was unfortunate and unexpected," Cashman said. "I've been conditioned not to worry about Derek Jeter, and I haven't deviated from that."

Jeter, who turns 40 in June, broke his left ankle in the 2012 AL Championship Series, then broke it again last spring during his rehabilitation.

"I'm looking forward to being out there," Jeter said. "I feel good now, so last year doesn't matter. Since I've been here this year, everything has been like a normal spring. You can't really compare last year and this year. Two entirely different years."

RIVERA SURPRISED: Mariano Rivera was caught off guard by Jeter's retirement announcement. "I didn't see this coming at all. I didn't see it," the retired Yankees closer said. "For sure I was one of the guys that said they would have to pull his uniform off his body to take him out. But I was wrong, and this was a surprise to me."

SPRING OPENER: CF Jacoby Ellsbury reached base in all three plate appearances of his Yankees spring debut, scoring twice in 6-5 loss to the Pirates in Bradenton.

Phillies: Under fire

CLEARWATER — The Major League Baseball Players Association is looking into the recent controversy between the Phillies and 2013 draft pick Ben Wetzler, csnphilly.com reported.

"We are paying attention," Tony Clark, the executive director of the union, told reporters after his visit with Phillies players.

"I don't have very much information at this point. We are inquiring to get more."

Wetzler, a left-handed pitcher, failed to sign with Philadelphia after being drafted in the fifth round in June and returned to Oregon State for his senior season. Someone in the Phillies organization reported Wetzler to the NCAA for using an agent during negotiations, according to various reports. Drafted players are prohibited from having official representation.

Wetzler was suspended for 20 percent of his season and can't pitch until March 2. The Phillies have taken heat for reporting Wetzler for breaking a rule that is seldom enforced.

HAMELS THROWS: Phillies LHP Cole Hamels threw off the mound for the first time this spring, a key step in his eventual return to the rotation. Hamels, 30, has been slowed by biceps soreness and isn't expected to be ready for the season. Manager Ryne Sandberg said he was encouraged by Hamels' 35-pitch side session.

Jays: Fast start

CLEARWATER — Jose Bautista, trying to put an injury-shortened season behind him, hit a long home run off former Rays RHP Roberto Hernandez three batters into the game as the Blue Jays beat the Phillies 4-3 in a spring training opener.

Bautista's homer landed outside of the ballpark at Bright House Field. The game was called in the middle of the seventh inning because of rain.

"It felt pretty good, I can't deny that," Bautista said. "More importantly I felt like I was seeing the ball great. I haven't been playing for a while so that's a positive."

Bautista missed the last six weeks of the 2013 season with a hip injury, the second straight season that he ended on the disabled list.

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