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Pettitte's spring debut, Jeter's return to field

TAMPA — Derek Jeter was back at shortstop and Andy Pettitte returned to the mound, making the Yankees feel a little better with opening day less than three weeks away.

Jeter played the field for the first time since ankle surgery in the fall and Pettitte made his spring debut in a 6-2 win over the Phillies on Wednesday night.

Pettitte, who had been pitching in simulated games, allowed one run and four hits over three-plus innings. The left-hander had three strikeouts and three walks.

"It's just good to get back out there and see somebody in different uniforms," Pettitte said. "I felt good. As far as stuff-wise, I didn't feel great. Felt like my command was nowhere near what I wanted. It gives you something to work on next time."

Jeter had one chance during his four innings of play. He fielded Ben Revere's two-hopper in the fourth and flipped the ball to second for a forceout.

"I think it's a big step toward him finishing his rehab, becoming a player for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "You can't really make that step until you go out there for the first time."

Phils: Halladay 'fine'

TAMPA — One of Rich Dubee's favorite sayings is, "He's fine."

The Phillies pitching coach will summon it in any situation, good or bad, when pressed about a particular arm. Dubee has repeated it over and over since RHP Roy Halladay's discouraging Tuesday start.

When Halladay displayed similar signs of distress last spring, Dubee said it then, too.

But Dubee knew it was not the truth. Halladay missed seven weeks during the season with back and shoulder issues.

"He had issues last year," Dubee said. "He can't make it public. Why should he? You guys (the media) don't need to know everything, first of all. This guy didn't want anybody to know he was banged up last year."

So, if Dubee lied last spring, why should anyone take his word now?

"You can believe what you want," he said. "I'm telling you what I knew last year and what I know this year. … Right now, at this point this year, he feels fantastic physically."

Jays: Ex-prospect cut

BRADENTON — The Blue Jays cut ties with 1B David Cooper, releasing the former first-round pick.

Cooper, 26, was expected to open the season at Triple-A Buffalo. A lingering back injury prevented him from appearing in a spring game.

Cooper hit .270 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 72 games from 2011-12.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: LHP Mark Buehrle allowed one run in 3⅔ innings in Toronto's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Pirates.

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Pettitte's spring debut, Jeter's return to field 03/13/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:29am]

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