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Jeter could return just before Rays visit Yanks

NEW YORK — Derek Jeter could be ready to resume his chase for 3,000 hits by early next week.

The injured Yankees shortstop went through his latest round of rehab work Wednesday at the team's complex in Tampa. GM Brian Cashman said if all goes well over the next couple of days, Jeter might begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Trenton.

He is likely to play at least two rehab games, and Cashman acknowledged Jeter could rejoin the team for a three-game series in Cleveland starting Monday.

Sidelined by a strained right calf, Jeter is six hits shy of 3,000. A return next week could put him on track to reach the milestone at Yankee Stadium during a four-game series against the Rays from July 7-10.

Then comes the All-Star break. New York opens the second half with an eight-game road trip.

Jeter was eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday but wasn't ready. His bid to become the 28th player and first with the Yankees to get 3,000 hits has been on hold since he got hurt June 13 against the Indians.

In other Yankees news, RHP Phil Hughes struck out eight and walked two in 61/3 innings for Double-A Trenton in the third of four scheduled rehab appearances. Hughes' fastball ranged from 87 to 94 mph.

Also, the Yankees reacquired RHP Sergio Mitre from the Brewers for cash. Milwaukee acquired Mitre late in spring training from New York for reserve OF Chris Dickerson. The Yankees designated RHP Buddy Carlyle for assignment.

CARDS JETTISON EX-CLOSER: The Cardinals finally ran out of patience with struggling reliever Ryan Franklin, cutting the former All-Star closer after he failed to regain his touch.

Franklin, 38, had an 8.46 ERA and blew four of five save opportunities in 16 games. On Tuesday night against the Orioles, the right-hander gave up two runs and three hits, including a homer, while getting one out.

MARLINS ACE OKAY: An MRI exam showed RHP Josh Johnson has no structural damage in his ailing right shoulder. Johnson, out since May 16, was examined by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. He received a cortisone shot and won't throw for 10 days.

ALL-STAR UMPS: Dale Scott was named home-plate umpire and crew chief for next month's All-Star Game. The rest of the crew will be Jerry Layne at first base, Hunter Wendelstedt at second, Dan Iassogna at third, Ed Hickox in leftfield and Chris Guccione in right.

CLEMENS SAGA: Prosecutors argued in a court filing that ex-pitcher Andy Pettitte's wife and former major-leaguers should be allowed to testify in Roger Clemens' upcoming trial. Clemens' lawyers asked the judge in a filing last week to bar Laura Pettitte, as well as several others who are expected to testify about purported second-hand accounts of Clemens' use of performance-enhancing drugs, on the basis that their testimony is "hearsay."

CUBS: LHP Doug Davis was released, and rookie 2B Darwin Barney was activated from the disabled list. Davis, 35, went 1-7 with a 6.50 ERA in nine starts.

D'BACKS: INF Melvin Mora is scheduled to be given his unconditional release today.

MARINERS: LHP Erik Bedard went on the 15-day DL with a sprained left knee but might miss only one start. C Chris Gimenez also went on the DL with a strained left oblique. Catchers Jose Yepez and Josh Bard were called up from Triple-A Tacoma.

METS: Manager Terry Collins is optimistic that LHP Jonathon Niese will be able to start Friday after experiencing a rapid heartbeat while pitching last weekend. A battery of tests indicated no problems.

NATIONALS: LH reliever J.C. Romero signed a minor-league contract.

ORIOLES: RHP Alfredo Simon was reinstated from the 15-day DL, and LHP Clay Rapada was designated for assignment.

Jeter could return just before Rays visit Yanks 06/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2011 1:08am]

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