PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he still checks to see how hard Derek Jeter is running to first base, searching for any hint of a wince. Thus far, there has been nothing but positive news to report.
"He's a lot further ahead than he was last spring, I can tell you that," Girardi said on Saturday. "Last spring, we were watching him force it, we were watching him limp, not being able to play back-to-back games. It's a much different spring. It's got a much different feel to it."
Jeter started at shortstop on Saturday evening as the Yankees entertained the Marlins at Rod Carew Stadium. As Jeter prepares for his farewell season, Girardi is excited by the prospect of having Jeter unhindered by his surgically repaired left ankle.
"I remember last year and how hard that was for him," Girardi said. "I have seen nothing to make me think it's going to be a problem at any point this year."
Girardi said that his plan is to have Jeter serve as the designated hitter on Sunday afternoon, a nod to playing a day game after a night game.
"It's a really quick turnaround," Girardi said. "8:00 and 1:00 is really quick. All of our guys are going to have to make that. We always think it's important that you do it in Spring Training because you're going to have to do it during the season. You kind of prepare guys."