The rehab clock for Derek Jeter officially began Saturday night and according to the reports manager Joe Girardi received from the Yankee captain’s appearance in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, all went well.
“I watched his at-bats and they felt pretty good,” Girardi said.
Jeter made his second appearance and was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and one run scored while serving as the designated hitter.
In his first rehab game, Jeter went 0-for-2 with a walk. He played five innings at shortstop and handled one routine ground ball without difficulty.
In terms of the plan going forward, it will be based on Jeter’s physical state, which prevented him from extensively getting at-bats in spring training.
“I think what you have to do is see how he’s moving around, how he’s responded physically playing every day,” Girardi said. “You have to build him up. He has to be able to play more than five innings once every two days. So I think we’ll go through this, this week I’m sure, and we’ll make an evaluation.”
The start on Saturday marked his first game of any kind since Oct. 13 when he broke his right ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers.
Position players have 20 days to get through rehab assignments and that means if no injury occurs, Jeter could return by the final weekend of July.
Girardi talks All-Star team
In recent years, the All-Star Game rosters have been announced on the second-to-last Sunday before the break but this year they were revealed on Saturday night.
It was expected that Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera would land spots on the AL team for next week’s game at Citi Field and they did.
“I’m pleased,” Girardi said. “Obviously for Mo being his final season, this is not like a gift that he’s getting, he obviously deserves to go and it’s New York, so I think that’s special.”
Cano was named the AL All-Star starter at second base for the fourth straight time and made the team for the fifth time overall. Cano also tied Willie Randolph’s team record or most times as a starter at the position (1977, 1980, 1981, 1987).
Rivera was named via the player ballot, marking his 13th selection. Only Mickey Mantle (20), Yogi Berra (18), Joe DiMaggio (13) and Jeter (13) have made as many appearances.
The Yankees could have a third player if reliever David Robertson wins the Final Vote contest against a field off all relievers in Toronto’s Steve Delebar, Boston’s Koji Uehara, Texas setup man Tanner Scheppers and Detroit’s Joaquin Benoit.
“I feel excited and hopeful that I’ll be selected to go to my second All-Star Game,” Robertson said in a statement. “I know there are four other guys in the mix, but hopefully I can get enough votes. To be able to sit alongside Mariano in that bullpen in his final All-Star Game appearance would be an awfully special moment in my career. Yankees fans are the best, and I know that they will make every effort to send me to Queens.”
“I’m really hoping that David Robertson gets a chance,” Girardi said. “He’s been so good for us and he deserves a chance to go.”
Even Rivera got into the act, sporting the high sock look with the hopes of boosting Robertson’s candidacy.
“I was trying to help Robbie, he’s been doing a tremendous job,” Rivera said. “If I can do something for him to be there, I will do it. He definitely deserves that, he’s been doing so great.”
Yankees honor Newtown familes
Sunday was “Newtown Day” at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees welcomed approximately 4,000 people from the town still recovering from the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
The Newtown Youth Voices, a singing group formed after the shooting, sang the national anthem. The Sandy Hook Fire Department and Newtown Police Department provided a joint color guard and in a pregame ceremony the list of victims was recognized on the center-field video board.
“I think it’s nice. I think the families and the people in that town went through so much,” Girardi said. “I know as we get away from the time of the event that there’s still a lot of struggles that town is going through and we do whatever we can to give them hope and to be there for them. This is something that has scarred their lives forever and we can’t forget that and we can’t forget that we need to reach out and continue to reach out to the families.”
Sunday was the second time the Yankees honored the town. On Opening Day, they honored the first responders of Newtown.
“It’s pretty extraordinary,” Newtown first selectman Pat Llodra said of the response to the town. “I’m always proud to say I’m from Newtown.”
The Yankees have not been the only team to reach out. The Giants and Patriots also honored the town.
“I think they do help, having reasons to come together as a community in celebration for moments of enjoyment is very important for us,” Llodra said.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.