Saturday, July 6, 2013
Reaction: Jeter 0-for-2, BB in 2013 debut
By Kieran Darcy
MOOSIC, Pa. -- Derek Jeter made his 2013 debut with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Saturday night at PNC Field, just outside Scranton, Pa.
What it means: This was Jeter's first real game in nine months since originally breaking his left ankle last October in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It's a big step, and he could be back with the New York Yankees in a matter of days.
Wearing his customary No. 2, Jeter led off and played shortstop and exited the game as planned after five innings.
At-bat No. 1: In his first AB against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Jeter walked on five pitches, but he did have one good hack -- a line drive down the third-base line that was just foul. The Lehigh Valley starter, lefty Raul Valdes (the former Yankee and Met) struck out the next three batters, however, so Jeter didn't get to test his ankle on the bases.
At-bat No. 2: Leading off the top of the third, Jeter swung at the second pitch he saw and struck a line drive right at the second baseman.
At bat No. 3: Jeter's turn came around again in the top of the fourth with one out. He again swung at the second pitch he saw and hit a bouncer to third base. He looked OK running to first, though.
In the field: Jeter didn't get a single chance in the field until the top of the fifth. With two outs, he got a routine grounder straight at him, handled it fine and tossed to second base for the inning-ending forceout.
Speaking of comebacks:Michael Pineda started for the RailRiders on Saturday. Acquired in Jan. 2012, he has yet to pitch in a regular-season game for the Yankees while coming off shoulder surgery.
In five innings, Pineda gave up two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. His fastball topped out at 94 miles per hour, but he was hitting that number consistently. Pineda threw 78 pitches and 56 for strikes.
This was Pineda's fifth minor league rehab start after two with Class A Tampa and two with Double-A Trenton. The Yankees have yet to announce their plan for Pineda going forward now that his 30-day rehab assignment is complete.
Foreign ground: This was Jeter's first-ever game with Scranton, which has been the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate since 2007. During his minor league rehab stints in 2003 and 2011, Jeter played for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
Sellout crowd: PNC Field just re-opened for the start of this season -- it was closed all of last season for a massive renovation. There are 7,115 seats, but the team sold 10,000 tickets for Saturday night's game, including standing-room-only tickets.
The RailRiders won the game, 4-2. They are now 43-46 on the season, in fifth place in the six-team International League North, 9 1/2 games behind the Pawtucket Red Sox. Pineda got the win; left fielder Thomas Neal went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Gridlock alert: The Scranton area hosted two major events Saturday night. Kid Rock played the nearby Toyota Pavilion, the latest date on his "Rebel Soul" tour, with opening acts Uncle Kracker and Kool & The Gang. An estimated 30,000 fans were expected to attend the concert, creating the potential for major traffic problems.
What's next: Jeter will be back in action Sunday as Scranton's designated hitter. The RailRiders will again play the IronPigs -- first pitch at 1:05 p.m.