TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez's rehabilitation from right hip surgery will keep him from returning to the Yankees' spring training complex until after the team heads to New York to play two exhibition games in their new stadium.
A-Rod has been rehabbing in Vail, Colo., where he had the surgery on March 9. Rodriguez is working out in a pool, doing range of motion drills and lifting weights.
"He'll be back after we're gone," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday. "All is going good."
Rodriguez, the regular No. 4 batter, is expected to be out until May.
Derek Jeter, who batted second last year, doesn't have any qualms about being the leadoff hitter. The main difference is, you are "guaranteed" no one will be on base for your first at-bat.
"You hit 60 seconds earlier than you normally do," Jeter said.
New York manager Joe Girardi is looking at flip-flopping Jeter, the usual No. 2 hitter, and leadoff man Johnny Damon this season. Jeter was at the top of the Yankees lineup for the second straight day, with Damon second, for Friday night's game against Cincinnati.
"It's exactly the same unless somebody's on base," Jeter said. "Some particular inning whoever is hitting ninth leads off and gets on base, then it's back to hitting second."
Girardi liked what he saw earlier in spring training when Damon batted second so catcher Jorge Posada, who is coming back from right shoulder surgery, could hit first and get extra at-bats.
"I'm telling you from experience about moving from first to second, or second to first, besides the fact that you're a little earlier or later in the first inning, in my opinion it's doesn't really make much of a difference," Jeter said.
The Yankees' lineup Friday could be close to the one used for the regular season opener April 6 at Baltimore. After Jeter and Damon it was, Mark Teixeira, Hideki Matsui, Posada, Robinson Cano, Xavier Nady, Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner.