TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees captain Derek Jeter had his final spring training game rained out.
New York’s scheduled game Saturday against the Miami Marlins was canceled just moments after Jeter was honored during a short ceremony at Steinbrenner Field. Jeter announced last month that he will retire after this season.
A video tribute was played on the scoreboard before Jeter was introduced to a standing ovation.
“I got a key to the city. I live here, so I can do whatever I want when I’m in Tampa,” Jeter said with a smile. “I thought it was very nice.”
Jeter was limited to 17 games last season after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs. Although he hit just .137 this spring, his bat looked better during the final week.
“I feel good, and that’s the most important thing,” Jeter said. “I feel I’m where I want to be right now.”
Masahiro Tanaka thinks not pitching in the Yankees’ season-opening three-game series that starts Tuesday in Houston is probably a good thing.
The Japanese star, scheduled to make his major league debut Friday in Toronto, signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading Rakuten to its first Japan Series title.
“I feel that would be a plus for me,” Tanaka said through a translator. “The big thing is I’ll be able to get the feel of what the games are like here through the dugout.”
In five exhibition games, Tanaka gave up five runs and struck out 26 over 21 innings.
Marlins: Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (groin tightness) had his scheduled return rained out. He is expected to be ready for opening day.
“That’s a pretty big piece for us, make sure he’s healthy,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Yankees: Infielder Brendan Ryan (back spasms) will start swinging a bat underwater Monday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that Yangervis Solarte beat out Eduardo Nunez for a backup infield job. Nunez, who played in 90 games for the Yankees last year, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees also optioned left-hander Cesar Cabral and right-hander Shane Greene to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Right-hander Matt Daley, catcher Jose Gil, infielder Zelous Wheeler, and outfielders Antoan Richardson and Adonis Garcia were sent to minor league camp.
Marlins: Jose Fernandez will pitch Monday night’s season opener against Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa.
“I’m excited,” Redmond said. “I think we’ve had a great spring, and I think we have more pieces. I think the atmosphere and the energy has been great. Definitely going to be a battle out there for us, but I love our pitching and I love the makeup of our ballclub. I think we’re going to be better offensively. So, in saying all that, we’ve got to go out there and do it.”
Yankees: CC Sabathia and Scott Feldman are Tuesday’s scheduled starters in Houston.
Girardi said Saturday’s lineup — Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson — will likely be the one used Tuesday.
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