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Jeter raps single in first at-bat

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TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter singled sharply to left field on his first pitch since breaking an ankle last fall in the AL championship series.

Jeter missed New York's first 13 spring training games and was the Yankees' designated hitter and leadoff batter Saturday against Atlanta. Jeter received a partial standing ovation from the crowd at Steinbrenner Field in the first inning, then singled between shortstop and third base against left-hander Mike Minor.

Jeter was forced at second base on Ichiro Suzuki's grounder, sliding into second base on a play that was not close.

The 38-year-old broke his left ankle lunging for a grounder against Detroit last Oct. 13 and had surgery a week later. He returned on the 147th day after the injury and wore protective gear on the foot.

Also, Phil Hughes threw 10 pitches in his first mound session since being diagnosed three weeks ago with a bulging disk in his upper back. The right-hander said he felt great and planned to have a 25-to-30 pitch bullpen session Monday

New York relievers David Robertson (shoulder) and David Aardsma (groin) also had bullpen sessions.

CC Sabathia, the expected opening-day starter, is to pitch in a simulated game today. He had off-season left elbow bone spur surgery.


Ryan, Rangers meet


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers ownership had a "good" meeting with CEO Nolan Ryan on Friday about his future with the club, according to a source.

Ryan, according to a club source, left the Rangers' spring training complex and flew back to meet with co-chairmen of the board Bob Simpson and Ray Davis. Ryan's future with the club appears to be in limbo since he has not commented on last week's promotions of Jon Daniels and Rick George to split the title of team president that Ryan held the last two years.

The issue appears to be a clear definition of Ryan's role. Ownership has maintained it wants Ryan involved in decision-making but would like Daniels, now general manager and president of baseball operations, to handle the day-to-day business of baseball. The same goes for business decisions.

Simpson, a resident of Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, that he viewed the meeting as "positive."

Simpson said the situation had not been resolved, "but hopefully we can get there."


Kemp tries to forget


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Kemp had the surgery, did the rehab and returned to the field. Now there's just one more thing for him to do.

Forget about it.

"I need to," the Dodgers' outfielder said when asked if he was still holding back at the plate and had yet to really cut loose.

"I need to swing like I swing. Adrian (Gonzalez) told me the other day, 'Dude, you've just got to go out there and let it go. You did all the rehab. Now it's time to just go out there and let it go.'"

Two years ago, Gonzalez had surgery similar to the procedure Kemp underwent last October to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff damage in his left shoulder. Gonzalez has talked to Kemp about what to expect along the way in his recovery.

But Gonzalez isn't the only one who noticed Kemp's reluctance to swing with the same authority and trust that his shoulder is fully recovered.

"I talked to Matt in the weight room about that today," Manager Don Mattingly said Friday morning. "I still think it's in the back of his mind a little bit. He has to let it loose. That's going to come with the more at-bats he gets and doesn't feel anything, the more he feels fine the next day. Then he can just go out and play.

"He talked about not feeling athletic right now. He's been in that rehab mode, in a sense, since he had the hammy (hamstring injury last May) the first time last year. He had to rehab from that.


-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 10, 2013 B12

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