By the end of last year’s postseason, the Yankees’ two biggest stars were battered and bruised. Now, the rehabilitation of both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez is going as planned, though you can expect to see the former on the diamond much sooner than the latter.
The Associated Press reports that Jeter, who broke his ankle in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against Detroit, has been cleared for baseball activity and should be at full strength by opening day.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn labrum and damaged cartilage in his left hip — injuries that noticeably hampered the third baseman throughout the playoffs.
The procedure “went as planned and without complication,” according to ESPN.com, but A-Rod is still looking at at least six months of rehab and physical therapy. Team doctors are optimistic that he will return after July’s All-Star break.
Injuries to two of their strongest bats has been cited as a primary contributor to the Bronx Bombers’ implosion in last season’s ALCS — a series in which a roster that ranked in the top two in the league in runs (804), on-base percentage (.337) and slugging percentage (.453) batted a combined .157 and plated just six runs while being swept in four games.
Jeter actually performed well during New York’s Divisional Series win over Baltimore, hitting a team-high .364 with four runs scored, but Rodriguez struggled throughout. He went just 3-for-25 in the postseason with zero RBIs and was pulled for pitch hitter Raul Ibanez in Game 3 of the the ALDS and left out of the starting lineup in Games 3 and 4 of the Championship Series.