TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Derek Jeter says he has no plans to follow Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte into retirement — yet.
“If I didn’t think I was capable of playing at a high level then I would go home,” Jeter said Friday, reporting day for New York Yankees position players. “If I wasn’t enjoying myself, enjoying the competition, then it would be time to go home.”
“Right now I think I’m capable and enjoying myself,” he added. “I have a lot of confidence. If that starts to waver, then I wouldn’t do it.”
The Yankees’ shortstop is getting started on his 18th big league season and he could very well be the last member of the Yankees’ Core Four after this year.
This winter, Posada joined Pettitte in retirement, while Mariano Rivera strongly hinted this week that 2012 will be his final year.
Jeter said “it’s awkward” not having some of his long-time teammates around.
“All of us are like brothers because we’ve had so many experiences together,” Jeter said on Friday, which was . “It is kind of weird when you’re used to playing with someone. I’ve been playing with these guys since I’ve been 18-years old. But you have to move, you have no choice.”
Jeter will turn 38 on June 26.
“Seeing his friends go through it, maybe the conversions he had with an Andy or had with a Jorge, he understands: ‘You know what? At some point it’s going to come (to an end),'” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “If Derek’s in uniform I expect him to be productive, that’s kind of the bottom line. Now, do I expect him to play 160 games? Probably not.”
Jeter will get breaks from shortstop as the designated hitter.
“He’ll play a lot,” Girardi said.
Jeter started last season using a no-stride batting stance after hitting just .270 in 2010. He went back to his old technique while rehabbing a right calf injury last June at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.
The results were dramatic, with his batting average increasing from .260 to .297 after returning from the injury on July 4 and getting his 3,000th hit on July 9.
“A blessing in disguise,” Jeter said. “I am happy with how things finished up from a personal standpoint, but it starts all over again this year. So I just have to continue to do the things I was doing last year.”
The Yankees first full-squad workout is Saturday.
NOTES: Rivera said he could have his first mound session Sunday. … Reliever Joba Chamberlain threw 25 pitches in his latest session on a 5½ inch half-mound and is set to throw off a full mound Tuesday. … RHP Ivan Nova is scheduled to throw batting practice for the first time on Saturday. … 2B Robinson Cano, expected to hit third in the lineup this season, doesn’t plan to make any changes in his batting approach. “If you look at his last two years, I think you could put him in an elite category with the RBIs, the home runs, the average,” Girardi said. … 3B Alex Rodriguez arrived at camp and will meet with the media on Saturday.
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