Sore Hamstring Is 'No Big Deal,' Jeter Says

Associated Press
Monday, February 23, 2009

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter has a sore right hamstring and expects to resume running today. Jeter took part in all drills yesterday except a running program.

"It's no big deal," Jeter said. "It's really not an issue."

Jeter said his hamstring soreness will not affect his training for next month's World Baseball Classic. The shortstop is on the United States team.

"It's not a pull. It's not a strain," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a little sore. Obviously we're going to watch him and make sure he's ready."

Girardi plans to sit down with Jeter before he departs for the WBC next week.

"We will talk and make sure he's healthy," Girardi said. "It's awful early to be playing meaningful games. Is his hamstring bad? No. It does concern me because the last thing we want is some player getting hurt during the WBC, because that affects our whole season."

Girardi is supportive of the players planning to play in the WBC. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, second baseman Robinson Canó and minor league catcher Francisco Cervelli are among those expected to participate.

"I think it's an honor to play for your country," Girardi said. "I wish I would have had an opportunity to play."

· JAPAN: The roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic was set, with Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka among five major league players on the 28-man squad.

Suzuki and Matsuzaka were key members of the team that won the inaugural WBC in 2006. Other major league players selected to this year's team are catcher Kenji Johjima of the Mariners, infielder Akinori Iwamura of Tampa Bay and outfielder Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs.

· BRAVES: Free agent outfielder Garret Anderson has reached a preliminary agreement with Atlanta on a one-year deal. He is expected to undergo a physical today or tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized.

The Braves acted quickly after Ken Griffey Jr. spurned them to return to Seattle on Wednesday, securing one of the best outfielders left on the market. Anderson hit .293 with 15 homers and 84 RBI in 145 games with the Los Angeles Angels last year.

· RED SOX: Jed Lowrie wants the job Boston gave Julio Lugo $36 million to handle. Their shortstop competition is the only one for a starting position in the Red Sox' camp.

"We're not supposed to have seven openings going into this camp, or something didn't go right during the winter," Manager Terry Francona said.

If Lugo prevails, the Red Sox hope he can live up to their expectations when he signed a four-year deal before the 2007 season. If Lowrie wins, three-fourths of their infield will be stocked with homegrown players -- Lowrie, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia -- and Lugo may ask for a trade.

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