MINNEAPOLIS — On a day Alex Rodriguez made headlines by getting cleared to play in rehab games, Derek Jeter took a significant step toward joining him.
Jeter ran the bases at the team’s minor-league complex in Tampa on Monday, thought to be the final hurdle before the shortstop gets clearance to start a rehab assignment.
“You would think (he’s closer),” Joe Girardi said of a rehab game for Jeter, though he didn’t get into a timetable.
Jeter, who had been running arcs, also took simulated at-bats Monday, something he’s been doing for the better part of a week.
Girardi has said once Jeter — and A-Rod, as well — start rehab games, they’re likely to need the full 20 days typical of a position player.
“I think you’d have to assume they would,” Girardi said over the weekend. “Just because they haven’t played at all. The first couple games, they’re going to play four or five innings, and you have to build them up. It takes time.”
The Yankees announced that Rodriguez would play three innings for Class A Charleston (S.C.) on Tuesday night.
YANKEE NOTES: Phil Hughes enters Tuesday night’s start 3-7 with a 4.82 ERA. Though he’s coming off a a 2-0 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, it was one of the inconsistent righthander’s better starts of the season as he allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings. “It’s important for us but it’s also important for him, too,” Girardi said. “That he can try and get on a roll here and he can finish up before the (All-Star) break on a positive note and carry it over into the second half.”… In the latest round of All-Star voting released by MLB, Robinson Cano maintained his lead over Dustin Pedroia for the AL’s starting second baseman. Cano, as of Monday, had 3,974,322 votes to 2,838,129 for Pedroia. Fans can continue to vote at mlb.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.