TAMPA, Fla. — While a diminished Yankees roster continues to play exhibition games in the Grapefruit League, the Yankees organization has been busy founding a new spring training league just for its injured superstars. The Clementine League is a miniaturized version of the Grapefruit League, described by GM Brian Cashman as, “Absolutely perfect for aging, injury-prone fan favorites like myself and Derek Jeter.”
The Clementine League will provide easy and specialized training activities for Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez, in addition to the hobbled Jeter. Curtis Granderson is expected to take part as well, and Cashman, who recently broke his leg skydiving, will manage the team himself.
“The players in the new Clementine League will be training in essentially the same way as they would in the Grapefruit League,” said manager Joe Girardi. “Most of their time will be spent talking to media and signing autographs for fans.”
The players are also expected to stretch occasionally, and are scheduled to play pepper several times in the next month.
The Yankees have set up a small corner in the outfield of Steinbrenner Field for the Clementine Leaguers to stay during spring training. The makeshift facility features several buckets of cushioned baseballs, foam bats and a padded, handicap friendly bench.
“The goal here is for no one to hurt himself,” said Derek Jeter, wincing as he shifted his weight in preparation for the season. “Honestly, that’s really the only goal for our entire Yankees organization at this point.”
Cashman told media he is considering moving Joba Chamberlain to the Clementine League soon as well.