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Around the Yankee Galaxy: When to expect Andy and Alex?

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The earliest we'll see Andy Pettitte back in pinstripes is September 12th against the Rangers -

"I was a little tentative at first with a couple of curveballs," Pettitte said. "But when I got out over my front leg and pushed off, I felt good. It was a good day, there was a lot more intensity than I threw with than Friday."

Next up is another bullpen session [today] or [tomorrow]. At some point, Pettitte will face hitters in simulated action. After that a rehab assignment awaits, depending on what the minor league playoff situation looks like.

I'd prefer he take his time and make sure to be 100% for the playoffs.

Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Rodriguez remains on schedule to return to the lineup Sunday, which is the first day he is eligible to come off the DL. He will not likely need to play in any rehab games, Girardi added.

Again, they need to ensure he really is ready to return. Hitting the DL again just as the season is ending would be the worst possible outcome.

With age and injury slowly limiting the left side of the infield, the Yankees' power is shifting to the right.

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez still have the Hollywood names, but who is more important on the field for this stretch run and for the postseason: Jeter and A-Rod or Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira?

On Monday, Cano and Teixeira led the way as the Yankees shook down Oakland's Trevor Cahill... Teixeira and Cano nailed back-to-back homers in the third in the 11-5 Yankees win. Cano's long ball was his career-high 26th.

It's been fun watching Robbie evolve into the hitter he is.

To end the top of the fifth inning - with two men on base and the Yankees leading by two runs - Jeter darted to his right for a ground ball by Kevin Kouzmanoff.

He gloved it on the backhand, leapt into the air with his right leg extended and threw to first base the way a quarterback might throw a football on a jump pass.

The ball bounced once and perfectly into the glove of Mark Teixeira for the third out. Jeter ran to the dugout to the cheers of the crowd of 46,356.

Few shortstops at any age can make that play the way Jeter still can at 36.

But Jeter's hitting is a different matter, at least at the moment. Despite 13 Yankees hits Monday - including home runs by Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames - Jeter was 0 for 4 and left the game after seven innings.

He is batting .268, which is 49 points below his career average of .317 before the start of the season.

His on-base percentage, .333, is 55 points below his career mark; his slugging percentage, .378, is 81 points below his career mark.

Should he remain the leadoff or #2 hitter, or should he be dropped down to the bottom third?