TORONTO -- The big news out of Rogers Centre today is that Derek Jeter is in the lineup for his final game here against the Blue Jays and Jacoby Ellsbury once again is not.
Jeter will be honored by the Blue Jays in a pregame ceremony and will serve as the designated hitter today after playing shortstop in the first two games of the series. Stephen Drew will play short today. (1:10 p.m. update: Jeter received a vacation to a castle in Banff, Alberta and a $10,000 donation to his Turn 2 Foundation from the Blue Jays, with Mark Buerhle and Jose Bautista making the presentations.)
The game is sold out and fans mobbed the lower seats during batting practice to get some final glimpses of Jeter's stretching and hitting. Jeter signed a few autographs as there was quite a crush in the stands behind first base.
There was plenty of thought heading this series that the Yankees would sit Jeter for a game, likely Saturday's matinee after Friday's night game, because of the unforgiving turf here. As it turned out, Toronto and Buffalo fans will get to see Jeter every day.
"It's just the turf here, he's played 12 out of 13 games for us and we've been pushing him pretty hard," manager Joe Girardi said about putting Jeter in at DH. "I felt like I'd rather just do that."
Girardi would rather have Ellsbury -- who is 20 for his last 44 -- batting leadoff too but the center fielder's balky left ankle is still bothersome. Girardi did say, however, that the ankle is doing better and Ellsbury will get more treatment and evaluation Monday on the Yankees' off day.
"If he can play, we want him in the lineup," Girardi said. "We're trying to get him improved. It's your push-off foot. It's also your push-off foot for the bases, so there's some concern there."
Today in Newsday, David Lennon weighs in on how significant the loss of Ellsbury is for the Yankees' offense. Especially if it's going to go deep into September.
In case you missed it today, be sure to check out my Inside Baseball column on Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, who weighs in on the adjustments he made to have a big season with Buffalo and how he mended fences with Toronto manager John Gibbons.
So today's lineups look like this:
New York: Gardner-cf, Jeter-dh, Prado-2b, Teixeira-1b, Beltran-rf, Headley-3b, Cervelli-c, Drew-ss, Wheeler-lf/McCarthy-p
Toronto: Reyes-ss, Cabrera-lf, Bautista-rf, Lind-dh, Encarnacion-1b, Navarro-c, Rasmus-cf, Valencia-3b, Kawasaki-2b/Happ-p
Elsewhere, be sure to stay tuned here later today as Amy Moritz is heading to Syracuse to cover the Bisons' penultimate game of the regular season, a 6:30 contest against the Chiefs in NBT Bank Stadium.
The situation for the Herd after Saturday's 3-0 win in Rochester is simple: If they win their final two games and Pawtucket drops its last two against Rochester, Buffalo will take the IL wild-card. The Bisons' tragic number for elimination is one, either one Buffalo loss or one Pawtucket win.