ARod hitless, but looking fit
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | July 04,2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez grounded out twice and turned a double play Wednesday night in the second game of his minor league rehab stint with Class-A Charleston.
Rodriguez is recovering from left hip surgery in January. He spent time in the dugout signing items for his teammates after he came out, and then jogged out to the right-field stands to sign for fans.
The three-time AL MVP played three innings. He bounced out to first in the first inning and grounded to second in the third.
Rodriguez took a big turn past first base after his final out and jogged back into the Riley Park dugout.
Rodriguez did snag the only ball he got at third and started a double play in the top half of the third.
Injured New York shortstop Eduardo Nunez also played his second straight game with Charleston. He is recovering from a strained oblique.
Rodriguez said Tuesday he likely would need each of the 20 allowed rehab games to get back in shape. It sure looked that way in his two nights in Charleston.
In his first game since a miserable October, he hit into a double play and struck out in two at-bats. Then he struggled against 19-year-old right-hander Mauricio Cabrera of Rome, an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
Rodriguez swung at Cabrera’s first pitch and chopped it weakly to first baseman Casey Kalenkosky, who made the relay to the pitcher in time for the out. He hit a weak grounder to second baseman Ross Heffley on a 1-2 pitch in the third.
Intermittent rain kept the tarp on the field for much of the day and prevented both clubs from taking batting practice or getting infield work.
RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique said Rodriguez met with the Charleston players earlier Wednesday to discuss baseball life and answer any questions from the young players.
“It’s great for the kids, they really had a blast,” Pedrique said. “It’s too bad he came out so early in the third inning.”
That was by design. Rodriguez said after Tuesday’s game he wanted to see how his body handled his first game action in nine months.
Pat Roessler, the director of player development for the Yankees, told Pedrique that Rodriguez felt fine Wednesday morning and was ready to go.
Rodriguez is expected join the Yankees’ farm club in Tampa for the next stop in his rehab stint.
Also Wednesday, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter moved one step closer to joining Rodriguez in minor league games by running the bases after putting the ball in play during his simulated at-bats.
Jeter had two singles, a double and three grounders against a pair of right-handers at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Running the bases in the simulated situation is normally one of the final steps in preparation to play in rehab games.
The Yankees expect Jeter to rejoin the big league team after the All-Star break.
Jeter hasn’t played this season after breaking his left ankle in the opener of the AL championship series on Oct. 13. After surgery, the Yankees captain played just five spring training games because of soreness. A new break was discovered April 18.
Associated Press freelancer Mark Didtler in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.