Half of Alex Rodriguez is better than nothing. At least that’s what the Yankees thought as the slugger returned to the lineup last night after missing four games with a hip injury.
The team considered moving Rodriguez to the disabled list had the injury persisted but when Rodriguez displayed explosiveness in his swing during Tuesday batting practice, the Yankees felt it was a good time to start him at designated hitter.
The only thing keeping him from returning to the field was poor movement to his left during fielding drills.
“We watched him take ground balls and I don’t think he had the lateral movement I wanted to see,” manager Joe Girardi said before last night’s late game with the Phillies. “This way he’ll ease into it. When he’ll play third base, I don’t have a date yet. It’s something we’ll evaluate everyday.'”
For the near future Rodriguez can focus solely on improving his .288 batting average. He may even find a way to get his power back, as his eight homers this season are the fewest he’s hit as a Yankee through the first 58 games.
“He’ll have the luxury of having someone stretch him all the time,” said Girardi, who started Kevin Russo at third base last night.