Yankees' Alex Rodriguez won't rule out return to Charleston RiverDogs on rehab tour
A-Rod was more like 0-Rod in his two-day rehab assignment as a Charleston RiverDog.
Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees' iconic third baseman, brought big crowds to Riley Park on Tuesday and Wednesday as the two-day attendance was a healthy 15,922 fans. But Rodriguez, who is recovering from a hip injury and owns a 10-year, $275 million contract, couldn't buy a hit. He went 0 for 2 on Wednesday night to wrap up his brief stay in the Holy City with an 0 for 4 collar.
“I don't mind if I save all my hits for New York,” Rodriguez said. “I am glad I got tested yesterday on a bunt, and today I started the first half of a double play, which was a little tricky because I had to wait for the second baseman. Overall, I was pleased.”
A near-record crowd of 8,255 was on hand Tuesday night, and Riley Park was packed again Wednesday as 7,667 passed through the turnstiles on an evening that had a 43-minute rain delay and fireworks after the game. The RiverDogs lost, 8-5, in 10 innings.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez will work out at Riley Park on Thursday and is scheduled to continue his rehab journey Friday playing for the Yankees' high-level Class A Tampa affiliate in Lakeland, Fla. He wouldn't rule out a return trip to Charleston on his 20-day rehab tour.
“We're headed for Tampa,” Rodriguez said. “We have been chasing sunshine. This weather has been so unpredictable. It all depends. I'm not a weatherman, but we can't lose games. Obviously, I have to talk to the brass, and, collectively, we have to come up with a good plan that makes sense to everybody. So there is a chance, depending on what my bosses say, that I might be back here.”
In the first inning Wednesday, Rodriguez swung at a major-league fastball from pitcher Mauricio Cabrera and hit a big hopper that first baseman Casey Kalenkosky fielded and threw to Cabrera, who was covering first, for the out.
“The good news is I didn't hit 101 before the hip surgery,” Rodriguez said. “He was throwing gas. They said that first pitch was 101 (mph), and I couldn't believe it.”
In the bottom of the third, with a 1-2 count, Rodriguez hit a grounder to second baseman Ross Heffley, who threw Rodriguez out at first.
Rodriguez made an impressive play in the top of the third inning by turning a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Rodriguez, who has a contract that runs through the 2017 season, has struggled the last couple of seasons. But he says he can be productive despite his age.
“I obviously love the competition,” he said. “I love the game. I have a job to do. I don't believe in giving up. That's the way I'm wired.”
Rodriguez wasn't the only Yankees player on rehab at Riley Park. Eduardo Nunez played in his second game as a RiverDog. Nunez, who is rehabbing a strained oblique, went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored.
Poor rehab starts are nothing new for Rodriguez. He went 0 for 7 with a walk in two games at Tampa in 2012.
Gene Sapakoff contributed to this story.