Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is just one home run away from 600 for his career. Actually, he’s been one home run away from 600 for 37 at-bats now. And he’s unlikely to reach the milestone Sunday.
According to Erik Boland of Newsday, A-Rod is not in the Yankees’ lineup this afternoon against Rays right-hander James Shields despite a tight race at the top of the American League East standings.
Perhaps manager Joe Girardi has noticed that his third baseman is pressing. Rodriguez told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig on Saturday that it might take him a while to get that elusive home run, so he’s clearly been bothered by the pressure.
“There’s no question, the way I’m swinging it, it’s probably going to take awhile,” A-Rod said with a laugh. “Everybody get comfortable.”
Rodriguez is 8-for-37 since hitting home run No. 599 on July 22 and his batting average has dropped five points. He has averaged a home run per every 14.5 at-bats for his career and has averaged a long-ball every 23.4 at-bats this season. If this power drought lasts any longer, the coverage could get very annoying.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.
Earlier, Craig asked if Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber would play the outfield now that the World Series has come to Chicago, where there will be no DH. The answer to that is no, it appears. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the outfield, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber returned to the Cubs sooner than expected after suffering a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg during an early April collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in Arizona. In preparation to join the Cubs for the World Series, Schwarber went to the Arizona Fall League and reportedly saw over 1,000 pitches from machines as well as Single-A pitchers. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (that was very nearly a home run) in Game 1, then drew a walk and hit two RBI singles in five plate appearances in Game 2.
At least right now, however, it appears Schwarber will serve as a bat off the bench for Games 3, 4, and 5 until he gets medical clearance.