Alex Rodriguez aims to return to starting lineup Wednesday

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Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup tonight for the second straight day with continued soreness in his oblique/lower back, but told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that he expects to return for Wednesday’s finale against the Blue Jays.

“We decided to take one more day and play tomorrow,” Rodriguez said. “I think if it was different circumstances, in September in the middle of a pennant race, perhaps we could strap it on today. But I think we’re trying to be smart about it. We’re in the middle of April. Gun to the head, there’s no question I could probably strap it on today, but I think everyone’s opinion was to take one more day.”

Eric Chavez started at third base again tonight, while Robinson Cano was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. We’ll see how Rodriguez feels tomorrow, but the Yankees could take advantage of a scheduled off-day on Thursday and rest him until Friday’s series opener against the Orioles.

Rodriguez is batting .385/.500/.821 with four homers, five doubles and nine RBI over his first 50 plate appearances this season.

Mike Napoli tore his ACL

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Mike Napoli suffered a torn right ACL and meniscus while playing for Triple-A Columbus the other night. The injury will require season-ending surgery.

Given that Napoli will turn 37 this year, given that he will need 10-14 months of rehab and given that, as it was, he was unable to find a major league gig, it’s almost certain that this injury will end Napoli’s career.

Napoli was off to a 1-for-24 start at Columbus after signing a minor league contract with the Indians this spring. He hit .193/.285/.428 for the Rangers in 2017. If this is it for Napoli, he’ll end his career with a line of .246/.346/.475 with 267 homers and 744 driven in. He appeared in the World Series with the 2011 Rangers, the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Indians, winning a ring with Boston.