Alex Rodriguez will not be activated until Friday

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According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi poured some cooling solution Wednesday on the idea that third baseman Alex Rodriguez might be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for Thursday night’s series-opening game against the Twins.

A-Rod went 4-for-10 with a double and a home run during a successful four-game minor league rehab assignment and has reported no lingering pain or discomfort in his surgically-repaired right knee, but the Yankees want to play it safe and may ease their veteran slugger back into action.

Here’s Girardi, speaking to Hoch and the Yankees’ other beat reporters:

“Our plans right now are still to bring him to Minnesota tomorrow if everything goes OK,” Girardi said. “We may not activate him. We may just have him go through some things for a couple of days, then wait a couple of days to activate him.”

Rodriguez, 35, was batting .295/.366/.485 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI in 344 plate appearances before his knee procedure. The Yankees have been relying on Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez at the hot corner.

UPDATE, 10:40PM: According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Rodriguez told reporters at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that he will not be playing for the Yankees on Thursday night.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.