As expected Alex Rodriguez is off the disabled list and in the Yankees’ lineup for this afternoon’s game, batting cleanup and starting at designated hitter against the Rays.
Rodriguez has been out since mid-July with a broken hand and went 0-for-7 with four strikeouts on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A, so expecting an immediate impact is probably optimistic.
Rodriguez was having the worst season of his career before the injury, but hitting .276 with 15 homers and an .806 OPS in 94 games is still plenty solid production at designated hitter or third base and in the 37-year-old’s absence the Yankees were just 18-18.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: