The Yankees thought it was best for Alex Rodriguez to rehab from hip surgery away from the team’s complex in Tampa this spring, but general manager Brian Cashman confirmed this afternoon that he will be with the team on Opening Day on Monday against the Red Sox. Just maybe not in uniform. Or where anybody can see him.
Rodriguez was booed lustily for his poor performance during the postseason and the reception doesn’t figure to be any warmer following his reported ties to PEDs and Biogenesis. While it would be fascinating to watch, it might not be worth the drama to have him out there on what should otherwise be a pretty happy day at the ballpark.
Rodriguez, 37, underwent hip surgery in January and is still aiming to return around midseason. The Yankees owe him $114 million over the next five seasons. He’s making $29 million in 2013, which is more than the entire Astros payroll.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.