Alex Rodriguez moved his rehab from New York to the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Florida last month and has slowly been introducing different baseball-related activities into his workout plan. Saturday saw probably the biggest step yet.
According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, A-Rod ran the bases “at 75-percent effort” for the first time since undergoing surgery on his hip in mid-January. Rodriguez, who has been taking regular batting practice for the past few weeks, reported no physical issues during or after the base-running.
If everything continues to go according to plan and the Biogenesis stuff doesn’t result in a suspension, the veteran third baseman should be back on the Yankees’ active roster shortly after the All-Star break (with Derek Jeter soon to follow). Yankees third basemen have hit .252/.301/.346 this season. A-Rod, who is obviously on a steep career decline, still managed a decent .272/.353/.430 batting line in 2012.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: