Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez felt tightness in his left quad and was subsequently moved from third to DH in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders lineup for today’s game, reports ESPN’s Ian Begley. Begley says there’s a chance A-Rod aggravated the injury yesterday:
It is possible that Rodriguez hurt his quad while running the bases on Friday night.
Rodriguez ran hard in his last at-bat on Friday, trying to reach second on a line drive to left. He was thrown out at second by several feet after a feet-first slide. Rodriguez, 37, did not complain of any soreness after the game.
Begley also notes that it’s unclear if this minor setback will impact his return to the Yankees as he has two days left in his 20-day rehab stint.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”