Yankees manager Joe Girardi has moved Alex Rodriguez to the second spot in the lineup tonight, in between leadoff man Brett Gardner and No. 3 hitter Robinson Cano. Last time Rodriguez hit second in a big-league game? August 26, 2006.
Back then Rodriguez was 30 years old and in his third season with the Yankees, winning MVP honors the previous season and the next season. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and didn’t bat second again until now.
For his career Rodriguez has batted second 497 times, hitting a combined .320 with 118 homers and a .948 OPS that basically matches his career mark of .943.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.