Alex Rodriguez aims to return to starting lineup Wednesday

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Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup tonight for the second straight day with continued soreness in his oblique/lower back, but told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that he expects to return for Wednesday’s finale against the Blue Jays.

“We decided to take one more day and play tomorrow,” Rodriguez said. “I think if it was different circumstances, in September in the middle of a pennant race, perhaps we could strap it on today. But I think we’re trying to be smart about it. We’re in the middle of April. Gun to the head, there’s no question I could probably strap it on today, but I think everyone’s opinion was to take one more day.”

Eric Chavez started at third base again tonight, while Robinson Cano was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. We’ll see how Rodriguez feels tomorrow, but the Yankees could take advantage of a scheduled off-day on Thursday and rest him until Friday’s series opener against the Orioles.

Rodriguez is batting .385/.500/.821 with four homers, five doubles and nine RBI over his first 50 plate appearances this season.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”