Alex Rodriguez to begin baseball activities Thursday

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The Yankees were notable for their inactivity before Sunday’s trade deadline, but remember that they have some pretty good help on the way.

According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed earlier today that Alex Rodriguez will begin baseball activities Thursday in Tampa. Rodriguez underwent surgery on July 11 to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee.

“The idea is to start getting him doing some baseball stuff,” manager Joe Girardi said Sunday. “I think once he gets going, it shouldn’t take that long. It’s more just waiting for the knee to heal. I don’t think you’re talking about having to do a week of rehab games. I think once we get it, it’ll go pretty quickly.”

The Yankees haven’t given an indication about when Rodriguez will begin a rehab assignment, but they are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return by the middle of this month.

Rodriguez, 36, is hitting .295/.366/.485 with 13 homers, 52 RBI and an .852 OPS over 344 plate appearances this season. Though the knee has surely played a part, he hasn’t homered since June 11.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.