Alex Rodriguez isn’t as far along as teammate Mark Teixeira, but he continues to make progress from January hip surgery.
According to the Associated Press, Rodriguez began his third week of on-field activity today by fielding grounders and taking 25 swings in an indoor batting cage at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. He also did some running along the warning track.
It’s not clear when Rodriguez will be ready for rehab games, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger that he will essentially have to go through a full spring training. He’s not expected to join the club until after the All-Star break.
“There’s a lot that has to happen,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of hurdles.”
Rodriguez, 37, batted .272/.353/.430 with 18 home runs, 57 RBI and a .783 OPS in 122 games last season. He is making $28 million this season and is owed $119 million through 2017.
So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.
The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.
Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.
With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.