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.
Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.
Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”
Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.
This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.