Alex Rodriguez takes reps at first base for first time in career

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According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Alex Rodriguez took some ground balls at first base yesterday for the first time in his career. Chase Headley is expected to be the team’s regular third baseman this season, so Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants if Rodriguez can be a potential backup to Mark Teixeira. It was only one workout, but A-Rod is game for the opportunity.

“It was fun. Any time I’m on the field, I’m just happy,” Rodriguez said. “But I’ve got a good tutor in Tex.”

The transition didn’t exactly get off to the smoothest start, as A-Rod’s new first base mitt went missing for a brief time. It was eventually found atop another player’s locker. Simple mistake or an act of sabotage? Story to come in a New York tabloid near you.

This isn’t A-Rod’s first position change, as he previously made the transition from shortstop to third base after joining the Yankees in 2004. This is obviously a different situation, though. If all goes according to plan for the Yankees, the 39-year-old might only see a handful of games at first base this season.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.