Joe Girardi believes he’ll have Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup on Sunday. “Everything has gone good so far,” Girardi said. “I believe we’ve got a good shot of having him.”
Rodriguez seems more cautiously optimistic. “I’m going to wait and see,” he said. “Today was a good day. Tomorrow’s a big test. I’m hoping that Sunday, Monday or Tuesday I’ll be ready.”
Rodriguez did tee and toss work this morning. He took 37 ground balls at third base — why 37, I have no idea — and turned a few double plays. During full batting practice on the field, he ran to first base and guessed he was running at about 70 percent.
Tomorrow will be a far more significant test as he’ll go head-to-head against Andy Pettitte. Rodriguez will wear regular metal spikes — he wore turf shoes today — and said he’s going to “push much harder” through all of his drills, which will include going first to third and second to home. He also wants to do some bunt drills at third base.
“I won’t want to over-promise and under-deliver,” he said. “I’d much rather go the other way. Sunday’s a possibility, without question.”
• Running as if he had just singled, Rodriguez rounded first base a little bit this morning, then went back to the bag. That’s when he went through the full Nick Swisher routine of tapping his chest and pointing to the sky. The hitters and coaches were rolling.
• Girardi expects Rodriguez to return to his No. 4 spot in the lineup. “That’s what I anticipate doing,” Girardi said. “There hasn’t been anything that’s really changed my mind.”
• Girardi assured everyone that there’s “nothing physical going on” with Derek Jeter. He’s just getting a routine day off. As for his lower-than-usual numbers: “At times his mechanics get a little out of whack,” Girardi said. “It happens to hitters. He’s played a lot of baseball for us. Maybe that has a little something to do with it.”
• Batting practice was optional today. The group I saw hitting: Greg Golson, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Chad Moeller, Francisco Cervelli, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Lance Berkman.
• Dave Robertson stretched with the hitters for some reason, then went out to shag fly balls left handed, which he always does.
• Rodriguez on his split from agent Scott Boras: “Scott and I had a good run. Nothing drastic happened it’s just that, at this point in my career, my goal is to finish as a New York Yankee (and) to be a world champion again. Some of the things I needed 20 years ago I really don’t need now.”
UPDATE, 12:35 p.m.: Blue Jays lineup
Mike McCoy SS
Travis Snider LF
Jose Bautista RF
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Aaron Hill 2B
Adam Lind DH
John McDonald 3B
Jose Molina C
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez