Early indications were that the Yankees — probably through Brian Cashman — were going to make some sort of official statement regarding the latest twist in the ongoing Alex Rodriguez saga. Now it seems the Yankees will largely stay off the record while it’s clear they’re frustrated and somewhat baffled by Rodriguez finding a doctor to go on the radio and say his left quad is fine just four days after Rodriguez himself said his quad was too injured to play third base in a Triple-A game.
“When you play for the Yankees there’s going to be stuff, outside stuff, that happens,” manager Joe Girardi said. “And you’ve got to be able to shut it out. And I think our guys (in the clubhouse) have done a good job of it all year long.”
It was clear this afternoon that the Yankees players were well aware of what was happening with Rodriguez, but it seemed to be more of a distant storyline than something significantly affecting them. Meanwhile, in the time the clubhouse was open to reporters here in Texas, reporters in New York were looking further into Dr. Michael Gross, who spoke to Mike Francesa this morning and started the latest set of dominoes falling.
Talking to The Record, Dr. Gross said he reviewed Rodriguez’s MRI as a favor.
“I thought it would be fun,” Dr. Gross said. “It’s my five minutes of fame.”
And it seems those five minutes might have revealed exactly the kind of connection Rodriguez is trying to avoid. The Daily News investigative team was the first to note that Dr. Gross was reprimanded by the New Jersey Attorney General in February for “failing to adequately ensure proper patient treatment involving the prescribing of hormones including steroids.”
So just when you think this story has gotten as absurd as it can get, it really finds ways to reach new levels. Does Girardi have any reason to think Rodriguez will be back with the Yankees this weekend?
“No, I don’t,” Girardi said.
• Curtis Granderson will start a rehab assignment tomorrow with High-A Tampa. The Yankees have not said exactly how long he will play in the minors before being activated. “I think you have to give him some at-bats to see how he feels,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t had a ton of at-bats. I think to be fair to him you have to give him some at-bats.”
• Jayson Nix actually started a rehab assignment today in the Gulf Coast League and went 0-for-2 with a hit by pitch. He played third base. Nix will move his rehab assignment to High-A Tampa with Granderson tomorrow.
• Derek Jeter is expected to run the bases either Thursday or Friday, but Girardi acknowledged that it’s unlikely he’ll be in the lineup on Saturday, the day he’s eligible to be activated. “Nothing’s out of the question,” Girardi said. “But I’m not so sure we’ll see him Saturday. … You’ve got to be able to run at 100 percent and know there’s no soreness, no pain, and that everything works proper.”
• Girardi said the Yankees haven’t decided whether Jeter will need to play in a minor league rehab game before being activated. “We haven’t gotten that far,” he said.
• David Phelps will make at least one more minor league rehab start. “He felt OK (last night),” Girardi said. “Probably not as sharp as we’ve seen him during the course of the season, but I kind of expect that when you haven’t been on the mound and you haven’t faced hitters in a while. I think we’ll see him in New York and he’ll throw a bullpen for us on Friday, and then he’ll probably go out on another rehab start.”
• David Adams arrived a little before batting practice, then took ground balls at second base during BP. That could be an indication of what he’ll do tomorrow. “I’ll probably get Adams in there somewhere tomorrow,” Girardi said. “I’m not saying it will be third base, but I’ll probably get him in there somewhere tomorrow and then just kind of work (third base playing time) as time goes on.”
• The Yankees are starting to limit Michael Pineda’s innings, but Girardi said he’ll be stretched out again as the season progresses. “They don’t’ want him to go over a certain level, that’s why you’re seeing him back off a little bit,” Girardi said. “That will increase as time goes on.”
Associated Press photos