MOOSIC – Alex Rodriguez’ 20-day rehab from hip surgery in January is scheduled to end today while playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Or will it?
Once the time is up the Yankees will either have to activate the 37-year-old or place him back on the disabled list after a review by Major League Baseball. The latter might not be too far out of the question.
Rodriguez, who was scheduled to play at third base for the RailRiders on Saturday night against Louisville, was a late scratch from the position due to a tight left quad. About an hour before game time, he was moved to designated hitter for the RailRiders instead of manning the hot corner.
Rodriguez didn’t look uncomfortable during his first three at-bats Saturday night. He was seen on the field stretching the area on his left leg and in the dugout between at-bats. In his first at-bat, he flied out to right field and jogged down to first base and didn’t show any noticeable limp. During his second time up, he struck out looking and followed that with a strikeout swinging his third plate appearance.
Rodriguez ran the bases during Friday night’s game at PNC Field, when he finished 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. On the second one, he hustled to second trying for a double. He slid into the base and was called out. During his postgame press conference he said that his hip felt good after both.
For the team he was playing with on Saturday night, the RailRiders were tied at 1 with the Bats entering the top of the eighth at press time. Randy Ruiz hit home run No. 11 in the bottom of the second inning to account for the SWB run. David Huff got the start and threw well going six innings allowing just six hits and fanning a season-high seven for SWB.
The finale of the four-game series at PNC Field is this afternoon at 1:05 when RailRiders righty Jose Ramirez (1-2, 4.24) goes against Louisville right-hander Daniel Corcino (4-11, 6.40). Tomorrow, the Toledo Mud Hens come to town for four games.
Mesa, Neal get the call
Last month, Melky Mesa showed that he gives his all every time he’s on the field when he crashed into the wall at PNC Field to rob a Buffalo batter of extra bases.
Although the 26-year-old sustained an injury on the play, he stayed in the game and boomed a home run the following inning in helping Scranton/Wilkes-Barre sweep the doubleheader.
His grit paid off Saturday when he was officially called up by the parent club Yankees to take the roster spot of former RailRiders outfieldmate Zoilo Almonte, who was placed on the disabled list. Mesa, who was activated from the DL a week ago, wasn’t the only RailRider to get the call on Saturday as Thomas Neal also headed to Boston for Saturday’s game against the Red Sox. Neither player was in the Yankees’ starting lineup for the afternoon contest. The other roster spot was made available when the Yankees designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
For the RailRiders, Mesa was batting .249 with nine home runs in 65 games. His best asset is on defense as he patrols a lot of ground and can play all three outfield positions. Neal, who earned a promotion last month and played four games for the Yankees going 2 for 11, was batting .314 with a pair of home runs and 29 RBI and was also batting .369 with runners in scoring position for SWB.
To take the roster spots of Mesa and Neal prior to Saturday’s game against Louisville, the RailRiders activated Huff from the disabled list and received outfielder Cody Grice from Double-A Trenton.