Monday, MLB announced that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for 211-games through the 2014 season, but under the Joint Drug Prevention Agreement, he is allowed to play while he appeals. And if reports are correct, we might not hear an arbitrator’s decision until after the season, meaning that A-Rod could be with the New York Yankees for the rest of 2013.
Meanwhile, he made his season debut for the Yankees on Monday night in Chicago, going 1-for-4 with a bloop single to left field in his first at-bat. While A-Rod hasn’t faced big league pitching since last October, I thought he looked better than expected and might actually be able to provide something for the Yanks.
He made nice contact on a couple of pitches, namely a sharp line-out to left field in his third at-bat. Had the trajectory been a little higher, it might have had a solid chance of finding its way over the fence.
He had some swings in his at-bats and although they were swings and misses, they still looked like he wasn’t far off from being back to normal. Obviously with the layoff from the majors, he still has to adjust to major league pitching and normal game speed, which I think he be able to do quickly.
In the field, he didn’t that great. His lateral movement didn’t look quite right, and he had a couple of throws that were a little iffy. But on the basepaths, I thought that he ran much better than expected.
Contrary to what you might have seen from video of his rehab games, A-Rod ran well around the bases. There was an instance in the second inning after his base hit, when Vernon Wells lined a ball into the left-center field gap and Rodriguez ran pretty well from first to third.
A-Rod still has some catching up to do at the major league level as he hasn’t been put into these situations in a long time. Once he gets completely settled in, he might be able to produce in some form for the Yanks – maybe not as a .300 hitter, but he will certainly be able to hit a home run here and there and use the small Yankee Stadium to his advantage.
Gavin Ewbank is a Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter for more Yankees talk.