Yankees News: Alex Rodriguez to make third base debut Sunday or Monday


While we have already seen Alex Rodriguez as the DH twice this spring, we have yet to see him in the field.  According to New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, that is set to change either Sunday against the Washington Nationals or Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays:

"My lineup is made up and I have him at third one of the two days and I’m not sure which one it is.  It’s been up for four or five days.  That’s the way we do it so guys know their schedule.  I don’t memorize it."

Rodriguez hasn’t played at third base since September 10th, 2013 so it will be interesting to see what he can offer in the field.  Even if Rodriguez is still an adequate fielder, Chase Headley was one of the best defensive third baseman in baseball a year ago, and barring injury, he will be the third baseman.

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While there will likely be rust, Girardi must get Rodriguez into as many games at third base as he can during Spring Training.  If his body is no longer up for the grueling task of defending the hot corner, then maybe Jose Pirela breaks camp with the big league club.

While Brendan Ryan has played some third base in his career, he has yet to make his debut, and with the regular season only a month away, it remains to be seen if he can get up to speed in time for Opening Day.

Rodriguez has taken reps at first base and shortstop since showing up to camp early on February 23rd.  While it is unlikely that he will see anytime at shortstop, he could get some in-game reps in at first base, as the Yankees plan to have him back up Mark Teixeira and cannot truly evaluate him at the position until he sees live hitting.

Girardi added that he is encouraged by Rodriguez’s progress so far:

"[The most encouraging thing] is that his body has been responding every day.  I’m curious to see how he’s going to respond.  I haven’t had to give him more days off.  He’s been ready to go every time he’s been called upon."

While Rodriguez is only 1-4 so far, he has walked twice, showing good patience at the plate.  Spring Training isn’t about results, and for Rodriguez, who had went 17 months without seeing live pitching, it is about getting back up to speed.

All signs indicate that Rodriguez will be on the Opening Day roster, and he looks to continue to improve as Spring Training moves along.  Whether it is Sunday or Monday, he will face his next test, getting back in the field.

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