Is that Alex Rodriguez… on a baseball field?
The future Hall-of-Fame third baseman was seen playing catch and hitting of a tee at the Yankees facility in Tampa, Florida on Monday. It was the first appearance for Rodriguez on a baseball diamond since his highly-publicized hip surgery in January, and the 37-year-old took his first step toward a potential return.
A-Rod had the worst statistical season of his career in 2012, hitting with a .272/.353/.430 slash line and producing just 18 home runs in 529 plate appearances. This was a far cry from his previous Hall-of-Fame levels, and his career slash line of .300/.384/.560 is one of the best in Major-League history.
Rodriguez has been thought by many to be out for the duration of the season, as hip injuries are notoriously long-healing, and with his increased age, the timetable is very unclear. In the midst of his rehab, the circus has been building around A-Rod, as reports of his inclusion in the Biogenesis scandal from Miami have surrounded him. In an effort to keep him out of the spotlight, the Yankees have left him in Florida, and even removed him from Spring Training for the majority of the time.
It’s unclear what kind of player that A-Rod will be upon returning, but with “post All-Star break” timetables circulating the web, it appears that it could be sooner than many thought. The Yankees are extremely injury-plagued at the moment (Granderson, Jeter, Teixeira, etc.), but at 18-12 at the time of this post, they are certainly within striking distance as this news breaks.