A-Rod moves rehab to Triple-A, targets July 22 return
Production, however, is not what the Yankees are eager to see out of their overpaid slugger - they want to see him make it through games with no setbacks. Rodriguez went 0-for-3 during his rehab game with Double-A Trenton on Tuesday, but he was able to play eight innings in the field. Despite the lack of production at the plate, general manager Brian Cashman has seen enough out of A-Rod to move him up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where Rodriguez will debut on Thursday.
The promotion to Triple-A is a good sign that Rodriguez remains on track to hit his target return date of July 22. He began a 30-day rehab regimen in June, and July 22 marks the conclusion of that program. His ability to play eight innings in the field six days before his expected return date is a great sign.
Rodriguez will return to a Yankees lineup that could desperately use some halfway decent production out of him. Designated hitter Travis Hafner has completely tanked since his solid start to the season, batting .165 over his past 28 games.
Third base has also been a weak spot for the Yankees, where David Adams (.190/.260/.276) has been the primary starter. Luis Cruz has gotten a number of starts at third base in recent games, but has posted just a .214/.250/.238 line himself.
Rodriguez, a three-time MVP award winner, posted a solid line of .272/.353/.430 last season. He blasted 18 home runs with 57 RBI and 74 runs scored in 122 games. He even stole 13 bases while only getting caught once.
A-Rod may be far from the player he used to be, but he should still be a significant upgrade in the Yankees' lineup once he returns, and that return appears to be right around the corner.