For most of his first month back on the field following hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez has shown the ill effects of the procedure. While his incredible talent has allowed him to swing the bat with authority (.255/.407/.541), he has looked statuesque in the field and slow on the basepaths. Balls that look like infield singles off the bat are easy outs, and defensive plays not right at Alex are an adventure. However, Alex seems to have made a lot of progress over the last few games in regard to mobility and speed. Peter Abraham has more:
But in a fluid motion, he charged the slowly hit grounder off the bat of Carl Crawford in the third inning, grabbed it with his bare hand and made a strong throw to get the speedy Tampa Bay runner. The defensive gem came a day after Rodriguez attempted his first stolen base of the season. It was further evidence that he is nearly complete after having hip surgery in March.
“Every day I feel a little better,” said Rodriguez after the Yankees beat the Rays 4-3.
Rodriguez was 1 for 3 with a walk, raising his batting average to .255. He has only one home run in the last 13 games but appears more consistent with his swing in general. Yankees manager Joe Girardi had noticed Rodriguez moving more surely in the field as well.
“We knew it was going to take him some time to get back to where he was,” Girardi said. “That was significant surgery. I’ve been impressed with how quickly he was able to come back.”
With Alex nearing full strength, Xavier Nady getting closer, and Brian Bruney making progress, the Yankees are close to being the product that Brian Cashman expected to put on the field for Opening Day. With the club ten games over .500 and in first place as it is, the Yankees look to be a force to be reckoned with once at full strength. A healthy Alex Rodriguez is vital to meeting this team’s goal of winning a title, and he seems well on his way to a full recovery.
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