ARLINGTON, Texas — The Yankees dodged a bullet regarding Alex Rodriguez’s oblique.
At least for now.
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The 40-year-old designated hitter, who left Sunday’s game before his third at-bat after tweaking his left oblique taking warmup swings indoors, returned to the lineup Wednesday night, batting fifth.
Rodriguez, who took a .145/.242/.273 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) into Wednesday, missed the previous two games.
“Obviously you’ll watch but if he’s going to take a swing and have a twinge, we’re probably going to see it right away,” Joe Girardi said before the game. “He said he felt good taking swings last night. And if he doesn’t feel good I’ll make a change, but I expect him to be OK.”
And, the Yankees hope, productive.
“It’s really important because he’s a middle of the order hitter that he gets going,” Girardi said. “Hopefully that double (the RBI hit in his second at-bat Sunday) the other day gets him going.”
INF Ronald Torreyes, to some the surprise winner of the backup infielder battle this spring, started at third Tuesday night in place of Chase Headley and went 2-for-3, raising his average to .471 in eight games. Wednesday night he started at short for Didi Gregorius, in part because Rangers’ lefty Martin Perez is “really tough on lefthanders.” But, Girardi said, Torreyes’ bat played a role, too.
“He’s swinging really well,” Girardi said.
Torreyes, though listed at 5-10, has said he’s much closer to 5-8. The 23-year-old has also said he’s taken motivation from another diminutive player, the Astros’ Jose Altuve, a friend of his who stands just 5-5.
“Sometimes with that stature, you wonder what you’re going to get,” Girardi said of Torreyes. “But we’ve said all along, he gets the barrel of the bat to the ball. He understands who he is.”
Girardi said Aaron Hicks, who had not played since leaving last Friday’s game after jamming his left shoulder diving for a ball, was available as a reserve Wednesday night.