Newest Yankee Mark Reynolds finds adjustment 'weird,' homers in first at-bat

Mark Reynolds of the Yankees celebrates with Vernon

Mark Reynolds of the Yankees celebrates with Vernon Wells after Reynolds hit a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning at Fenway Park. (Aug. 16, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

BOSTON -- Signing with the Indians last offseason wasn't odd for Mark Reynolds, who spent the previous two seasons with the Orioles. Hooking on with the Yankees, as the veteran infielder did Thursday night, was another matter.

"That's the weirdest part,'' said Reynolds, who started at first base Friday night and hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat. "Playing against [the Yankees] and I don't want to say hating them, but just wanting to beat them day in and day out. Now being on the team and pulling for us to win is going to be a change.''

Reynolds nearly became a Yankee during the offseason. With Alex Rodriguez recovering from hip surgery, the club looked at him primarily as a plug-in at third base. The Yankees ultimately settled on Kevin Youkilis, who has been limited to 28 games because of a back injury.

Joe Girardi said the righthanded-hitting Reynolds will platoon with the lefthanded-hitting Lyle Overbay at first and could be an option to spell A-Rod at third.

Reynolds, 30, who signed a one-year, $6-million deal with the Indians, was released by Cleveland after hitting .215 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs.

"I just need the chance to play,'' Reynolds said after the Yankees' 10-3 win. "The Indians wanted to go in a different direction, which is fine. I took a nice little vacation in Arizona [where he lives] for a couple days, played a little golf and now I'm back at it . . . As far as hitting goes, I just totally cleared my head, went home and relaxed, hung out with the kids, the wife, and just cleared my head."

Reynolds hit 37 homers for the Orioles in 2011, including six against the Yankees, and 44 for the Diamondbacks in 2009. He struck out 834 times in a four-year span from 2008-11.

 

Slow going for JeterDerek Jeter (calf strain) is eligible to come off the DL Sunday, but Girardi has ruled that out. He didn't sound optimistic about having Jeter available Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

"It might be pushing it,'' Girardi said of a Tuesday return. "Today's Friday and he's not necessarily playing in a simulated game or anything of that nature, so we'll just have to see.''

Jeter returned to Tampa Thursday to continue rehabbing at the minor-league complex. He took batting practice and fielded grounders Friday.

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