Sources: Alex Rodriguez expected to meet with MLB investigators Friday
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Alex Rodriguez is expected to meet Friday with representatives of Major League Baseball as part of its ongoing investigation into Biogenesis, sources confirmed to Newsday.
Rodriguez said Tuesday that he was unaware of any impending meetings, though he admitted he would not acknowledge such meetings if he were aware of them. "Not that I know of," he said. "We've been fully instructed not to comment about the case."
Rodriguez and as many as 20 players could reportedly face suspensions of up to 100 games.
Biogenesis is the now-shuttered Miami anti-aging clinic where it is alleged the Yankees third baseman and numerous other players received performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez was linked to the clinic and its founder, Anthony Bosch, in a story first reported by the Miami New Times. Rodriguez is alleged to have appeared in entries of PED sales made by Bosch.
Bosch is a defendant in a civil suit filed by MLB that seeks unspecified monetary damages from four defendants alleged to have ties to Biogenesis. Bosch is reportedly cooperating with MLB and could be dismissed from the suit.
No timetable has been set for the release of MLB's findings and suspensions are not believed to be imminent.
ESPN reported Tuesday that Ryan Braun of the Brewers met with MLB on June 29 and refused to answer questions about his connection to Bosch and Biogenesis. The report also said that MLB is expected to suspend Rodriguez, Braun and as many as 20 players sometime after next week's All-Star break.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez, continuing his rehab work at the Yankees' spring training home at Steinbrenner Field, had a rough day at the plate Tuesday but said he's feeling confident about his progress.
"I'll be ready," Rodriguez said when asked if 20 days of rehab work, as originally scheduled, would be enough.
"I have to continue to be patient. I had good work before the game, good work now after the game. I just have to keep going through the process," Rodriguez said after his fifth rehab game and his third with the Tampa Yankees. "My focus again is on what happens before the first pitch and after the last pitch."
Rodriguez, recovering from offseason hip surgery, said he expects to continue playing with Class A Tampa all week, with a game as designated hitter Wednesday, then returning to third base Thursday. He said he did not expect to spend the remainder of his rehab in Tampa, and noted that he would go north, presumably to Trenton or Scranton/Wilkes Barre, before rejoining the Yankees.
"It feels a little better each day," Rodriguez said. "I have to continue to be patient and see as many pitches as I can."
Rodriguez watched only one pitch in three at-bats Tuesday. In his first at-bat, he swung at the first pitch and grounded out to third base. He then swung and missed on three straight pitches in a fifth-inning strikeout. In his final at-bat, to open the seventh, he swung, then watched a called second strike, then missed again.
He said he was pleased to be back at the Yankees' spring training home. He worked out Tuesday with Reggie Jackson and Pat Roessler, the team's director of player development.
"Today was a perfect example of how great it is to be here," Rodriguez said. "I had good work early on the back field, good postgame work with Reggie and Six [Roessler], things you can't do anywhere else but here. This is our home campus, and it does feel like March 6."
Rodriguez made a routine throw on the one ground ball he fielded, but he also couldn't get to a pair of hits in the fifth inning on well-hit ground balls to his left in which he made no movement toward the ball. He has said his lateral movement in the field will be a difficult part of his transition back from surgery.
Rodriguez played five-plus innings in a game that was resumed after being postponed by rain after one inning last week. He left after batting to lead off the seventh.
Rodriguez is now 1-for-12 (.083) with a single in his five games of rehab, the first two with the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League and the last three with Tampa.
With Greg Auman in Tampa