Two firsts for Alex Rodriguez: Taking grounders and swings
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BALTIMORE - There have been no leaps forward for Alex Rodriguez in his rehab . . . but there have been no setbacks, either.
And for the 37-year-old third baseman -- who has spent time on the DL each of the last six seasons and is rehabbing from left hip surgery -- that's something.
Rodriguez, starting his third week of on-field work in Tampa, took grounders for the first time Monday and took 25 swings in the complex's indoor cages, also a first. A-Rod, who the Yankees have said could return sometime after the All-Star break, had been relegated to tee-and-toss and running to that point.
"Taking ground balls and playing in a game . . . it's ground balls right at you,'' Joe Girardi said, somewhat downplaying Monday's progress in terms of starting some kind of clock for when Rodriguez might come back. "There's a lot that has to happen. There's a lot of hurdles. He's going to have to go through basically a full spring training. I don't want to put a date on it.''
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"He could be available after this,'' Cashman said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow.''
Cashman did not sound as optimistic about Eduardo Nuñez (left oblique strain).
"He's still stiff and stuff like that,'' Cashman said. "He's 10 days away for us to think about New York.''
Joba Chamberlain (oblique) threw in the bullpen and is expected to throw in his second rehab outing later this week.
"He was really good,'' Cashman said. "They want to get him up to 75 pitches . . . [but] up to this point, this is the best he's thrown in terms of command and everything else.''
With Laura Albanese