Alex Rodriguez seems no closer to being an option at first base for the Yankees than he was before the All-Star break when, on his own, he decided to take grounders there.
“No, not right now,” Joe Girardi said before Tuesday night’s game, the third straight one in which Mark Teixeira sat with a sore left foot.
Instead, it has been Rob Refsnyder at first, though A-Rod was at designated hitter for the fifth straight game after the break. Girardi said the increase in playing time has been in part because Carlos Beltran’s right hamstring has allowed him to play in rightfield, not the case before the break, but also because Rodriguez has shown some signs of being better at the plate.
In Monday night’s 2-1 victory over the Orioles, A-Rod went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk.
“The home run led to it,” Girardi said. “I know that I have to give Carlos a DH day, and I’m very aware of that and it’s probably going to come here very soon, but he [A-Rod] walked and hit a home run and we’re hoping he gets going.”
Money talks, Wilkerson doesn’t
Muhammad Wilkerson, who just agreed to a five-year, $85-million deal with the Jets, watched the Yankees take BP on the field and threw out the night’s ceremonial first pitch. Through his handlers, the defensive lineman declined to speak with reporters.
Speaking of the money
A-Rod has mostly been successful in collecting the home run balls he’s hit since reaching 600, though that wasn’t the case with No. 696, which he hit Monday night. According to one insider, the male fan who caught the ball in the left-centerfield bleachers originally was inclined to trade it for several signed items by A-Rod, a chance to meet the DH and the opportunity to take postgame pictures on the field. But, after another fan apparently interjected himself into the situation, the fan who caught the ball demanded a monetary sum and the Yankees said thanks-but-no-thanks.