MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - INSIDE PITCH
Alex Rodriguez added to his long resume for drama Sunday afternoon, instantly turning a mixed crowd reaction before his first at-bat of the day into mostly cheers when he blasted his first home run since his return to pinstripes.
Rodriguez continues to be great theater -- on the field or off -- and even added an entertaining RBI single and several nice plays in the field.
You think he can't hit right-handers anymore? Well, he promptly homers off Justin Verlander, one of the best there is. Sure, A-Rod looked washed up against righties last year in the playoffs when he was so bad against them he was benched and even in a small sample this season when he started 0-for-7 with five strikeouts since his return.
"I've always felt good against right-handers my entire career," said Rodriguez, who went 1-for-3 in Monday's 2-1 win over the Angels. "I think it's going to take 40 to 50 at-bats to kind of see where I'm at, but today was definitely a step in the right direction."
Rodriguez contributed on defense, too, charging in to make a play on Hernan Perez's roller and a nifty backhand on Jose Iglesias shot down the third-base line.
"I think he's moving as well as he did before the surgery," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He made an impressive play going to his right. He made a play coming in. So far, so good."
Still, after so long on the disabled list as he recovered from hip surgery and then a quad injury, Rodriguez is not the same player he has been. Plus, he's 38.
That was all apparent an inning after he had hit homer No. 648. He smacked a 98 mile-per-hour fastball from Verlander inside the first-base line but didn't run. Turns out, he thought he had fouled it straight back.
"He says he's a little rusty," Girardi said. "I think it's unfair to expect him to be in midseason form. Our hope is that he is, but you're never sure when a guy comes off the DL -- he had been there a long time. But today was a great day for him."
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won two
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Angels (Jason Vargas, 6-4, 3.65) at Yankees (CC Sabathia, 9-10, 4.73)
--RHP Hiroki Kuroda allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings and that marked the fifth time in his last seven starts that he did not allow a run. He also has a major league-best nine scoreless starts this season and has not allowed a home run in his last 51 innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
--LHP CC Sabathia has never finished a season with an ERA higher than 4.39 and that was when he won 17 games with the Cleveland Indians as a rookie in 2001. Sabathia has a chance to exceed that this season if his struggles continue Tuesday night against the Angels. Sabathia has been stuck on 200 career wins since July 3 at Minnesota. In six starts since that game, he is 0-4 with a 7.00 ERA and four of those starts have seen him be unable to get past the sixth inning. Sabathia's last start was Wednesday in Chicago when he did not get a decision after allowing three runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Sabathia is 7-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 17 regular-season starts against the Angels.
--RHP Mariano Rivera said before having Monday's game off that the cause of throwing pitches that had little movement and resulted in three home runs over the weekend against Detroit were due to his release point. "The release point is not consistent. When you leave the ball up, the ball basically don't have nothing. There's nothing there. No life. And we can't afford that. After Monday's win over the Angels, he said that he was fine physically."
--SS Derek Jeter is eligible to be activated from the DL on Aug. 17 but that doesn't appear likely to happen. Jeter is on the DL with a calf injury and began doing some tee and toss in addition to the throwing he started doing this weekend. Jeter is expected to head to the team's minor league facility in Tampa, Fla., this week.
--RHP David Robertson has retired the last 25 hitters with the bases loaded after getting two bases-loaded strikeouts Monday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest streak since Jeff Brantley retired 30 straight hitters with the bases loaded from 1989-1991.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Hiroki's been amazing lately. Every time he takes the ball, it seems like he gives you seven or eight innings. He's exceptional out there. Everything he threw was baffling the hitter. He seems to be doing that the last couple of weeks, shoot the season." -- RHP David Robertson, of RHP Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched eight scoreless innings of Monday's 2-1 win over the Angels.
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - ROSTER REPORT
--SS Derek Jeter (strained right quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He missed the first half of the season due to a broken left ankle, got hurt in his first game back, and now is on the DL for the third time this year. He likely will head to the team's complex in Tampa after their current homestand ends Aug. 15 to continue his rehab.
Jeter is eligible to be activated from the DL on Aug. 17 but that doesn't appear likely to happen. He is expected to head to the team's minor league facility in Tampa, Fla., the week of Aug. 12.
--3B Kevin Youkilis (lumbar back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 14, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 7. It's his second trip to the DL this season because of the same injury. Youkilis, who missed 30 games in April and May, experienced numbness in his foot and calf when he woke up June 14, likely the result of a nerve issue. He had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on June 20, and he will be out of action until late August or early September. He said Aug. 11 he was approximately at week seven of his recovery and his surgeon told him the fastest anyone has returned from the same operation is 12 weeks.
--RHP David Phelps (strained right forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He made rehab starts July 23 and July 30 for Double-A Trenton, but he was scratched from his Aug. 4 start with soreness in the forearm. A new minor strain was revealed, prompting the Yankees to shut him down for 14 more days.
--C Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand, stress reaction in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 1. He was diagnosed with the elbow injury July 3. He was moved to the restricted list Aug. 5 when he received a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis probe. Cervelli visited Dr. James Andrews on Aug. 5 and was told he would not require surgery.
--DH Travis Hafner (strained right rotator cuff) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 27.
--3B Luis Cruz (sprained right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 23.
--OF Zoilo Almonte (left ankle sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 20. He was sent to the Yankees' complex in Tampa.
--1B Mark Teixeira (right wrist inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 16, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 6. He had season-ending surgery July 2 since the torn tendon sheath suffered in March never healed. He is wearing a wrist cast. He said he hopes to start his rehab at the end of August. Teixeira said he will take it slow since he won't play this year.
LHP CC Sabathia
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
RHP Phil Hughes
LHP Andy Pettitte
RHP Ivan Nova
RHP Mariano Rivera (closer)
RHP David Robertson
RHP Joba Chamberlain
LHP Boone Logan
RHP Preston Claiborne
RHP Shawn Kelley
RHP Adam Warren
RHP Dellin Betances
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Robinson Cano
SS Eduardo Nunez
3B Alex Rodriguez
INF Jayson Nix
LF Vernon Wells
CF Curtis Granderson
RF Ichiro Suzuki
DH Alfonso Soriano
OF Brett Gardner