A-Rod capped off a difficult weekend in Tampa on Sunday by going 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI, a strikeout and a walk as the designated hitter in his last start before joining Double-A Trenton on the road Monday in Pennsylvania, reports The New YorkDaily News.
Sunday’s respectable performance came after reports that he refused assignment to the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate in Scranton Friday and two days after a meeting with Major League Baseball officials about his ties to Biogenesis, which was reported could result in a plea deal and a 150-game suspension for the controversial third baseman.
"I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “Due to respecting the process, we’re going to let the process play out."
A-Rod dismissed the reports that a quadriceps injury had forced him to stay in Tampa and refused to go to Scranton on Saturday.
Rodriguez was reprimanded by the Yankees Saturday after he failed to show up for Friday’s game — which was eventually rained out — without notifying the team. Rodriguez’s meeting with MLB, in which officials outlined their case against him, lasted well over four hours and was followed by a 90-minute session with MLB Players Association officials.
"Again, what we do in here, we keep with our trainers, but thank God I feel very good. So my quad feels good," he said. "I don’t think I was 100% since I was a senior in high school, but I feel very good."
Rodriguez drew a five-pitch walk in the first inning, his first walk in eight rehab games. He quickly fell behind 0-2 in his second at-bat and struck out on six pitches to end the third. A bizarre drop of an A-Rod blooper by Bradenton in the seventh gave him an RBI in the seventh.
"I think getting the ball in the air, for me, is the most important thing, even (on) my little RBI thing to right," Rodriguez said. "That’s one thing about A-ball, you see things you’ve never seen before. I’ve never seen the play. That was pretty funny. But just to get that ball up in the air into center field and (then) the other way, to me those are good signs. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a big hit, but just getting the ball in the air, whether he caught that or if it was a double, it’s a good thing."
Rodriguez was upbeat after the game, but maintained he will need the full 20 days to complete his rehab assignment.
"I think it’s better to be conservative and smart," he said. "There (are) a few things I want to see myself do, especially this week. I think one of them will be going first to third, maybe going to second base and break up a double play aggressively, maybe even score on a double from first base... maybe come in on a barehanded play. There (are) a few boxes I want to check off… That’s the target, (July) 22."
A-Rod is 3-for-21 with three RBI, six strikeouts, two hit-by-pitches and one walk so far during his rehab stint.
"I’m very excited to be going up (to Double-A), absolutely," he said. "I think we’re on schedule…I’m very excited to head up to Reading (Pa.) and play some good baseball.
"Again, what we do in here, we keep with our trainers, but thank God I feel very good. So my quad feels good. I don’t think I was 100% since I was a senior in high school, but I feel very good."