Yankees A-Rod’s First Rehab Game

By on August 12, 2011

Alex Rodriguez gets rehab work in Dunedin vs. the Jays (photo by Eddie Michels)

DUNEDIN, Fla.—New York Yankees third baseman went 2-3 with a double and homer for Class-A Tampa against Dunedin at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

     Rodriguez had surgery to his right knee on July 14.

     “The last several weeks in New York I wasn’t able to drive the ball,” said Rodriguez, “I had a tear in my knee, I wasn’t as explosive.”

     Rodriguez took former major league lefty Willie Collazo’s 3-1 fastball over the left center field fence for an early 1-0 Tampa lead in the first.

     “I just got lucky,” said Rodriguez of the homerun, “I hadn’t swung the bat in over five weeks.  It was just fun to be out there in a competitive environment and to be around these kids who have so much hope in their eyes.”

    On a more serious side Rodriguez said, “For the last several weeks I was playing in New York I wasn’t able to drive the ball, I probably hadn’t hit a home run in

Willie Collazo gives up homer to A-Rod in the top of the first (photo by Eddie Michels)

over 70-at bats.  My team expects me to hit the ball and drive the ball out of the park.  To hit with a lot more production, so hopefully I can come back, hit the ground running, help my team out and win the division.”

     While running out his double Rodgriuez took things a bit easy.

     “We’re making sure we’re taking it one step at a time,” said Rodriguez, “We only have five or six days here to work with and my idea is to wrap it up, increasing in intensity.”

    As to being on rehab while the Yankees are winning is not where Rodriguez wants to be.

    “I’m anxious to return, the team is playing so well, obviously I am not comfortable here.  You get to a point where you are miserable because you are not with your teammates helping out.  Those guys are my friends my brothers, I just can’t be prouder of the way they are playing.

     Collaza (elbow) in his first rehab start for Dunedin didn’t mind if A-Rod hit it out.

     “It was a fast ball,” said Collaza who is on rehab assignment from Triple-A Las Vegas,

     Colazzo was asked if he had noticed that his outfielders didn’t move when he hit the homer.

     “I don’t think they saw it,” said Colazzo of how fast the ball got out.

   Rodriguez did say, “It just felt good to be back in the box, put on some medal cleats and swing the bat a little bit.”

NOTES: A-Rod is scheduled to play one more game for Tampa on Saturday in Dunedin.  According to Rodriguez he will play 5-6 innings at third Saturday then play a simulated game on Sunday in Tampa.  Tampa Manager Luis Sojo played in the majors with Rodriguez in 1994-96 with the Seattle Mariners.

(photo by Eddie Michels)

Pre game note:  The Dunedin Blue Jays only draw a couple of hundred fans a game but with A-Rod in the opposition line up they were waiting in line over an hour ahead of the first pitch.


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