A-Rod begins rehab assignment

Posted: July 03, 2013

NEW YORK Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is set to play tonight in his first minor league game on a rehabilitation assignment. And this time, all sides agree he's ready to go.

Rodriguez said he felt fine and was eager to get on the field for Class A Charleston in South Carolina.

"Awesome," he said yesterday at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. "I'm really excited."

Rodriguez said he didn't have a timetable for rejoining the Yankees, a team in desperate need of hitters. He was on a conference call with team officials earlier in the day. "I have no idea," he said.

Last week, Rodriguez posted on Twitter that his hip surgeon had cleared him to play in rehab games. That upset Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who said Rodriguez hadn't been OK'd by team doctors.

Now, no problems.

"It's all been very positive. We are all looking in the same direction . . . Get back to New York as soon as possible, and tomorrow is the first big step," Rodriguez said. "We've talked to all our doctors. Everyone has approved it."

Rodriguez has been working out in Florida this year while recovering from surgery on his left hip on Jan. 16. The three-time AL MVP turns 38 later this month.

The Yankees rank near the bottom of the American League in runs and home runs. Minus Rodriguez, the Yankees have especially struggled at third base. Rookie David Adams is hitting under .200 and Kevin Youkilis, signed in the offseason to hold the job until A-Rod returned, was batting only .218 before he went on the disabled list with back problems.

The Yankees said Rodriguez was scheduled to start for Charleston tonight and play at least three innings.

"It will be the first game that I play in, in maybe over 8 months. It's been a long time. It's going to be great to suit up again. It gets me one step closer to helping my team win in New York," he said.

Noteworthy * 

An Alabama minor league team canceled a gun raffle that was supposed to be featured during its Second Amendment Night promotion. Huntsville Stars spokeswoman Nicole Colonis said that the raffle scheduled to take place during tomorrow's game against the Chattanooga Lookouts was canceled after minor league baseball officials said the promotion was likely not in the franchise's best interest.

Colonis says Second Amendment Night will still feature free admission for members of the National Rifle Association who present their membership card.

The Stars are a Double A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

* The Arizona Diamondbacks will wear a patch on their uniforms for the rest of the season honoring the 19 firefighters who died Sunday in the wildfire about 80 miles from Phoenix. The team also is raising funds that will go the families of the firefighters.

In other news, the Diamondbacks placed righthander Trevor Cahill on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised right hip and called up reliever Chaz Roe from Triple A.

* Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham was scratched from last night's lineup with discomfort in his left knee and is scheduled to have an MRI exam today.

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