Yankees manager Joe Girardi said there’s “definitely a possibility” that third baseman Alex Rodriguez could rejoin the team in St. Petersburg, Fla. when it opens up a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
Rodriguez (fractured hand) will play third for Class A Tampa on Saturday night in the second game of his minor-league rehab stint, Girardi said. Serving as the DH, A-Rod went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday night.
“He came out all right,” Girardi said. “He had the four ABs. He walked once. He saw a bunch of pitches. He came out good. I haven’t talked to him this morning to see how he felt, but the reports were good.”
General manager Brian Cashman said there is no firm date for A-Rod's return.
“We will let him play this weekend, then we will evaluate it,” Cashman said. “Sunday is an 11 a.m. game, expected to DH after night game, then they will decide.”
• Girardi said left-hander Andy Pettitte, who threw 20 pitches on Friday, came through that session “good.”
“He’s fine,” said Girardi, who still doesn’t know when Pettitte will throw his first full bullpen session. “We’ll just go day by day. It shouldn’t be long, though.”
Pettitte (fractured left fibula) is scheduled to see the doctor for a checkup later Saturday. Cashman said there is no timetable for Pettitte.
• Eduardo Nunez was originally going to play shortstop on Saturday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles, but Girardi changed his mind after speaking with Derek Jeter. So Jeter will man short, while Nunez was moved to DH.
“He’s been playing well down there,” Girardi said of Nunez. “I like the speed element that he brings to our club. Swinging the bat was not the issue when he went down. We just thought we wanted to play him at one position, and he played very well at shortstop.”
Nunez was one of six players recalled from the minors on Sept. 1, the first day rosters can be expanded. Also promoted were catcher Francisco Cervelli, outfielder Chris Dickerson, right-handed reliever Cory Wade, right-handed starter Adam Warren and left-handed reliever Justin Thomas.
• Cashman still doesn’t know exactly when Mark Teixeira (calf) will return.
“It is too early to say,” Cashman said. “It was a minimum of 10 days from the injury. We are probably four or five days into that.”
So, at the earliest, Teixeira could return in Baltimore at the end of this coming week.
• Utility man Ramiro Pena was designated for assignment to make way for Dickerson on the 40-man roster.