MINNEAPOLIS -- Alex Rodriguez is eligible to return to the Yankees on July 22, the day after his 20-day rehab assignment ends. On that day, the team will be playing the Texas Rangers in Arlington, a place where A-Rod has been treated like Public Enemy No. 1 since orchestrating his way out of town via the trade that made him a Yankee in 2004.
New York Yankees
A less-than-welcoming reception at Rangers Ballpark is to be expected. But will things be any better when the Yankees return home on July 26 to play the Tampa Bay Rays? A-Rod was practically booed off the field during last year's American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.
Robbie Cano, for one, believes the home fans' reaction to A-Rod will have softened by the time he returns to the lineup after having missed nearly 100 games due to surgery on his left hip in January.
"Not just him, the whole team," a laughing Cano said when reminded of the boos that rained down on A-Rod from Yankees fans last October. "I don’t think it will affect him. We didn’t know he was hurt. I know fans are going to be on his side. If he’s healthy, he can do a lot of good things in this game. Hopefully he’ll come back and start doing good right away."
Without the protection of Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson, Cano's numbers have been somewhat down this season -- .287-17-48 -- and with 36 walks so far he is on the way to a career high as opposing teams find no reason to pitch to him.
It would appear Cano will benefit from A-Rod's return to the lineup, if only because it adds one more reasonably dangerous bat to a largely punchless offense.
"Not only for me but I would say the whole team," Cano said. "We all know what kind of player he is, what he’s done in this game and the energy he can bring to the clubhouse. I would think he’s going to be back, help us to win games and help us get back in the race."