Skipper: Yankees brass mum on A-Rod

TRENTON, N.J. -- Out of sight, out of mind.

That's apparently the Yankees' stance when it comes to embattled third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Double-A Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin said Saturday that none of the Yankees' brass checked in with him about Rodriguez after the veteran's rehab game Friday night. The only questions came from the training staff to see how the 38-year-old held up after playing five innings.

"If you're asking if I got a call from [Yankees GM Brian Cashman] or anyone from New York -- that I didn't, no," Franklin said before Saturday's game against Reading.

Rodriguez played in his first rehab game Friday night since being diagnosed with a Grade 1 quad strain July 21, going 1-for-2 with a homer and a walk. Franklin said he thought Rodriguez ran smoothly and moved well in the field and liked his swings.

Franklin noticed improvement from Rodriguez's previous stint with Trenton, as the third baseman rehabbed with the team in July before suffering the quad strain.

"Running better, running more fluidly," Franklin said. "Of course, he didn't have to run out any balls last night, but during batting practice, he did some sprints after he took some swings in the cage. His gait was smooth. The first time he was here he was pressing a little bit in his run. But his gait was smooth yesterday during batting practice, and his swing, it looks like it has less rust on it."

Franklin said the plan for Saturday is for Rodriguez to play seven innings, possibly eight, and to accumulate four at-bats. Rodriguez is 9-for-42 in 14 games in the minors with three homers and 10 RBIs. He is scheduled to work out Sunday and possibly return to the Yankees' lineup Monday against the White Sox.

Rodriguez might not rejoin the Yankees, though, as Major League Baseball is aiming to suspend Rodriguez on Monday for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, according to T.J. Quinn of ESPN's "Outside the Lines."

Franklin didn't want to say whether he believed Rodriguez was ready to play with the Yankees.

"What I can tell you is that I think his swing is getting better. I think he's doing the baseball things OK right now," Franklin said. "I don't think he'll be surprised by anything on the baseball field, despite anything going on in Alex's life and what's going on now.

"Alex knows how to play baseball. He has always done that, and that will never change. He's one of the best baseball players I've ever seen. I think once he goes there, once they decided he's ready to go back, I don't think he'll have any problem adapting at all."

Trenton expected a sellout crowd Saturday night, and more than an hour before the 7:05 p.m. scheduled start, fans were lining up outside the Thunder dugout in hopes of catching a glimpse of Rodriguez. Trenton, however, didn't have its batting practice on the field.

Rodriguez did not meet with the media before the game but is scheduled to talk afterward. A tarp was on the field but has since been removed. Rain is in the forecast for later Saturday night.