Rapid Reaction: A-Rod's walkathon
August, 3, 2013
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Rich SchultzAlex Rodriguez walked and later scored on a three-run homer in the fifth.TRENTON, N.J. -- If Saturday marked Alex Rodriguez's final at-bats until 2015, he will head into his lengthy hiatus knowing he still has a good eye.
With MLB on the verge of likely suspending Rodriguez through the 2014 season, Rodriguez walked four times against Reading in a rehab game on Saturday night with Double-A Trenton.
Rodriguez played seven innings and made three plays in the field.
Saturday's game was supposed to be Rodriguez's final tuneup before a potential return on Monday, but baseball appears ready to drop the hammer on A-Rod before he can suit up.
FIRST AB: Rodriguez worked a walk in a seven-pitch at-bat in the first inning. He fouled off a pair of low 90s fastballs, and battled back from a 1-2 count to earn the base. The opposing starter, Brody Colvin, kept pounding the outside corner, but Rodriguez laid off the fastballs.
On the basepaths, Rodriguez didn't exactly test himself. Slade Heathcott followed him with a double, and while Rodriguez had to wait to see if the ball was caught, once it hit off the wall Rodriguez continued his run to third in what could be described as a comfortable jog. He didn't turn on the jets.
SECOND AB: Rodriguez once again reached on a walk in the third inning. Colvin missed away badly on a 3-2 pitch to walk Rodriguez, which brought some boos from the crowd. Rodriguez fouled off one pitch in the at-bat.
THIRD AB: Yup, another walk in the fifth. Rodriguez got ahead 3-0 and then swung through a fastball down the middle before earning a free pass. None of the balls were particularly close. Rodriguez later scored on a three-run homer that put the Thunder ahead, 5-4, in an eventual 7-5 win.
FINAL AB: Rodriguez, once again, walked on a full count in the seventh inning. Rodriguez heard boos as he trotted down to first as the fans were likely frustrated he didn't put a single ball in play. He went to second on a wild pitch, although he didn't move too quickly.
TOTAL: In his two games on Friday and Saturday, Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with one homer, two RBIs, five walks and two runs scored.
DEFENSE: Rodriguez got tested early with a soft liner/blooper that he caught to start the game, and he finished the first by starting a 5-4-3 double play.
In the second, Rodriguez threw high to second after going to his right on a grounder and couldn't get the out. It would've been a tough play to make, but one he probably should have made. An inning later, he cleanly fielded a one-hopper and ended the frame with a nice throw across the diamond.
CROWD: A mixture of boos and cheers for Rodriguez. The cheers usually won out, but the boos were noticeable. Prior to his first at-bat, the boos were more discernible than the applause. He gave his batting gloves and bat away after the seventh inning.
WHAT'S NEXT: A workout on Sunday at an undisclosed location. Rodriguez's status on Monday, though, is the big question. Will he be in the Yankees' lineup or suspended?