Saturday, June 25, 2011
Alex Rodriguez playing with bum knee
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez revealed after Saturday's 8-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies that he has been playing through a right knee injury, which he suffered last Sunday night in Chicago.
Rodriguez thought about scoring on a wild pitch during the sixth inning of the Yankees' 10-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, but decided against it. And as he was pivoting back to third base, he tweaked his knee.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi characterized Rodriguez's knee as sore.
"It's getting better," said Rodriguez, who had two hits and three RBIs on Saturday afternoon. "I've been pretty much [feeling] the same way since Cincinnati, but it's getting better. This is an injury that I can play through."
Rodriguez said he's been seeing the team doctors regularly and has been told that he won't aggravate the injury.
"I love to play, and anytime I have an opportunity, I'm gonna play," Rodriguez said. "I just want to help the team try to win every day."
Rodriguez looked like he was hobbling after doubling in the third inning Saturday but downplayed the limp after the game. Eventually, he was replaced by Ramiro Pena at third base in the eighth.
"He's beat up. His legs are sore," Girardi said. "It's that time of year, so I had a chance to get him out and I took him out. ... [His knee has] been sore since Chicago, so we've been fighting through that."
Girardi said he'd be open to letting Rodriguez rest, but Rodriguez hasn't asked for a day off.
With the way he's played of late, he hasn't needed one.
The 35-year-old is hitting .545 in his past six games and has eight RBIs over that stretch. Although he hasn't homered since June 11, Rodriguez has certainly been making his presence felt in the cleanup spot.
Saturday "is a great example of when I'm going right at the plate, I'm going to right field," said Rodriguez, who doubled and singled to right. "As long as I'm having good at-bats, I've never really worried about the long ball. Those come in bunches."
This isn't the first time this season that Rodriguez has dealt with an injury. He's also been battling a problematic left shoulder.
Rodriguez, a 16-year veteran, is batting .300 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs, which ranks third on the team behind first baseman Mark Teixeira (57) and center fielder Curtis Granderson (55).
Rodriguez is on pace for 28 homers, which would be his lowest total since 1997 (23), his second year in the big leagues.
The Yankees play the final game of their three-game interleague series with the Rockies on Sunday afternoon before getting an off day Monday. They kick off a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPN NewYork.com.