Alex Rodriguez Makes 2013 Yankees Debut After Receiving 211-Game Suspension

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2013

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees walsk off the field back to the dugout after he grounded out in the top of the 9th inning against the Detroit Tigers during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the first time this season, Alex Rodriguez is set to start for the New York Yankees, just hours after Major League Baseball suspended him for 211 games.

The Yankees' official Twitter account posted the lineup:

Rodriguez has been recovering from a torn labrum in his left hip after having surgery on the injury in January. Kevin Youkilis was brought in to fill in for him before the season, but he has a herniated disc and could be done for the year himself.  

Staying healthy has been an issue for the 38-year-old A-Rod in recent years. He missed a combined 103 games between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and has already missed more than half of the season this year.

Rodriguez has been far from a bust with the Yankees—he's hit .292 with 302 home runs and 960 RBI in nine seasons with the club—but he's hardly lived up to the 10-year, $275 million contract he signed in 2007.

The former MVP is still owed $100 million on that deal.    

Despite that, he will take the field with a cloud of controversy around him following the league's decision to suspend him through the end of the 2014 season, a decision Rodriguez is appealing, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

Assuming the star slugger stays healthy, odds are he will be able to finish the season, as his appeal isn't likely to be resolved until sometime this winter, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times:

Despite the inevitable distractions that A-Rod's return will stir up, the Yankees could certainly use the help. While the team remains in the playoff hunt, the Yankees haven't gotten much consistent offense from anyone not named Robinson Cano. With Youkilis, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter all missing in action at times this season, the Yanks have been bombarded with injuries throughout the year. 

Rodriguez isn't the player he once was, but his presence will most certainly be welcomed.

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