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Alex Rodriguez Goes Hitless in First Minor League Action for New York Yankees

CHARLESTON, SC - JULY 02:  Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankess warms up before his game for the Charleston RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park on July 2, 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIJuly 3, 2013

The road back to the New York Yankees has officially begun for Alex Rodriguez, as the third baseman played his first rehab game for Single-A Charleston on Tuesday evening.

Rodriguez recorded two at-bats, grounding into a double play in his first at-bat and striking out looking on a 2-2 fastball in his second at-bat. Not exactly the best results for A-Rod, but it could have been worse.

Just last week, Rodriguez tweeted that he was cleared to return to action—much to the chagrin of general manager Brian Cashman. Cashman used expletives to describe his distaste in the public announcement made by Rodriguez and had no problems saying what came to mind when asked about the situation.

It turns out that Rodriguez wasn't lying. He was indeed cleared to play and may be closer to a return than many expected. After playing three innings at third base on Tuesday, the team expects A-Rod to play just one more game in Charleston before taking the next step in his rehab, per a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

That next step would presumably be a few games at Double-A Trenton before making the jump to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Then, it'll be on to the big stage.

The results weren't pretty for A-Rod in his first live action since undergoing offseason surgery to repair his mess of a hip, but it was unfair to expect anything from him in the first place.

After not seeing in-game pitching for several months, Rodriguez's timing and mechanics are likely a little off—even against Class A pitching. The Yankees aren't looking at his results so much as his health, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind if he found a gap or two during his rehab.

The third base situation for New York is currently in a state of flux, as Kevin Youkilis is wasting away on the disabled list, and the team has yet to find any consistency from David Adams and Alberto Gonzalez.

Rodriguez may not be close to the player he once was, but it's safe to say that he's an upgrade over the current players.

Fans should monitor Rodriguez's rehab closely in order to make their predictions for his 2013 season. After just one game, it appears as if he's right on schedule.

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