A-Rod was finally cleared for baseball activities and took the field for the Charleston RiverDogs in Low-A ball, getting his three innings before taking a seat.
Alex Rodriguez will wear No. 13 for Class A Charleston. Tonight. Will bat 2nd and play 3 innings, possibly more if needed to get 2nd AB.— Roger Rubin (@RogRubin) July 2, 2013
A-Rod's play wasn't exactly up to par, but seeing him on the field was certainly an encouraging sign for the Yanks, who desperately need right-handed bats in the lineup.
Let's take a closer look at Rodriguez's return to baseball.
It was a tough day for A-Rod.
The Rome Braves picked on him early, with the first batter dropping a bunt down the third-base line and beating A-Rod's poor throw.
So, the Rome Braves first batter drops a bunt down the 3B line to start the game against Alex Rodriguez. Welcome back dude. Runner was safe— Brendan Robertson (@BrendanNBC26) July 2, 2013
Things didn't get any better when he was at the plate, either.
Rodriguez grounded into a double play and struck out looking in his two at-bats in this game, displaying little confidence in his natural talent.
I could've easily failed A-Rod completely and given him an F, but just seeing him on the field gives him a better grade than that.
Overall Grade: D
Some fans were happy to see A-Rod back and welcomed him with open arms.
Alex Rodriguez's road to redemption begins tonight— Tom Lynch (@ltj41) July 3, 2013
Most people were not those fans.
Things got ugly on Twitter, and seemingly every tweet took a shot at Rodriguez.
Baseball season is finally underway. Alex Rodriguez struck out.— Adam Reisinger (@AdamReisinger) July 2, 2013
Alex Rodriguez already in postseason form as he struck out looking and grounded into a double play in his 1st rehab game— Ben Wagner (@UA_AthleticsBen) July 3, 2013
Alex Rodriguez struck out and grounded into a double play. A guy with 600 HR should be able to get a hit in a single a game.— DEVIN (@DEA_93) July 3, 2013
The fans in Charleston still had to get a few autographs, even if they weren't exactly ecstatic to see Rodriguez's performance.
Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with a GIDP and K in a rehab game with Single-A Charleston tonight. Still the best 3B option the Yankees have.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) July 3, 2013
Whether they like it or not, Yankees fans are going to have to accept that A-Rod might still be the team's third baseman when he comes back.
A-Rod leaves the game after three innings but is still signing autogrpahs for the fans down the right-field line. #Yankees— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 3, 2013
A-Rod's road to recovery could take longer than we expected, as he revealed that he is planning on taking his time, per The Associated Press (via Matt Snyder of CBS Sports).
The maximum number of games that can be played during a continual rehab assignment is 20, and Rodriguez has firmly said that he'll play in all 20 before returning to the lineup.
If all goes according to plan, we'll see A-Rod back at third for the Yankees by the end of the month, barring a setback.
After seeing how bad he looked on Tuesday, this is clearly the right path for him. He looked off at the plate, and he is clearly not ready for MLB pitchers just yet.
His mobility and defense were poor, his ability to make contact left a lot to be desired, and he looks like he's light-years away from playing in the bigs.
Or 20 games.