The Bronx Bombers are in desperate need of a third baseman and a right-handed hitter, but "A-Rod" didn't look any closer to returning during his three innings on Wednesday night.
We know that he'll play in the maximum number of rehab games—20—before returning to New York. He revealed that part of his plan on Tuesday night.
Wednesday brought with it new developments in his rehab, so let's take a look at his most recent outing.
Coming off an 0-for-2 day with a double play, a strikeout looking and an error, A-Rod couldn't go anywhere but up, but he's sure taking his time.
He went 0-for-2 again on Wednesday with two soft grounders, but at least he made contact both times and only got himself out.
News Alarm: Alex Rodriguez (3B - NYY) Alex Rodriguez had two soft groundouts tonight for Class-A Charleston. He's... http://t.co/ZibSidPOZ0— FantasyAlarm (@FantasyAlarm) July 3, 2013
The highlight of his day (and his comeback thus far) was when he turned a nifty double play in the field, proving that his mobility and arm are getting better.
Alex Rodriguez just started a 5-4-3 double play for Charleston.— Roger Rubin (@RogRubin) July 3, 2013
The Yankees don't need him to come in and play defense, however, as even David Adams can play defense. The team needs him to start hitting, and he couldn't even manage to hit the ball out of the infield again on Wednesday.
We've yet to see A-Rod get his first hit—or even hit the ball to an outfielder, for that matter—and until he does, he's going to keep getting bad grades like this one.
Overall Grade: C-
Rodriguez's day started like any other player for the Charleston Riverdogs, albeit with perhaps a bit more excitement.
The portion of our Twitter reaction that deals with the highlights of A-Rod's day is brought to you by Roger Rubin, who has been following A-Rod's entire recovery process.
So A-Rod bounces out on his first at-bat in his second rehab game. Went for the first pitch. Score it 3-to-1.— Roger Rubin (@RogRubin) July 3, 2013
Alex Rodriguez hits a 1-and-2 pitch for a groundout to the second baseman in his second and final at-bat of this rehab game. Was 0-for-2.— Roger Rubin (@RogRubin) July 3, 2013
A-Rod now out of the game. Made a nice defensive play. Now 0-for-4 in two rehab games. #yankees— Roger Rubin (@RogRubin) July 3, 2013
Rodriguez's day was quickly over, wrapping up again after just three innings. The Yanks don't want to rush him back and see him get re-injured. But just because his day was over, it didn't mean that he hit the showers.
Fans were quick to notice that he remains hitless through his first two appearances, going 0-for-4. This is a bad sign in their eyes, and many are saying he won't be ready in 20 days.
A-Rod is now 0-for-A ball— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) July 3, 2013
Keep in mind, however, that A-Rod will have to be back after 20 games, MLB-ready or not.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com informed us that A-Rod will actually be promoted after his first two games despite looking terrible.
A-Rod had two soft groundouts tonight for Class-A Charleston. He's expected to join Class-A Tampa tomorrow.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 3, 2013
After Todd Wills of ESPN Dallas reported that Manny Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, the speculation ran rampant that he and A-Rod could face off once more later this month, assuming that both play well in the minors.
So theoretically, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez could both play in Texas on July 22?— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) July 3, 2013
The big question facing A-Rod is: Where does he go from here?
Rodriguez will be promoted to High-A Tampa, where he hopes to record his first hit.
Rodriguez is taking things slow, noting that his age is taking a toll. On Wednesday, he reminded Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he's nearly 38 years old and his body has been through a lot during his time in the MLB. "I've got to be realistic with myself," he said. "I'm almost 38 not 28. It's been a long time since I've done anything."
After an embarrassing finish to his 2012 campaign, expectations are not exactly through the roof for him even when he does come back, which he talked about as well.
Look, let's be honest. The way the year ended last year was pretty bloody. We got swept. I got benched. I got pinch-hit for. And I got nobody to blame but myself because I stunk up the house, that's for sure.
A-Rod is still working his way back into shape. The simple truth is that he didn't start playing for the Riverdogs at 100 percent. Instead, he's using his time in the minors to get there, which is a big reason why he is struggling.
The only thing he can do now is to keep working to get back into shape. He needs to be ready when he is called up, so he can help the Yanks make it to the postseason.
The team needs him, and we'll see him in the Bronx wearing pinstripes in a few weeks.
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