Via George King -
The Yankees may still need pitching — especially as far as a left-handed reliever is concerned — but they won’t feel utterly compelled to go find another bat before the trading deadline.
Not when they expect to have Alex Rodriguez back by the second week of August following the possible activation of Eric Chavez as soon as today.
Rodriguez, who underwent right knee surgery just over two weeks, is right on schedule for a return that originally was pegged at 4-6 weeks. Rodriguez is showing all signs of making the sooner rather than later return.
“I’ve had some communication on what he does. He sends me usually what he does every day. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s moving along,” manager Joe Girardi said last night. “I can’t tell you when we’ll see him. I don’t have that date. I think our doctors are discussing . . . when we might see him but he’s progressing fine. He’s on schedule.”
General manager Brian Cashman told ESPN Sunday night that he was eying “maybe the second week of August . . . That’s just us being conservative. I think we can push it and get him back sooner, but why? Our offense is strong.”
That scenario would put Rodriguez, who had surgery July 11 in Miami, where he is doing his rehab, back at 5 weeks, right in the middle of the original timeframe.
“He’s been in the pool. I think he’s done some jogging in the pool. He’s done some elliptical work, those types of things. So far everything has been on the up and up,” Girardi said, claiming the five-week span is realistic “because everything went good, the way we expected.”
But as the GM said, there is no need to hasten the return, especially with Chavez expected back. A terrific defensive third baseman, Chavez also represents a “potent left-handed bat” for Girardi, one that would enable him to use Rodriguez as a designated hitter for as long as necessary.
Eric and Alex are one heckuva upgrade over Brandon Laird and Chris Dickerson, that’s for sure.