A-Rod 'optimistic' about avoiding DL
Hobbled slugger returns to Yankees after daughter's birth
CHICAGO -- Alex Rodriguez rejoined the Yankees on Thursday and said he is "optimistic" that his strained right quadriceps will not require a stint on the disabled list.
Rodriguez suffered the injury while legging out a fielder's choice on Sunday in Baltimore and, in a case of fortuitous timing, he was able to travel home to Miami for the birth of his second daughter. Rodriguez arrived in Chicago toting cigars for his teammates and said he looked forward to rejoining them on the field.
"The leg is good," Rodriguez said. "I got treatment the last several days at the University of Miami. I have not run on it yet -- just hit -- and it's pretty good. I'll do some more work with [trainer Gene Monahan] and hopefully it'll be ready to go pretty soon."
Derek Jeter recently missed six games with a strained left quadriceps, offering some sort of timetable for when Rodriguez could be expected back. Morgan Ensberg was in the lineup at third base for the Yankees again on Thursday for their series finale with the White Sox.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the reigning American League Most Valuable Player will not return to the lineup until he has at least had a chance to run, but he was hopeful that Rodriguez could appear in the club's upcoming four-game series at Cleveland.
"That's what we're hoping for, but you can't predict when you work a guy out how his leg is going to react," Girardi said. "The thing is that you have to make sure he doesn't re-injure it, because if you re-injure it, it's probably going to be worse. I'd say we probably can't do much with him today, so we'll have to see [Friday]."
Rodriguez was prohibited from running at U.S. Cellular Field due to rainy conditions that forced the tarpaulin to be placed on the diamond, washing out batting practice.
Rodriguez -- batting .308 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games this year -- joked that he would be available "in the next four weeks, for sure," and said he probably would be able to at least serve as the designated hitter in Cleveland.
"I kind of felt it playing with my daughter two days ago, trying to get up from the floor," Rodriguez said. "I've got to see. The big test is going to be running."
Meanwhile, the proud papa showed off the cigars engraved with his baby girl's name, Ella Alexander Rodriguez, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Rodriguez said that he had been present for 2 1/2 hours of the delivery of his first daughter, Natasha Alexander, and arrived in Miami 10 minutes after the newest addition to the family was born.
"The timing came from God," Rodriguez said. "It couldn't have been better timing."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.