07/21/06 9:30 PM ET
Notes: A-Rod not going anywhere
Cashman, Torre quash trade rumors regarding third baseman
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
General manager Brian Cashman said that he has no plans to move the reigning American League MVP, despite the rampant rumors that have been floating around the airwaves this week.
"We're not trading him, that's the bottom line," Cashman said. "We have no interest in trading him."
"I don't think that's necessary," said Joe Torre when asked if he thought Rodriguez needed a fresh start with another club. "He's competitive and he's been too successful in things he's done in pressure situations to think that he's not going to be able to do that here."
Despite the Rodriguez-to-Philadelphia rumor that spread like wildfire on Thursday, Cashman made it very clear that his third baseman isn't going anywhere.
"He's a huge asset and a big-time producer, and he's going to remain that way -- with us," Cashman said. "Just keep playing and he'll be fine."
A-Rod has been fighting himself at the plate and in the field for much of the season, committing 18 errors already, the most of any third baseman in the Majors. Rodriguez's latest miscue -- another errant throw -- came Friday night against the Blue Jays.
In fact, Rodriguez's error total is topped by only two players in the Majors: Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks (22) and Los Angeles' Rafael Furcal (19).
A-Rod's sixth-inning error on Thursday helped open the door for a four-run inning by Toronto, giving the Blue Jays a 4-3 lead. He now has five errors in the past five days, as his throwing mechanics continue to be out of whack.
"It's just like going 0-for-4; it's one of those things that happen in baseball," Torre said. "His throwing has been inconsistent, and it's just something he's going to have to change. I'm assuming it will, because he's too good."
Rodriguez was out on the field early on Friday, taking grounders and working on his throws.
"I don't think there's anybody who works harder than he does at what he does," Torre said. "He seems to be dropping down too much. When you do that, you don't have control over the flight of the ball."
Rodriguez entered Friday's game with a .284 average, 20 home runs and 68 RBIs, numbers which would please most players. Of course, A-Rod isn't most players, so those numbers lead many to believe that he is having a poor season.
And the perception that Rodriguez can't hit with runners on base? The stats suggest otherwise. Rodriguez was hitting .302 with runners in scoring position and .311 with RISP and two outs before Friday's game.
"Everybody says he can't knock in runs, but his numbers with men in scoring position are pretty good," Torre said. "Am I saying that the attention he's getting isn't warranted? No. ... But if we put all the questions and articles about his lack of this or lack of that, then put them together with his numbers, you wouldn't think it was the same guy."
Dotel to rest: Octavio Dotel visited team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, undergoing an MRI exam to check the status of his surgically repaired right elbow.
The Yankees will send the results of the MRI to Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedist who performed Tommy John surgery on Dotel last June.
Dotel, who experienced soreness in his elbow after making a rehab appearance for Class A Staten Island on Thursday, will travel to Tampa, where he will work out while he rests his elbow back into shape.
Cashman said that when he signed Dotel this winter, he didn't expect him back until mid-to-late July, but Dotel's progress made the Yankees think that he could return sooner. Normal recovery from Tommy John surgery is 12 to 18 months, so Dotel is still in that time frame.
"We just don't think he's ready to go yet," Cashman said. "His body is telling him he can't handle enough yet to make it happen."
Cano not progressing: It looks like the Yankees won't be getting Robinson Cano back until at least Aug. 1, as the second baseman continues to be hampered by a strained left hamstring.
"I think you have to think that way," Torre said of the timetable. "Hitting is not a problem and ground balls aren't a problem. We're just going to have to get him when he cuts the bases and makes the turns."
Cano has been out since June 26, missing the last 20 games with the injury.
"When he's able to run the bases and he doesn't feel anything, I think it will go [quick]," Torre said. "Hamstrings can be tricky; if they get deep down in there, you think you feel good, and then all of a sudden you push the envelope a little and you feel it."
Coming up: The Yankees and Blue Jays play the third game of their four-game series on Saturday, as Chien-Ming Wang takes on Ted Lilly. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.