04/28/08 11:50 PM ET
Aggravated quad to keep A-Rod out
Third baseman day-to-day as Yankees begin homestand
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Rodriguez felt the quadriceps grab at him as he legged out a fourth-inning infield groundout facing Cleveland's Aaron Laffey. Rodriguez remained in the game and was hit by a pitch on his left thigh in the sixth inning, saying later that he felt he was only at 50 percent as he scored on Morgan Ensberg's infield dribbler.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Rodriguez for pinch-hitter Johnny Damon in the eighth inning and said that Rodriguez will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, but Girardi confirmed that Rodriguez will not play on Tuesday against the Tigers.
"The key for me now is to get healthy," Rodriguez said. "There's a lot of baseball to be played this year. When I get back out there, I want to be close to 100 percent."
Rodriguez originally suffered the injury on April 20 at Baltimore as he ran out a fielder's choice, missing three games as he simultaneously treated the quad and returned home to Miami for the birth of his second daughter. He re-entered the Yankees' lineup on Friday.
"Every time he has to run, you see it sometimes," Girardi said. "He said every day, when he comes back the next day, it feels better. There have been times when you see him run and you see him pull up a little bit. We're trying to tell him to be smart."
The cold weather in Cleveland almost certainly did not help Rodriguez, with first pitch on Monday being recorded at 48 degrees. Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored in Monday's game and had just two hits in 13 at-bats against Indians pitching, though Girardi said he does not believe the quadriceps affected Rodriguez at the plate.
"I still think that he's just missed about seven or eight balls this series," Girardi said.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter missed six games earlier this month with a similar injury to his left quadriceps. Rodriguez acknowledged that he may have rushed getting back into the lineup.
"I had a quad injury like this my senior year in high school, and it lingered on for a couple of months," Rodriguez said. "It's important to get it right. I think Jeter took the right approach where he took a little bit more time. That's probably what I need, too."
Rodriguez, the defending American League Most Valuable Player, is batting .284 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 24 games.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.