Blue Jays-Yankees Preview
While the New York Yankees appear ready to get back one underachieving veteran, they're uncertain as to when another will be available.
Alex Rodriguez is expected to come off the disabled list Thursday, when the Yankees could again be minus slumping Mark Teixeira in the decisive finale against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.
Batting .194 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 20 games, the 40-year-old Rodriguez is set to see his first major league action since going on the DL May 4 with a strained hamstring. Though he didn't try to push his leg over two rehab assignments at Double-A Trenton this week, Rodriguez said he feels fine.
"Speed is not part of my game anymore," Rodriguez told MLB's official website. "My job is to give (Yankees manager) Joe (Girardi) and the Yankees quality at-bats and to be a dangerous bat in the middle of the lineup."
Rodriguez has hardly done that in 2016 - and neither has Teixeira.
The first baseman, batting .195 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 42 games, sat out Wednesday's 8-4 defeat with continued neck problems.
"I think (the neck) has some effect (on his production)," Girardi said of Teixeira, who missed two games earlier this month.
"I mean, if you can't move your neck the way you need to, it's kind of hard as a hitter. It was feeling better ... it just kind of reared its ugly head again, so I think it can have an effect."
Another aging Yankees star, CC Sabathia (3-2, 3.41 ERA) is healthy and seeking a third straight winning start. Fresh off the DL from a groin strain, the left-hander allowed a run and struck out eight in six innings of Friday's 8-3 victory at Oakland.
"I thought he got sharper as the night went on, which I think is even better," Girardi said. "You couldn't ask for anything more."
Sabathia, who has yielded only that run over 13 innings in his last two outings, has a 6.00 ERA while losing two of his last three starts against the Blue Jays (23-25).
Troy Tulowitzki is 3 for 5 against Sabathia and expects to face him again after sitting Wednesday with a sore right quadriceps.
"I feel good," said Tulowitzki, who is 6 for 20 in his last five games. "Just give it another day and make sure I'm good to go. A little sore, but nothing to worry about."
Former Yankees catcher Russell Martin homered twice Wednesday as Toronto snapped New York's six-game winning streak. The Blue Jays totaled six runs while losing two of three prior to the victory.
Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius each homered and combined for five hits for the Yankees (22-23), who were trying to move above .500 for the first time since April 13.
That was the same day J.A. Happ (5-2, 3.43) gave up a run in six innings of a 7-2 home win over New York.
After being roughed up for eight runs in two-plus innings of a 13-2 loss to Tampa Bay on May 16, the left-hander allowed all three of his runs in Minnesota's five-run eighth of Toronto's 5-3 defeat Saturday.
"Other than the eighth inning, I felt really good about it," he said.
Including the postseason, Rodriguez is 0 for 12 with three walks against Happ.