NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — A-Rod’s comeback has hit a minor snag — and no, it’s not his knee.
Alex Rodriguez was scratched from the Yankees lineup Tuesday night because of a sprained left thumb, an injury he sustained during his first game back from knee surgery.
The three-time AL MVP originally was set to bat fourth in the opener of a three-game series against Oakland, a 6-5 Yankees loss. But after cutting short an early batting practice session, he decided his thumb was too sore to play.
“It felt pretty painful,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully it’s just a day or two.”
X-rays were negative and the Yankees said Rodriguez was day to day.
The third baseman hurt himself fielding a grounder Sunday at Minnesota, his first game since July 7. The Yankees were off Monday.
Rodriguez, who hasn’t homered since June 11, said Tuesday his knee was feeling good and he was available to pinch-hit. He showed off his slightly swollen thumb while standing near the indoor batting cages at Yankee Stadium, saying it was difficult to grip a bat and that it hurt most when he tried putting on his glove.
Rodriguez went 0 for 5 on Sunday against the Twins, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was impressed with A-Rod’s progress.
“The one thing about Sunday, he wasn’t fooled by one pitch,” Girardi said.
Girardi said he will check daily with Rodriguez to see how the knee is but he did not consult with him Tuesday when making out the initial lineup because the team was off Monday.
“It’ll be a day-by-day thing for a while,” Girardi said.
Pulling Rodriguez created a wholesale reorganizing of the Yankees’ lineup. Girardi inserted Eric Chavez at third base and had him bat seventh. And New York went with an order that was often used for much of the six weeks Rodriguez was out.
Brett Gardner moved from ninth to first, and everyone else at the top moved down one slot. Jeter went to second, Curtis Granderson to third and Mark Teixeira moved into A-Rod’s cleanup spot. Designated hitter Jorge Posada moved down to eighth and Russell Martin to ninth.
While he’s disappointed with the thumb injury, Rodriguez was happy with his health overall.
“The good news is the knee feels great, body feels good. Hopefully just a bump in the road,” Rodriguez said. “The big picture is the most important thing.”
Rodriguez was hitting .290 with 13 homers and 52 RBIs in 349 plate appearances this season.
Also, the slugger said he is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball investigators Friday in Baltimore to discuss reports of his participation in illegal poker games.
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