Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hitting second, Nathan Eovaldi gets start Wednesday

It is the second game of Spring Training for the New York Yankees and for the first time since Sept. 25, 2013, Alex Rodriguez’s name is in the starting lineup. A-Rod will be the designated hitter as he officially begins his comeback from a one-year suspension due to his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

Rodriguez is batting second as the Yankees take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.

Rodriguez has been getting work in since a few days before position players had to report to camp. He’s participated in live batting practice and in Monday’s intrasquad game Rodriguez failed to get a hit in two at-bats.

The real test begins this afternoon with Kevin Slowey on the mound. Expectations about Rodriguez are all over the map, but the Yankees intend to give him as many plate appearances this spring as possible in an effort to help him regain his timing.

Perhaps more importantly than Rodriguez being in the lineup, Nathan Eovaldi is making his debut in pinstripes, looking to begin a new chapter in his baseball life after being traded to the Yankees by the Miami Marlins.

Eovaldi is a 25-year-old righty who throws hard but has failed to utilize his power fastball to produce strikeouts. He has been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild this spring on his ancillary pitches, hoping to also make his fastball more difficult to hit.

Didi Gregorius is also getting his first taste of game action for the Yankees after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this offseason. Gregorius is leading off and playing shortstop. His position atop the lineup should not be seen as meaningful. Gregorius will likely hit in the lower part of the order when the regular season begins.

Here is the starting lineup courtesy of the Yankees’ Twitter account.
Photo of Alex Rodriguez courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer and sports media strategist. Besides his work here, Christopher is a correspondent for FantasyPros, where he writes a weekly Closer Report column. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.