As the Yankees wrapped up a four-game sweep of the A’s today, they seemed to be firing on all cylinders, and yet, the team is still missing a few key pieces. First to return will be A-Rod, now officially Cameron Diaz’s boyfriend. The Yankees’ third baseman, recovering from a calf injury, will be activated on Sunday when his 15-day stint on the DL is up. He doesn’t think, however, that he’ll be at full strength and would rather take a few extra days’ rest than push it too early. “I’m taking a very precautionary approach and we want to be conservative and we want to make sure we are as close to 100 percent as possible,” he said. “I’m trying to come out of the box 100 percent, which was a big challenge last time.” Rodriguez has participated in baseball drills but has yet to test the calf in a game situation. Getting him back lengthens the lineup and bench tremendously.
Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte, working his way back from a bad groin strain, threw 55 pitches prior to yesterday’s game and reportedly felt no pain today. He’s still on pace to throw a simulated game on Saturday and will make at least one and perhaps two rehab starts, if the Minor League schedule allows it. As long as he suffers no further setbacks, he should be back by mid-September with enough time left to build up arm strength before the playoffs. A healthy Pettitte will be a major part of a deep October run.