Via NYDN: Alex Rodriguez has been cleared to begin playing in official minor league rehab games on July 1st. “It sounds like it’s on schedule. He’s been running, throwing, fielding, and I know it’s approaching. It’s coming,” said Brian Cashman. The GM did say the rehab stint would begin in Tampa, which is not surprising. The team’s High-A and rookie ball affiliates call the Spring Training complex home.
Rodriguez, 37, started facing live pitching last week as he works his way back from left hip surgery. Assuming the Yankees take advantage of the full 20-day rehab window — remember, he didn’t have a Spring Training and will need more than a handful of at-bats to prepare — A-Rod is still a month away from returning to the team even if he starts a rehab assignment in a week or so. The Yankees have gotten a .246/.302/.337 (75 OPS+) line out of their third basemen this year, so even a declining Rodriguez is a big upgrade.