On Monday night, Alex Rodriguez will make his 2013 MLB season debut. A-Rod makes his return to the field on the same day that the league handed down his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs and interfering with the Biogenesis investigation. The 2011-game punishment is scheduled to begin on Thursday, though Rodriguez will be allowed to play until his appeal is over.
It will be the first time that Rodriguez has played since the 2012 ALCS. He struggled mightily, as the Yankees got swept, and was even benched by manager Joe Girardi. Coming off hip surgery, Rodriguez could have similar struggles in his return to the field. Nevertheless, he will bat cleanup as New York visits the Chicago White Sox.
Despite the questions surrounding what A-Rod will be able to do at the plate, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t be an improvement for New York. The Yankees have been one of the worst hitting teams in the league, and their production at third base has been a large contributing factor. Yankees third basemen have combined to hit just .215 with a .557 OPS.
Just as Rodriguez comes back, the team could be losing another one of their top hitters. Derek Jeter will sit out with a calf strain that could put him in the disabled list for a third time this year. He’s hitting .211 in 19 at-bats.
In his first game back, Rodriguez will face Jose Quintana, who used to be in the Yankees minor league system. He’s 5-3 with a 3.62 ERA. Andy Pettitte will take the hill for New York.
The game is scheduled to get underway at 8:10 p.m. ET. Viewers can watch a live stream online by purchasing MLB.TV. The contest will air locally on the YES Network and Comcast SportsNet Chicago, but the MLB Network may air some at-bats from Rodriguez.