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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Postgame Notes: A-Rod edition

Final score: Trenton 6, Reading 5

Synopsis: Alex Rodriguez rehabbed with the Thunder, hit a single and a long home run, and Trenton staged a furious rally in the ninth to top the Fightins and stay in second place in the Eastern League's Eastern Division. 

What went right: Just about everything possible. After being hampered by rain in the Florida State League, Rodriguez got chance after chance after chance to test himself as recovers from offseason hip surgery. 

Including a rundown play, Rodriguez got five chances to test himself in the field. He had two grounders on which to bust it down the line (one a groundout, the other an infield(ish) single), and he put a cherry on top with the long homer (we estimated it at about 400 feet) to left-center field. 

"We checked off a lot of boxes tonight," he said afterward. You can see all of what he said in the video below. 

The plan Tuesday is roughly the same. Seven or eight innings at third base and four or so at-bats. It's unclear whether he'll play on Wednesday in the series finale, a noon start. It's also not yet known whether Rodriguez will travel back to Trenton with the Thunder to play out the final leg of his rehab at Arm & Hammer Park.

What went wrong: I don't know if this counts, but Rodriguez admitted before the game that he didn't show up to Friday's scheduled rehab outing in Tampa. This was after meeting with MLB investigators and reps from the players association. The game was rained out, but not showing up entirely and without giving prior notice ruffled the Yankees feathers just a little bit more, if that's possible.

Combine that with the neverending steroid saga (which he didn't answer questions about on Monday), the dalliances with young women in the stands during the postseason, the underground poker rings and everything else that has gone wrong over the last decade in pinstripes, and it's pretty safe to say that relations are strained between Rodriguez and his bosses.

By comparison, skipping a washed-out rehab assignment seems like just a tiny drop in the bucket.

Other stuff: Michael Pineda is in town, but he's not pitching. Scranton is on its All-Star break, and the Yankees want him to get his work in down here while his teammates relax for a couple of days. It would be his turn to spin on Tuesday, but he's not pitching. So it goes.

Instead, Fred Lewis will start on Tuesday against Reading. This isn't a spot start. He's being transitioned in to the rotation, a little bit like what the Yankees did with Dietrich Enns, now with Tampa, earlier this year. Lewis is lefty who throws in the mid-90s and has struck out 48 in 45 1/3 frames this season among three levels. To make room, Mikey O'Brien, whose stuff ticks up in shorter stints, is heading to the bullpen.

Kyle Roller took BP and ran the bases, as did Nick McCoy. They're getting closer to returning to action. Tyler Austin, however, is not. He's missed three straight days with a lingering issue in his wrist, which he'll get examined soon, probably once the team gets back to Trenton later in the week. Francisco Arcia is also a long way off.

Picks to Click: Here are my game story and notes from today. 

Flick to Click: Check out the highlights from A-Rod's night with the Thunder. 


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