Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shuffling Lineups

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shuffling Lineups

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO - Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez participated in a timed conditioning run recently at Tampa, Fla., in the last stages of their injury rehab.

"We both made it well under the time," Granderson said.

However, Granderson beat A-Rod back to the Yankees' lineup and Rodriguez's status was still up in the air Friday, when the Yanks opened a three-game series at Petco Park.

With the looming possibility of a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball, A-Rod played in a minor league rehab game Friday at Class AA Trenton while Granderson batted fifth and started in left field against the Padres.

"I'm excited to be back and to get ready to make this push the final two months of the season," Granderson said of the Yanks' uphill battle for a playoff spot.

Granderson hadn't played since May 24, because of a fractured left hand that took longer to heal than anticipated.

He'd only played in eight games, having missed the first 38 games this season because of a broken right wrist suffered in his first spring training game.

"This is a big power threat," manager Joe Girardi said of Granderson's presence in a lineup desperate for punch. "[He] lengthens our lineup."

Granderson hit a combined 84 home runs from 2011-12.

"He can steal bases, he can do a lot of things," Girardi said.

"We're excited to have him back."

At this point, Girardi is hoping to say the same about Rodriguez by Monday.

"We expect him to be a player," Girardi said. "I can't tell you what's going to happen. Only Major League Baseball can tell you. So we have to prepare as if he's going to be a player for us."

MLB has been negotiating with Rodriguez's representatives about a suspension of 100 or more games because of the Biogenesis steroids scandal.

But at any time, MLB could drop a lifetime ban on Rodriguez -- forcing him off the field and into an arbitrated appeal process -- if the commissioner invokes a best interest of baseball clause. …

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