|Monday, March 24
Updated: March 25, 10:15 AM ET
Rodriguez to play in minors before Opening Day
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez will play in a minor league game Tuesday and then probably won't play in any more games for the Rangers this spring, manager Buck Showalter said Monday.
Rodriguez is expected, however, to be in the lineup for the season opener Sunday at Anaheim. That will be the start of the third year of his record $252 million, 10-year contract.
The All-Star shortstop and AL home run leader the past two seasons hasn't played since March 11 because of a herniated disk in his neck.
During the minor league game Tuesday against San Diego's Triple-A team at the Rangers complex, Rodriguez is expected to get several at-bats. It was unclear if he would play shortstop or just serve as a designated hitter.
After going through workouts Monday, Rodriguez said he felt fine and was ready to play again.
Showalter said he plans to hold Rodriguez out of the Rangers' final exhibition games this week in case there are any setbacks with the shortstop's health.
"Minor league games are OK, but probably not a major league game because we could lose the back date if we need it,'' Showalter said.
That back date is for the 15-day disabled list, just in case Rodriguez can't start the regular season. Without him playing any more this spring, the Rangers would be able to make any DL stint retroactive, meaning he would miss a minimum of four games rather than two full weeks.
After playing his last game March 11, Rodriguez felt fatigue and stiffness in his left shoulder. The stiffness continued the next day, and Rodriguez was sent back to Dallas for further tests that revealed a small herniated disc in his neck.
He rejoined the team in Arizona March 17 and has been going through a rehabilitation program. He has hit off tees and done only limited work against live pitching.
Rodriguez led the majors last season with 57 home runs, 142 RBI and 389 total bases.