Strained hamstring lands A-Rod on disabled list

May 4th, 2016

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees will have to climb out of the American League East cellar without Alex Rodriguez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a strained right hamstring.

Rodriguez sustained the injury while running out a ground ball in the fifth inning of New York's 4-1 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday. An MRI taken on Wednesday morning in Baltimore revealed the strain, and manager Joe Girardi said that team physician Christopher Ahmad will determine its severity.

"I can't think of a worse time to go on the DL," Rodriguez said. "Our offense has been struggling, and I take a lot of pride and responsibility in making sure that our offense overall plays well, hitting through the order.

"I talked to the team yesterday, and there's no reason why we can't score five runs per night. That should be a good par for us, especially in our stadium with our offense."

Rodriguez addressed the team in their hitters' meeting before Tuesday's game, hoping to lead the Yankees out of what became a six-game losing streak after Tuesday night's loss.

In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees recalled left-hander James Pazos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Pazos was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in nine appearances there, allowing four runs and 10 hits over 12 innings with 12 walks and 12 strikeouts.

Even with the Yankees struggling for offense, Girardi said that the team decided to call up Pazos instead of a hitter because they are in a stretch of 20 straight games without an off-day.

"I'm not saying that we'll carry 13 pitchers this whole way throughout this 20-day stretch, but we figured we'd cover ourselves a little bit," Girardi said.

Carlos Beltran slotted in as the designated hitter on Wednesday, with Aaron Hicks taking over in right field. Girardi said that his plan is to rotate the DH spot, with players like Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann also taking turns there.

"Some guys are going to get some opportunities, so they've got to step up," Girardi said.

Rodriguez finished 0-for-3 on Tuesday, dropping his average to .194, but he had been one of the few Yankees hitting with consistency. Rodriguez was 6-for-17 (.353) with four runs, two doubles, three homers and six RBIs on New York's road trip.

"Actually, I thought it was encouraging even before I started hitting well," Rodriguez said. "I was telling some of the guys here a couple of weeks ago that it was coming along; [I was] seeing the ball better. I think it was just the quality of the at-bats were getting better with more consistency. For me in my career, walks are usually a sign of good things to come."

Rodriguez said that he will be limited to upper-body and core exercises for the immediate future, and he did not wish to speculate when he could begin running again.

"I feel pretty good, but hamstrings are tricky," Rodriguez said.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

As Rodriguez is a utility-only player in most leagues, he will be fairly easy to replace during his absence. Mixed-league owners may want to add a hot slugger such as Khris Davis or Brandon Drury in the meantime, but would also be wise to find space for Rodriguez on the bench or disabled list. Although the 40-year-old slugger is hitting just .194, his average will likely rise closer to his .250 mark from last season once his batted-ball luck improves (.191 BABIP in 2016). To end on a bright note, A-Rod has ripped roundtrippers at a slightly higher rate this year -- five in 72 at-bats -- than he did when he went deep 33 times a year ago.