Another baseball superstar heads to Scranton
Call it celebrity rehab part II.
Another Major League Baseball superstar will come through PNC Field as Alex Rodriguez joins the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders tonight when they open a four-game set against Louisville at 7:05 p.m.
It is the fourth minor-league stop for the New York Yankees third baseman, who continues his rehab from offseason hip surgery.
The arrival of Rodriguez, baseball's active home run leader, marks the second time in the last 12 days that a major league All-Star will join the RailRiders. Yankees icon and captain Derek Jeter played four games with the local club from July 6-10, rehabilitating a broken ankle.
Like Jeter, Rodriguez will join the RailRiders after not having played a big-league game all season. He aims to return to the Yankees on Monday, when his 20-day minor-league rehab assignment expires.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told Newsday that the plan is for Rodriguez to join the team Monday for the start of a four-game series in Texas.
"That's the target, the 22nd," Rodriguez told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I'm very much looking forward to that date."
Rodriguez played for Double-A Trenton on Monday and Tuesday. He also played eight games between Class A affiliates in Charleston and Tampa. Overall, he has gone 5 for 28 with one home run and six RBIs.
This will mark Rodriguez's second stint with the local franchise. He went 2 for 5 in two games in August 2011 as he rehabbed a separate hip injury.
However, baseball has not been his only focus recently. Rodriguez is among the more than a dozen players under investigation by Major League Baseball for ties to Biogenesis of America, the closed Florida-based clinic that distributed banned performance-enhancing drugs to major leaguers.
Last week Rodriguez met with baseball officials but has not commented on that meeting.
When asked by Newsday on Wednesday about the investigation, Rodriguez said the investigation was concerning to him, and will discuss it further "when the time is right."
Rodriguez has said he used PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has denied using them since.
Players' union chief Michael Weiner told The Associated Press on Tuesday he expects Major League Baseball will alert the union of its plans for penalties within the next month. After baseball and the union decide how to process grievances, hearings will be scheduled before an arbitrator, but not before September, and possibly later, and that any suspensions likely won't be served until next year, the AP reported.
Rodriguez has 647 career home runs in his 19-year career, which is the most among active players, and fifth all-time. The three-time Most Valuable Player has been selected to 14 All-Star games during his career with the Yankees, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.
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