(Courtesy of the AP)
It was nothing earth shattering, but some might say they were a little surprised at the results of Alex Rodriguez's first few games back from the DL. He had a hit in each of his first 3 games against the White Sox, drew a few walks, put some good swings on balls, played the field well, and still looked like he had enough power at the plate to be an offensive threat once he gets his timing back. But those 3 starts were against left-handed pitchers, the type of pitcher against whom A-Rod is most effective. In his first game against a righty starter last night, things didn't look so good.
A-Rod went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts last night against Tigers starter Rick Porcello. The same Rick Porcello who's the 5th starter in that rotation and not exactly a "blow you away" type of right hander. A-Rod struck out swinging in his first 2 at-bats at nothing but low-90s fastballs and looked overmatched doing it. His getting frozen by a nasty slider in his final at-bat in the 8th happens to the best of hitters, but the lack of bat speed against Porcello's fastballs was a flashback to last year's ALCS and a reminder that Alex has declined tremendously against right-handed pitching.
Joe has him out of the lineup today after batting him 5th yesterday. It'll definitely be worth watching what he does with A-Rod against righties if Alex really struggles against them.