Alex Rodriguez has been cleared by the Yankees to resume game activities, and will begin a rehab assignment with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs on Tuesday. According to the Yankees, Rodriguez will play a "minimum" of three innings in the contest, in his first on-field step towards a major-league return this season.
Rodriguez has missed all of 2013 recovering from hip surgery, but hit .272/.353/.430 in 2012 despite a broken hand caused by a hit by pitch. While that might not sound as productive as the A-Rod of old, Yankees' third basemen have combined to hit .231/.293/.315 this season: even Rodriguez as a shadow of his former self would be an upgrade for a club desperate for anything out of the hot corner, one that currently sits in fourth place in the American League East.
Even if Rodriguez is forced to fill-in as the designated hitter most of the time, New York has only received a 689 OPS out of that lineup slot -- he should help wherever he ends up. So long as he makes it back healthy, anyway: That's the question now, one that will be answered little by little over the coming weeks.
More from SB Nation: