As if his postseason performance wasn’t painful enough, Alex Rodriguez will be undergoing a left hip arthroscopy in order to repair bone impingement, torn labrum, and a correction of a troublesome cyst.
The injury was brought to the attention of Dr. Marc Philippon during Rodriguez’s annual November physical evaluation. The Yankees sought a second opinion, and Dr. Bryan Kelly confirmed the diagnosis.
Both Dr. Philippon and Dr. Kelly agree that Rodriguez’s ailing hip could have contributed to his weak performance during the playoffs. Dr. Kelly will be operating on Rodriguez at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York upon Rodriguez’s completion of a four to six week pre-habitation. The recovery is anticipated to take four to six months.
In an interview with ESPN, manager Joe Girardi stated that the Yankees were aware of the improper functioning of Rodriguez’s hip during postseason play. During that time, A-Rod hit .120 in 25 at-bats, contributing only three hits and zero RBI.
“We knew we had an issue,” Girardi said. “You can’t replace what Alex Rodriguez can do for you. It’s very difficult. We’re definitely going to have to do something.”
Looking ahead to the 2013 season, Giardi believes the offensive part of the lineup is incomplete. Additionally, with holes at short and third, the Yankees are missing solid defense for the Opening Day roster.
Although nothing is set in stone, the favorite to be the new third baseman is Jeff Keppinger of the Tampa Bay Rays. Keppinger finished the 2012 season batting .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs. He also had an impressive .367 on base percentage.
Rumors have also been speculating about Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox replacing Rodriguez. Although Brian Cashman, New York Yankees general manager, did not go into detail about the encounter, he confirmed that he met with Youkilis’ agent. Youkilis isn’t the ideal candidate for the roster spot; as the Yankees attempt to cut down payroll, he would be out of their ideal price range.
There is some good news to report from Yankee Universe, however. The Yankees signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract, and have also announced the long-anticipated return of closer Mariano Rivera. The Yankees signed Rivera to a one-year contract as well.
“I do feel pretty good about what our pitching stacks up against,” Girardi said.
Girardi is confident with the pitching staff made up of five solid starters with a unique balance of both young and veteran players.
As for the rest of the Yankees’ postseason roster moves, all we can do is wait to see how their plans unfold.