The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez has a torn labrum in his left hip… (Carlos Osorio / Associated…)
NASHVILLE -- Alex Rodriguez had struck out seven times in his first 12 at-bats in the American League championship series. New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi called for a pinch-hitter, and Rodriguez told his manager about a painful hip.
The Yankees sent Rodriguez for an MRI examination that night, with no announcement. Rodriguez had surgery on his right hip three years ago, and the Yankees feared the hip might be injured again.
The MRI examination showed no injury. It was not until after the end of the season — and the end of Rodriguez's miserable postseason — that a follow-up exam revealed a torn labrum in his left hip.
The Yankees announced Monday that Rodriguez would undergo surgery on the hip in January and would sit out four to six months thereafter.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, who laid out the chronology in a news conference at baseball's winter meetings, said he had not disclosed the injury before now because reporters had asked whether the Yankees would trade Rodriguez or use him at designated hitter. Until Sunday night, Cashman said, no one had asked whether Rodriguez was injured.
Rodriguez, 37, hit .120 in the playoffs, with no extra-base hits and no runs batted in. He hit .261 in September, with 32 strikeouts in 111 at-bats.
"It's a likely scenario that the struggles we saw in September and October are more than likely related to this issue," Cashman said.
The GM declined to speculate on whether the injuries might be related to Rodriguez's admitted steroid use.
The Yankees owe Rodriguez $114 million for the five years remaining on his contract. Even if the glory days are over for Rodriguez, Cashman said he believes his third baseman can still be effective and need not play out his career at DH.
"Once he's fixed, I think we'll see him return to the player that is above average and more than capable at the position," Cashman said.
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