Chicago, IL – Amid heavy scrutiny, Alex Rodriguez made his 2013 debut for the New York Yankees when the Bronx Bombers opened a three- game series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
Derek Jeter, on the other hand, will remain out of the lineup for an extended period of time due to his continued injury problems.
The Yankees placed Jeter on the 15-day disabled list with a right calf strain prior to Monday's 8-1 loss to the White Sox, while Rodriguez was activated from the 60-day disabled list for his first game with the team in 10 months.
Rodriguez's reinstatement comes on the very same day Major League Baseball handed the controversial slugger a 211-game suspension that will run through the entire 2014 season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The three-time American League MVP has decided to appeal the penalty, however, making him eligible to play until his case is heard.
The 38-year-old Rodriguez had last suited up for the Yankees in last October's AL Championship Series, during which he went 1-for-9 and was benched for the final two tests of an eventual four-game sweep by the Detroit Tigers. He then underwent surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and has spent the last six-plus months recovering from the procedure.
"I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and to play major league baseball again," said Rodriguez during a press conference prior to Monday's tilt.
Rodriguez, batting cleanup, singled in his initial at-bat and finished 1-for-4 in his return.
Jeter, meanwhile, has landed on the DL for the third time this season and has appeared in a mere five games for the Yankees because of various leg problems. The veteran shortstop was sidelined for more than three months by a fractured ankle he suffered during the ALCS, then injured his right quadriceps in his return to action during a July 11 matchup against Kansas City.
The Yankee captain sat out more than two weeks with that ailment before re- joining the team on July 28, but missed the final two games of New York's series at San Diego this past weekend because of lingering soreness in his quad as well as a strained calf.
Rodriguez's insertion on the 40-man roster was actually made possible by the Yankees designating utilityman Brent Lillibridge for assignment. New York also recalled infielder David Adams from Scranton/Wilkes Barre to fill Jeter's spot.
Lillibridge was acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs on June 21, but batted just .171 in 11 games following the trade. Including a nine-game stint with the Cubs, the 29-year-old is hitting a woeful .119 (7-for-59) on the campaign.
Adams spent a good portion of the season helping fill in for Rodriguez's absence at third base earlier in the year. The rookie has hit just .198 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 38 games for the Yankees, however.