Mark your calenders, Yankee fans. Alex Rodriguez's return date has been pushed up, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman is reporting that he'll be back in the lineup during the first week of May. That's next week, which just so happens to be when the Red Sox and Rays visit the new Stadium for the first time.
When will Rodriguez be in the lineup? He took 15 swings of batting practice on Tuesday and participated in a sliding drill at the Yankees Tampa headquarters which are both good signs about the health of his hip. The next step is an extended spring game, which can be altered to provide A-Rod exactly what he needs to keep his rehab moving forward. In a perfect world, he'd play in several of them but a perfect world doesn't have the Yankees reeling with their rivals headed to New York in a week.
It's a safe bet that he'll be in the lineup for the two games against the Rays, with the likelihood of the Boston series likely fluctuating based on how well the Yankees do in Detroit and against the Angels this weekend. If the Yankees keep losing and keep falling back in the AL East there will be intense pressure to get his bat back for the Sox, pressure that could easily wind up outweighing 48 or 72 hours more of rehab.