TAMPA — Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was upbeat after running the bases for the first time in his recovery from knee surgery and could soon be back in the lineup.
"I think next week is realistic," Yankees manager Joe Girardi Tuesday.
Rodriguez, who had surgery on his right knee July 14, took a key step in his rehab program. He ran from first to second and first to third four times each during his latest workout.
Rodriguez, 36, is hitting .295 with a .366 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage in 80 games. The slugging percentage would be his lowest ever in a full season.
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reported that Rodriguez will meet with Major League Baseball investigators soon to discuss his participation in high-stakes poker games. Rodriguez is unlikely to face a suspension, the newspaper reported.
In other Yankees news, RHP Phil Hughes, whose rotation turn was skipped Tuesday, is set to start again Saturday against the Rays.
STRASBURG START: Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his second rehab start Friday night for Class A Potomac.
ANGELS: RHP Garrett Richards, 23, will be called up from Double-A Arkansas to start today in place of struggling RHP Joel Pineiro.
BLUE JAYS: RHP Henderson Alvarez, 21, was called up from Double-A New Hampshire and is set to make his major-league debut today in place of RHP Carlos Villanueva, on the disabled list with a strained forearm.
BRAVES: RHP Tommy Hanson, who has an 8.10 ERA since the All-Star break, was scratched from Friday's start. … All-Star C Brian McCann, out since July 26 because of an oblique strain, is expected to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Friday.
CARDINALS: The club will take advantage of a day off to bump RHP Kyle Lohse to Friday and start ace RHP Chris Carpenter on Thursday against the Brewers.
INDIANS: CF Grady Sizemore, out since July 18 with a bruised right knee, isn't expected back until at least September, manager Manny Acta said.
PADRES: 2B Orlando Hudson left in the fifth with a strained right groin.
PIRATES: 1B Lyle Overbay was released after clearing waivers.
REDS: RHP Logan Ondrusek went on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, and LHP Travis Wood was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
TWINS: RHP Scott Baker went on the disabled list for the second time because of a strained pitching elbow.