MINNEAPOLIS — Alex Rodriguez is almost there.
The Yankees weren't ready to take their star third baseman off the disabled list for Saturday night's game at Minnesota, but manager Joe Girardi said he plans to play Rodriguez today against the Twins if the three-time AL MVP feels all right in the morning.
"My mouth's getting watery here," Rodriguez said. "I'm ready to play, and I've watched enough baseball."
Rodriguez went through another pregame workout Saturday afternoon. He hasn't played for the Yankees since July 7 because of a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery.
"Another good day for us," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully (Saturday) was the last day of workouts.
"The last three days have progressively gotten better. I'm not as winded after going first to third or first to home, and I'm pretty much ready to go."
Girardi said he was pleased with what he saw on the field.
"I thought he was moving well, I thought he swung the bat well, and I thought he moved in the field well," Girardi said. "He answered all the questions. Let's just see how he bounces back when he comes in (today)."
Rodriguez said he hopes to play third base, and Girardi didn't rule that out, but the manager was noncommittal about where he'd put him.
The Yankees don't play Monday. They return home to host Oakland on Tuesday.
Rodriguez had surgery in July so he'd be at full strength for the stretch run in September, and so far his plan has played out. He has said his power was diminished by the injury that made it difficult for him to push off during his swing.
"Hopefully (today) is the day we get it going," Rodriguez said.
DODGERS: LHP Ted Lilly left the game against the Rockies with two outs in the sixth inning with right neck stiffness.
GIANTS: LHP Jonathan Sanchez, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's start, was scratched from today's scheduled outing. LHP Dan Runzler is set to make his first major-league start in his place. … RF Carlos Beltran, on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with a strained right hand, hit in a batting cage without pain and could be activated this week.
INDIANS: OF/DH Shelley Duncan left the team for undisclosed reasons and was placed on the family medical emergency list.
MARLINS: 2B Omar Infante, out since Aug. 4 with a broken right middle finger, was activated from the disabled list. INF Ozzie Martinez was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
METS: SS Jose Reyes, on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, ran the bases at close to full capacity. He's eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday but expects to need a minor-league rehab assignment first.
PHILLIES: LHP Cole Hamels, scratched from his previous start because of left shoulder inflammation, threw 25 pitches in a light bullpen session and is on track to return to the rotation Friday.
PIRATES: LHP Paul Maholm went on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career, sidelined by a shoulder strain. LH reliever Tony Watson was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
RED SOX: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, one of the AL's leading MVP candidates, sat out with a contusion a day after being hit in the back by a pitch. An MRI exam revealed no structural damage.
ROCKIES: RHP Alex White, one of the prospects acquired in the trade that sent RHP Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians, is expected to be activated from the disabled list and start Tuesday. Former Rays RHP Jason Hammel, who has an 8.41 ERA since the All-Star break, will be sent to the bullpen.
TWINS: SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka was taken out of the lineup because of back spasms.
WHITE SOX: RF Carlos Quentin left the game against the Rangers after making a diving catch in the first inning and coming up gripping his left shoulder.