Alex Rodriguez, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is having one of the best seasons of his career – or at least one of his best seasons in a very, very long time. Rodriguez had a three-homer, four-RBI game in an 8-5 win over Minnesota on Saturday, and he homered in a 6-2 win over the Rangers on Monday – on his 40th birthday.
Rodriguez is now hitting .276 with 24 homers, 59 RBIs and a .373 OBP for the Yankees (56-42), who lead the AL East by seven games.
Just how stunning is A-Rod’s resurgence?
“I look at it two ways,” SiriusXM and fantasysportsnetwork.com writer Nando Di Fino said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “There’s still a couple months left for him to just kind of fall off completely, which I think might maybe sort of happen, and it’s overshadowed this whole great season Mark Teixeira is having.”
Teixeira is hitting .259 with 24 home runs, 65 RBIs, 21 doubles and a .362 OBP. He’s been arguably the Yankees’ most important player.
But if it’s not him, it’s definitely Rodriguez.
“When we’re on the show and I’m like, ‘Oh, this guy’s old, this guy’s old’ – and he’s 32 and I’m 37 – it’s kind of cool to see a guy who’s 40 doing well,” Di Fino said. “It’s good for all us old guys.”
Scott Ferrall is impressed by A-Rod’s on-field performance this season, but he isn’t quite buying what he feels is a PR campaign – like on Monday, when Rodriguez signed countless autographs in the Texas heat on his 40th birthday. Not only did Rodriguez do that, but he also smiled and talked to fans and looked happy while doing it.
“Yeah, he finally got the right people inside his ear, I guess,” Di Fino said. “It’s kind of nice. I read some of the stories about him, how he took the classes and this and that. I don’t know how sincere it is, but he’s saying and doing all the right things, if you want to buy into it.”
While it’s still only July a lot can happen, the Yankees, with the second-best record in the AL, look like a safe bet to reach the playoffs. So do the Royals (60-38), who have the second-best record in all of baseball and just acquired Johnny Cueto, one of the best pitchers in the bigs.
Cueto, who in his final start for the Reds pitched eight scoreless innings at Coors Field, could be a steal for Kansas City – and you don’t have to worry about the NL-to-AL switch, either. Cueto may face some tougher lineups, but if he put up insane numbers in Great American Ball Park – one of the most hitter-friendly marks in the majors – just imagine what he’ll do in Kauffman Stadium, one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors.
“He’s going from this tiny little park in Cincinnati . . . and being transferred now to this humongous park in Kansas City,” Di Fino said. “It kind of nullifies the whole DH thing. This is a great thing for him and a great thing for the Royals.”