A-Rod’s rough times

Alex Rodriguez can’t seem to do anything right this off-season.

First the New York Yankees slugger admits to using steroids and then he gets injured in the run-up to the star-depleted World Baseball Classic.

Rodriguez has a torn labrum in his right hip. The question now is if he will choose to get surgery for it and take at least four months to rehab or try to play through the pain.

The injury appears to be one that developed from years of stress on A-Rod’s hips, which the right-hander used to hit for power and make plays in the field.

Whether A-Rod plays right away or down the line the Yankees are now in trouble. For better or worse he has been one of their best producers in the line-up and more solid infielders over at third base.

With his health in question, the Yankees have to look for another player or two to fill his shoes. One option is to look internally, which would mean promoting a young player to the big leagues. The other is to trade for a player.

The reality is finding someone to play solid defense at third is not the issue. A plethora of utility fielders abound in the majors and the Yankees can more than afford their relatively meagre salaries.

The real stumbling block is getting a replacement that can produce with the bat. Obviously that person wouldn’t be expected to duplicate the .302 batting average, 32 home runs and 103 RBIs A-Rod gave last year.

But New York needs someone to give them around 10-15 home runs and 50 plus RBIs to lessen the load on Mark Teixeira and company.

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