Yankees’ Rodriguez increases on-field work in rehab

TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez started his third week of on-field work by adding defensive drills and hitting in a cage.

The 37-year-old, recuperating from left hip surgery on Jan. 16, fielded grounders and took 25 swings during a batting practice session in an indoor cage Monday at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

A-Rod, who has been hitting off a tee and taking swings at underhand soft tosses, ran from pole to pole near the warning track four times.

“Not bad,” Rodriguez said when leaving the player’s parking lot.

New York expects A-Rod to return after the All-Star break.

First baseman Mark Teixeira, sidelined by a right wrist injury, took another step toward playing in minor league games by batting in a simulated game against a pair of minor league pitchers. Teixeira has been out since injuring his wrist with the U.S. on March 5 before the World Baseball Classic.

Corner infielder Kevin Youkilis, on the disabled list with a lumbar spine sprain, continued taking on-field batting practice. He took grounders at third and made throws to both first and second base.

Youkilis also participated in Teixeira’s simulated game but tracked the pitches and did not swing.


Ruiz to go on DL: Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and first baseman Ryan Howard is day to day with a sore left knee.

Both players had MRI exams Monday.

Ruiz has a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He has played in 16 games and is hitting .235 with two RBIs. He is expected to miss three to four weeks.

Howard has problems with the meniscus and inflammation in his knee. He is hitting .179 in 16 games this month, dropping his average to .245. He has six home runs and 22 RBIs in 41 games.

Red Sox

Bailey activated from DL: The Boston Red Sox activated relief pitcher Andrew Bailey from the 15-day disabled list Monday.

Bailey had been out since April 29 with right biceps inflammation. He threw 17 pitches in a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bailey last pitched April 28 against Houston when he threw a scoreless inning. He’s 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA and five saves. His return comes at a good time for the Red Sox, who have lost fellow reliever Joel Hanrahan for the season with an elbow injury.


Aardsma signs minor league deal: In New York, the Mets signed right-handed reliever David Aardsma to a minor league contract and assigned him Triple-A Las Vegas.

The former Seattle Mariners closer signed with New York after opting out of his minor league deal with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. He was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans.

The 31-year-old Aardsma missed all of 2011 when he had offseason hip surgery and then an elbow ligament replacement operation that July.

Aardsma signed with the Yankees before last season and made one appearance. He was cut on March 29. A 2003 first-round pick by San Francisco, Aardsma saved a combined 69 games for the Mariners in 2009-10. Overall, Aardsma is 13-15 with 69 saves and a 4.22 ERA in 255 games.

The Mets’ bullpen has a 4.77 ERA, 29th in the major leagues.


Lewis unhappy with fastball speed: Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis said he isn’t ready to get big league hitters out, and isn’t sure when he will be.

The 33-year-old, who is coming back from elbow surgery last July, said he wasn’t trying to sound pessimistic after a 47-pitch rehabilitation outing at Double-A Frisco on Monday. But he said his velocity has to be higher than the top speed of 87 mph against San Antonio.

Lewis breezed through the first two innings but gave up four hits in the third, including a leadoff home run by San Antonio’s A.J. Kirby-Jones.

Lewis, who tore his right flexor tendon, still hopes to return before the All-Star break. It was his first outing since mild triceps tendinitis turned up after an appearance May 9 with Triple-A Round Rock.