NEW YORK -- As the Alex Rodriguez saga continues to unfold, Brian Cashman continues to use his same strategy when pressed about the third baseman.
The Yankees' general manager is keeping his "eye on the ball," with the metaphorical ball being the 25-man roster he's spent all season juggling. He's fully disclosed Rodriguez's rehab plan, discusses anything he can release as fact and hurls "no comment" after "no comment" at reporters when some of Rodriguez's more outlandish escapades are brought up.
"Feel free to, I guess, reach out to Alex and ask him, because it's something that's hard to keep up with and follow," Cashman said, "so I can just provide you the facts, and that's what I'll continue to do. We're running a baseball team."
Rodriguez joined radio host Mike Francesa on his show on WFAN on Thursday and used a "no comment" of his own when he was asked about his trust in the organization. Cashman said he was aware of the interview, but declined to comment, as well.
Rodriguez will do some defensive exercises, take tee and toss batting practice and do some light conditioning on Saturday as part of the rehab plan that Cashman has laid out. The schedule has him also undergoing treatment and riding a recumbent bike.
"Tomorrow he'll do some light baseball activities, and then we'll progress from there and get him game-ready by Aug. 1," Cashman said Friday.
Rodriguez will still take some time to get into Major League shape, and when he arrives, he of 647 home runs, he'll almost certainly give New York a lift, even at 38 years old. Brent Lillibridge, who was batting .098 this season, started at third base on Friday.
"I've had good communication with Alex, so I'm not too concerned about that when he comes back," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously, our goal is to get him healthy so he can help us. I think that's important. Our communication has been fine, so that's really not a concern."
Cashman also took Friday to defend the medical staff that diagnosed Rodriguez with the quad strain that has now sidelined him.
Controversy stemmed from the third baseman reaching out for a second opinion without notifying the team. Cashman said that as part of the sport's Basic Agreement, Rodriguez could reach out to an approved doctor from the second-opinion list.
"We're very comfortable with our medical staff and our medical diagnoses," Cashman said, "and if someone is uncomfortable, they can certainly follow the course of the second-opinion list and utilize that."
The Rodriguez circus even extended beyond just the third baseman, the manager and the GM. First baseman Mark Teixeira, who is out for the season, was in the clubhouse on Friday and was asked about Rodriguez.
Why, a reporter asked, does everything seem to be "larger than life" with him?
"That's the nature of the business," Teixeira said. "Show business."
Jeter won't return Saturday, will play simulated game
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter always bubbles with enthusiasm and optimism. But on Saturday, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list, he will participate in a simulated game, the Yankees announced after Friday's 10-6 loss to the Rays.
Still, Joe Girardi seems pleased with Jeter's progress.
"He feels great, " the Yankees manager said. "Shocker.
"It's really a stupid question for me to ask."
The shortstop has been working with the team since he went on the DL, both on the road and on Friday at Yankee Stadium. He did the same thing he did on Thursday -- "I walked in, I got treatment, came outside, and now I'm supposed to go back in," he said while leaving the field. "Whatever they tell me."
"He is now doing a lot of different baseball activities," general manager Brian Cashman said.
Jeter is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday and before the game he said he feels "fine" and is, as usual, "always hopeful."
But with news of the sim game -- the time and place are still yet to be announced -- his return will have to wait until Sunday, at the earliest.
Teixeira taking rehab process one step at a time
NEW YORK -- Until Thursday, Mark Teixeira had been in an elbow cast. He's now in one that ends just below his elbow. In two weeks, he expects to have a removable cast. Rehab -- that is strength-and-movement training -- will start at the end of August. He'll stick with that for a few months, and it will take him right up to the start of his offseason program on Nov. 1.
And if it sounds like a rigid schedule, that's because it is.
"I've got it all planned out, believe me," the first baseman said. "I had it planned out from the first day."
For now, Teixeira is spending summer at home for the first time since he was a kid. When he was growing up, he played with travel teams. Then in college, the Minors and the big leagues.
He doesn't usually miss any time, so wrist surgery has created an abnormal summer for Teixeira.
"It's kind of nice, spending time with my family and being normal," Teixeira said. "At 7 o'clock every night, it [stinks]."
In terms of rehab, Teixeira is still not allowed to do anything. He can drive his car, but he has to be careful with only one good arm.
Teixeira still doesn't have any regrets about holding off on surgery and forcing his way back. With a six-month rehab process, surgery in late March wouldn't have put him in the lineup until late September, and he'd still have to get his timing back. By the time he did that, he said, "[the] season's probably over anyway."
Teixeira will rehab in New York and then spend his offseason doing his program in Connecticut, as he usually does, and when he returns, he'll give the Yankees the healthy slugger they hope for.
"The only good thing about this is you don't have to get back as fast as you can," Teixeira said. "The doctor's always just going to make sure everything's healed up and we're taking it slow."
• Francisco Cervelli is hurt again. The catcher has a sore finger and is off to visit a doctor in Cleveland. Cashman admitted that he's not sure if Cervelli, who's played in just 17 games this season and none since April, will return at any point this year. Cervelli has 14 hits and three home runs in 52 at-bats this season.
• David Phelps threw a bullpen session on Friday, Girardi said. The pitcher has been on the disabled list since July 6 with a right forearm strain. Phelps is 6-5 with a 5.01 ERA this season.
• Granderson and infielder Jayson Nix both played in rehab games with Class A Tampa on Friday. Granderson is rehabbing a broken left pinkie and Nix has been sidelined since July 3 with a a hamstring injury. Granderson has played just eight games in the Majors this season, hitting one home run, and Nix was batting .236 in 237 at-bats before landing on the DL.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.