NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez delivered a message to the world via Twitter on Tuesday evening, announcing that his hip surgeon has cleared the slugger to begin playing in Minor League rehabilitation games.
The Yankees bounced A-Rod's message back to sender, and general manager Brian Cashman left little question that he would prefer it if his rehabbing star could just stay under the radar.
Responding to Rodriguez's tweet, Cashman said to ESPN New York, "You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]," adding, "Alex should just shut ... up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."
Rodriguez tweeted that he had been visited over the weekend in Tampa, Fla., by Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed his January left hip procedure. Rodriguez said that Kelly "gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!"
Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again! http://t.co/RuzfXOJjHI- Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) June 25, 2013
But the Yankees have made no such announcement, and the team's medical staff -- not Kelly -- would have the final say as to when and where Rodriguez begins playing in Minor League games.
Rodriguez's tweet was accompanied by an Instagram photo of Rodriguez and Kelly sitting on a dugout bench at the Yankees' Himes Avenue Minor League complex. It is expected that Rodriguez will begin playing for Class A Tampa in the Florida State League sometime in July.
"I will continue to work hard until my efforts get me back in pinstripes and help my team win," A-Rod said in a statement in response to Cashman's remarks. "The tweet was pure excitement about Dr. Kelly's prognosis."
Cashman departed Yankee Stadium without speaking to other reporters. His comments to ESPN came after the GM was also irked by a newspaper report that cited a source close to Rodriguez saying he would begin to play in Minor League games on July 1. Cashman told MLB.com on Monday that was inaccurate.
"The tail is not wagging the dog, at least in this case," Cashman said.
The Yankees have provided only a vague timeline for Rodriguez's return, with the club sticking to its original expectation that he could be back in the lineup after the All-Star break.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Rodriguez is making progress but will continue playing in simulated games until further notice.
"I don't tweet and I don't really follow Twitter, so I probably don't really know much of what's going on," Girardi said after the Yankees' 4-3 win. "As far as I know, he's not cleared [to play].
"There's always a chain of command with injuries and there has to be. That's the process. It goes to our training staff, our doctors, our GM and then it probably gets to me, so I'm kind of down on the totem pole."
Girardi also said that he does not expect the Yankees to receive any reinforcements from Tampa before the All-Star break, a rehabbing group that includes Rodriguez, shortstops Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter, as well as catcher Francisco Cervelli.
"This list is going on and on," Girardi said. "Guys are doing more every day."
Impressed with Nova's start, Yanks keep him around
NEW YORK -- Ivan Nova's stay with the Yankees will last more than just one spot start.
Manager Joe Girardi said he's not quite sure yet what the pitcher's role will be in New York, but the team was impressed enough with how Nova threw against the Rays on Sunday that it didn't consider making a move, leaving Nova with the Major League club for the time being.
Nova will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, but New York is "just going to kind of go day by day here to see" what his role will be.
"It's possible he could get another start here at some point," Girardi said. "I'm not taking anyone out of the rotation, but we're in a long stretch here of 20 games, so it's possible we might put him in there just to give the guys an extra day that way."
The Yankees sent Nova to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre largely so that he could remain a starting pitcher, but Girardi said he will be available out of the 'pen in New York.
He won't be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, and probably not on Thursday either, but after that, Girardi will have him available for relief duty.
"We'll keep him in the bullpen probably for that," Girardi said, "just in case of emergency and then we'll see where it goes. There's no exact plan."
Cano not expecting contract extension during season
NEW YORK -- With contract negotiations with the Yankees stalled, second baseman Robinson Cano seems to already expect that an agreement won't be reached during the season.
"Either way, at the end of the season, I'm going to be a free agent," Cano said at his RC24 foundation charity event Monday night. "So you just got to go out there and play ball."
Cano then said he would still be open to signing a contract extension this season, but said he's not thinking about it. If the moment does come, he said he would "see what happens."
The second baseman signed a six-year, $57 million contract in 2008. He made $14 million last season and he'll earn $15 million this year.
It's been reported that he and the Yankees are still far apart in negotiations. Cano dropped agent Scott Boras and switched to Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports agency in April.
Cano was batting .275 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs entering Tuesday night's opener against the Rangers.
"I'm just not thinking about [the] contract right now. I just go out there and play," Cano said. "There will be a chance at the end of the season to talk about that."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. David Wilson and Josh Vitale are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.