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Wednesday’s roundup: A-Rod making case for DH role

Associated Press

Tampa, Fla. — New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says Alex Rodriguez is making a case to be the team’s full-time designated hitter and Adam Warren has taken a big lead to become the fifth starter.

Rodriguez, who turns 40 in July, is returning from a one-year drug suspension. A-Rod entered Wednesday hitting .286 (8 for 28) with two homers.

“We’ll talk about all these things, but the way he’s looked so far, I’d definitely say he’s pushed himself into full-time DH consideration,” Cashman said before Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets. “He’s done well. A lot of life in his bat.”

Following the re-signing of third baseman Chase Headley, Rodriguez is competing for at-bats at DH with left-handed-hitting Garrett Jones. He might get limited playing time at third and first base.

Rodriguez ranks fifth on the career home run list with 654. He has not played a full season since 2007 because the suspension, operations on both hips and other injuries.

Warren is competing with a group that includes Esmil Rogers.

MLB investigates Cosart

Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart is being investigated by Major League Baseball for online comments he may have made about gambling.

Marlins spokesman Matt Roebuck confirmed the investigation in a statement Wednesday but declined further comment.

The 24-year-old Cosart deleted his Twitter account Tuesday after screen shots of comments he purportedly made to a gambling expert were published on the social media site.

It is a MLB rules violation for players or any other employees to bet on baseball games. A player who bets on a game his team isn’t playing in faces a mandatory one-year suspension. A player who bets on or against his own team faces a lifetime ban. The commissioner, at his discretion, can discipline a player for placing other types of bets with an illegal bookmaker.

Wheeler has surgery

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler has had Tommy John surgery, which likely will sideline him until late next spring.

The Mets said team medical director Dr. David Altchek operated in New York on Wednesday to reconstruct the 24-year-old right-hander’s ulnar collateral ligament and repair the flexor pronator tendon.

Wheeler was 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA and 187 strikeouts last year, when he threw a career-high 1851/3 innings.

Around the horn

Andrew McCutchen’s trademark dreadlocks won’t be heading north with the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates star.

The 2013 National League Most Valuable Player spent a portion of his team’s off day on Wednesday at the mercy of his barber, who clipped off McCutchen’s long locks and gave him a decidedly more aerodynamic do heading into the 2014 regular season.

McCutchen says he will auction off the dreadlocks through mlb.com, with all proceeds going to Pirates charities.