Rodriguez, working his way back from a broken bone in his left hand, has been out of action since July 25. He served as the designated hitter for Class A Tampa in a 7-6 loss to Lakeland, and Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his return to competitive action.
The Yankees would love to see the veteran thrive and come back before the end of the regular season, and manager Joe Girardi said his presence could have a huge impact on his team.
"You hope a lot," said Girardi. "You hope he comes back swinging it like he did before he got hurt. That's the idea. This is a guy that's supposed to be an impact player for us."
Rodriguez wasn't alone on Friday night. David Aardsma, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last July, made an appearance Friday. Aardsma pitched a scoreless inning for Tampa, walking one batter without allowing any hits.
Another reliever -- Pedro Feliciano -- had a rehab assignment on Friday night. Feliciano, who had shoulder surgery in September, gave up one hit in an inning for the Yankees' short-season affiliate in Staten Island. That one hit was a home run by Alexander Sanchez of the Brooklyn Cyclones.