NEW YORK -- For the second straight day, Yankees manager Joe Girardi elected not to start Alex Rodriguez as his designated hitter for Monday's series opener against the Rangers. But that isn't likely to be the case moving forward."It's a hard decision," Girardi said. "Alex has meant a lot to
NEW YORK -- For the second straight day, Yankees manager Joe Girardi elected not to start Alex Rodriguez as his designated hitter for Monday's series opener against the Rangers. But that isn't likely to be the case moving forward.
"It's a hard decision," Girardi said. "Alex has meant a lot to this club over the years. Right now we're going to do something a little bit different and see how it works. It's an ongoing choice. He'll be back in there tomorrow, but it's an ongoing choice that we'll look at on a daily basis."
The rationale that Girardi provided for why Rodriguez has been sitting is his .200 batting average and .584 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. To general manager Brian Cashman, the fact that Rodriguez has hits in seven of his last eight games is non-consequential. Carlos Beltran has been a significantly better hitter than Rodriguez this season, and the Yankees' best hitter as a whole, and the team feels that having him in the lineup -- either as a DH or right fielder -- gives the club its best chance to win.
That said, Cashman doesn't think it's time to do anything drastic. Cashman said he's given absolutely zero consideration to releasing Rodriguez and doesn't believe that the move to the bench is a long-term solution.
"He's struggled mightily against right-handed pitching, so we're making the adjustment in the short term," Cashman said. "Doesn't mean it's going to last. We're just going to play around and see if he gets an opportunity."
The opportunity to play shouldn't be too hard to come by for Rodriguez given Girardi's outlook on the situation. Girardi said he wouldn't characterize the Beltran/Rodriguez dilemma as a platoon situation moving forward, and backed up the assertion by outlining when he'll next play A-Rod as proof.
Though Girardi wouldn't divulge his plans for Rodriguez beyond Tuesday, he did say that he expects A-Rod to play on Wednesday or Thursday, potentially both, despite the Rangers throwing right-handed pitchers Nick Martinez and A.J. Griffin. Southpaw Cole Hamels is starting Tuesday.
Rodriguez's situation gets a little bleaker later this week. The Yankees travel to San Diego for a three-game set this weekend and, being that they will be playing in an NL park, Rodriguez will get three days off; though Girardi said he wants to mix the lineup up, he confirmed that did not mean reinserting A-Rod as a defensive player at any point in the near future.
Rodriguez said he expects to bounce back well, even if the opportunities are fewer.
"There's a lot of baseball to be played," he said. "You haven't heard the last of me. I am looking forward to when my number is called."
Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.