A-Rod’s swinging a hot bat but Girardi likely to give him day off

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 11 April 2015 | 18.18

If the main reason you are going to Yankee Stadium on Saturday is to watch the Yankees' best hitter, you might want to call an audible.

With the Red Sox starting right-hander Joe Kelly and Alex Rodriguez having played four games in five days there is a strong possibility the designated hitter will not be in the lineup.

"It depends on what happened [Friday night], there is a good shot at that happening,'' manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees' lost a tough 6-5, 19-inning affair to the rival Red Sox Friday night. Rodriguez, who is hitting .286, went 2-for-5 with an RBI single. He was pulled for a pinch runner in the 11th after smacking a double.

The left-handed hitting Garrett Jones likely would be the DH on Saturday. Jones hadn't played in the first three games.

In the early going, the 39-year-old, who didn't play at all last season because of is PED suspension, hasn't looked completely overmatched at the plate. He homered Thursday night to hike his career total to 655, which is five back of Willie Mays and a tie for fourth place on the all-time list. Rodriguez, who hit second Thursday and third Friday, had a .375 on-base average.

"His at-bats have been good. You look at his swings and they have been good,'' Girardi said of Rodriguez, who has yet to play third or first base this season. "Everyone is going to (harp) on the numbers but our (team) numbers aren't out there glaring anyway. He is used to hitting in the middle of the order and understands how to hit in that position.''

As for playing Rodriguez at third or first, Girardi said he hasn't thought about that yet.

"I am not that far ahead,'' Girardi said. "At some point I will give [Mark Teixeira] a day off and [Chase] Headley a day off.''


Girardi said if Carlos Beltran, who pinch hit for Chris Young in the seventh, would have been in the starting lineup, the switch-hitter would have been batting third, where he hit in the first three games. Beltran, hitting just .125, went 1-for-6 but delivered a key game-tying double in the bottom of the 18th.

The manager was correct in noting the Yankees' hitters haven't done much. Entering Friday night's game, they were hitting an anemic .191 overall average and a ghastly .143 (3-for-21) with runners in scoring position.

"That's got to change,'' Girardi said.


Adam Warren proved he could pitch in the big leagues last year as a reliever, when he posted a 2.69 ERA in 69 appearances. Now he wants to show he has the stuff to be part of the rotation.

"I want to prove myself as a starter. I think I have proved I can pitch in the big leagues,'' said Warren, who will make his fourth big league start, and first since 2013, Saturday against the Red Sox. "I do have a little chip on my shoulder that I want to come out there and prove I can do this.''

Warren pitched as a starter in spring training and was inserted into the rotation when Chris Capuano went down with a quadriceps injury that landed him on the disabled list.


When Girardi doesn't play Didi Gregorius at shortstop, look for Stephen Drew to shift from second base to play the position he manned for eight-plus years with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

"Until Brendan [Ryan] gets back that's what I will do,'' said Girardi, who started Drew at short on Friday night after he didn't start Thursday, when Gregorio Petit, a right-handed hitter, was at second base against Blue Jays lefty Daniel Norris. Petit went 0-for-1 with a strike out and a walk. He also made an error before he was taken out of the game.

Drew, who looked sharp at the plate in the final days of spring training, went 1-for-8 and is an anemic 2-for17 (.118).

Ryan, who is on the DL with a calf injury, isn't doing baseball activities yet.

Girardi made it clear Gregorius has been talked to about his baserunning blunders. He was thrown out attempting to steal third with two outs and the Yankees trailing on Opening Day. Thursday night, he took a far too aggressive turn around first after delivering an RBI single and was thrown out.

"Whenever we have a situation that takes place I talk to the players. I don't necessarily tell [the media],'' Girardi said. "The situations are addressed, whether it's through me or the coaches. It's such a small sample but the one thing I think is important is to find out what he was thinking and use it as a teaching moment.''

Though Girardi sat Gregorius and Beltran, he isn't a fan of shuffling lineups this early in the season.

"We will see how guys are swinging and go from there. A lot of our guys were swinging good in spring training, but I don't think you make a lot of changes early in the season,'' Girardi said.


Friday night's game was the 1,300th managed by Girardi.


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