Could A-Rod hit vs. Dotel?

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
4:03
PM ET
DETROIT -- Joe Girardi said he balked at sending Alex Rodriguez up to hit for Raul Ibañez in the ninth inning of Game 2 with a left-hander, Phil Coke, pitching for the Tigers.

"They would have just brought in a right-hander, anyway," Girardi said.

With that in mind, I asked Girardi today under what circumstances he could see A-Rod getting another at-bat in this series, since Detroit is starting all right-handers and, presumably, Jim Leyland would counter any A-Rod pinch-hitting appearance with a right-handed reliever.

"There are situations that come up in the game that maybe you like the matchup a little bit more if they do go to the right-hander," Girardi said. "Believe me, I don't necessarily want to sit Alex. This is not something that I anticipated or is really easy to do because there's a history there, but I have to do what I feel is best and if there's a spot that I feel it's really beneficial, I'm going to put him in there."

In very small samples, Rodriguez has hit both Tigers lefty relievers well -- .750 (3-for-4) off Coke and 1-for-3 off Drew Smyly -- which might support Girardi's theory that Leyland will always replace lefty with a righty if A-Rod comes up.

A quick scan of A-Rod's numbers versus the Tigers righty relievers reveals he is 0-for-2 against Al Alburquerque; 3-for-19 (.158) with a HR off Joaquin Benoit; 2-for-6 against Jose Valverde, who may have lost his job; and 3-for-10 with 2 HRs off Octavio Dotel. So if there is a matchup that Girardi might think is right for an A-Rod sighting, it might be that one.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Follow Wallace on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146