Rodriguez sits day after night game
August, 10, 2013
By Matt Ehalt | ESPNNewYork.com
John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY SportsAlex Rodriguez will rest this afternoon against the Tigers.NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is out of the lineup Saturday against Detroit as manager Joe Girardi is giving him a day off following Friday's 10-inning affair.
"Just a day. It's a quick turnaround," Girardi said. "He's coming off an injury and just trying to manage it and make sure we keep him on the field the rest of the year."
Rodriguez made his season debut Monday against the White Sox and had played in all four of the team's games leading up to Saturday. Girardi said he would have probably used Rodriguez as the designated hitter on Saturday were the Yankees facing a lefty, but the Yankees will oppose right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
Rodriguez said before Saturday's game that the Yankees have a plan for him, and Girardi explained that it's a day-by-day situation for the 38-year-old third baseman.
"We were real late last night. If we don't have that late night, maybe I play him today. It would have been the first day game after a night game," Girardi said. "I'm just trying to be proactive in this and make sure that we don't run him into the ground where he ends up hurting something else."
Part of the plan can include replacing Rodriguez for defensive purposes in late innings, like Girardi did Friday when he subbed out Rodriguez in the ninth inning for Jayson Nix. Girardi said making that move helps keep Rodriguez fresh while also allowing the Yankees to utilize Rodriguez's bat for most of the game.
At the plate, Rodriguez is batting .200 and looking for his first RBI after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Friday night. Girardi, for the most part, has liked what he's seen out of the veteran.
"Until last night, his at-bats had been really good, but [Rick] Porcello was really tough on our whole lineup, except the top three guys had good at-bats against him, and he's been pitching pretty well," Girardi said. "He ran a sinker in hard on him, looked like a strike and then it would go below the zone. When you swing at a ball below the zone, it's going to be hard to center for anybody. I don't think you can determine where his swing is and where his legs are at when you're swinging at pitches that aren't good pitches to hit."
Hughes up: Phil Hughes starts for the Yankees on Saturday, and he is 2-8 with a 5.11 ERA dating back to May 15. The Yankees are 4-10 in the 14 starts spanning that stretch.
Hughes is coming off back-to-back clunkers, giving up 15 hits and 10 earned runs in a pair of losses.
"It's consistency in pitches. Locating his fastball and making sure he uses his off-speed effectively and having those pitches," Girardi said. "It's just consistency in pitches, and when he has it, he usually goes deep in games. When he doesn't, he struggles."