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The New York Yankees will reconsider Jorge Posada's future with the team if his numbers don't improve by the All-Star break, according a baseball official with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking.
On Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi left Posada out of the lineup for the third straight time against a left-handed starter.
This sets the stage for what could be an inglorious end to Posada's career with the Yankees. With Posada appearing to be demoted to part-time designated hitter, he must begin to hit consistently to remain on the team.
On Tuesday in Tampa, Posada hit seventh in the lineup and had two hits against right-handed pitching.
Girardi has declined to say Posada won't play against lefties.
"I have to do this day by day," Girardi said on Wednesday, "Jorge's been our DH and he is our DH."
With Orioles' lefty Zach Britton on the mound Wednesday, Posada wasn't the DH. Girardi had Derek Jeter as his DH. Eduardo Nuñez was at short.
Posada is 0-for-24 versus left-handed pitchers this season.
The official said there has been "zero discussion" about releasing Posada since the resolution of this weekend's dispute, when Posada refused to play against the Red Sox on Saturday after Girardi put him at the No. 9 spot in the order. The subject had been broached on Saturday night.
By the All-Star break, the Yankees will have three options. They can stick with him, trade him or release him. One team source optimistically said it would be to stick with him. Posada is hitting .179.
"When it comes to Posada, I think he's going to be better," said one Yankee insider.
Posada is making $13 million this season. If the Yankees release him after the All-Star break, they would lose around $6 million.
If the Yankees were to release Posada, then Jesus Montero would be the likely internal alternative as the DH.
Posada must start hitting because without a position or speed, he has no on-field value to the team.
The Yankees will likely want Posada to be on the team for Jeter's 3,000th hit. Jeter is 34 hits shy of becoming the first Yankee to reach that mark.Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.