Alex Rodriguez said there’s nothing bothering him. The hip feels good. The knee feels good. The thumb feels good. In spring training there were a lot of questions about how many games he’d be able to play this season, and so far 150-plus seems entirely possible.
“I’m giddy when I get up in the morning,” he said. “It’s nice to wake up and make it be about baseball. I’ve had more work with Kevin (Long) this year than probably the past two combined years.”
Rodriguez has been out of the lineup three times this season. Each one my choice of the manager, not because of some unplayable injury or overwhelming concern.
“I knew about a week ago that today was off,” he said. “The good news is, my body feels great. I feel like it’s responding every day, better and better. I think it’s just part of the restriction that we’re all trying to have. … You kind of understand the big picture and the process and trust that’s best.”
Joe Girardi has been careful about resting Rodriguez regularly. He’s started 17 games at designated hitter and taken three days out of the lineup. You could argue that it’s too much, or you could argue that it’s working.
“You can go first to third,” he said. “I haven’t been able to do that the past 16 months (before this season). Stealing bags when I need to. Overall, I just think the ball feels good coming off the bat. Any time you see an athlete, whether it’s boxing or anything, it always goes back to your legs and your core. If your legs are not under you, if you’re not moving around well, if you’re not running well, that’s going to trickle down to every aspect of your game.”
• Today was a pretty light day in the Yankees clubhouse, with a late report time and not much going on. Things are quiet around here, which might be the way it should be when a team has the best record in the American League.
• Andy Pettitte is making his first start as a 40-year-old. “Andy brings a lot of intensity the day he pitches,” Girardi said. “He expects a lot from his teammates, and it just carries over.”
• Girardi said he thought today was a night game when he said Rodriguez and Derek Jeter would both play every game this road trip. With the day game after the night game, he decided to give Rodriguez a rest. “I figured it’s a short turn-around,” Girardi said. “Can’t really DH him today, unfortunately. I can try, but I don’t think they’re going to let me.”
• So far the schedule has let the Yankees play Curtis Granderson every day, but Giradi said that will likely change soon. “I’m probably going to have to do something when we get into those 13 days in a row,” he said.
• Girardi said he heard from some people in the organization after win No. 500 last night. “I got some texts,” he said. “Some nice texts from people, the front office and friends.”
Associated Press photo