After helping the Yankees clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night against the Angels, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was given most of the afternoon off in the series finale on Wednesday. He pinch hit for Ramiro Pena in the ninth inning and grounded out to first, as New York took the series with a 3-2 win.
With the season winding down and the Yankees assured a playoff spot, starters like Rodriguez can expect to spend more time on the bench. Nevertheless, Yankees manager Joe Girardi still faces a decision in this weekend's series against the Red Sox. Will he play his starters — putting his best team on the field to shoot for the AL East title — or will he choose to give them some rest?
Whatever Girardi decides, Rodriguez has responded well to his manager?s treatment of him this season, hitting 27 home runs with 89 RBIs in 115 games. Those numbers are consistent with his career averages.
Rodriguez's fielding also has remained solid (he has a .966 fielding percentage this season, compared to a .970 fielding percentage in 2008), and his errors continue to decrease with his years in New York.
While the Yankees wait for their ALDS opponent to be determined, Rodriguez's consistent play has given the team a boost of confidence that will serve the pinstripes well as they take the next step on the road to winning their first championship since 2000.