NEW YORK (WFAN) — As strange as it might sound, Carlos Beltran’s ailing hamstring is keeping Alex Rodriguez on the bench, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday.
Speaking to WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, Girardi said Beltran is still feeling the effects of the injury, suffered June 29 against Texas, so the manager is trying to limit Beltran’s work in the field by using him as the designated hitter. That means Alex Rodriguez, the usual DH, is being relegated to the bench.
“It’s difficult with Carlos’ hamstring the way it is right now because you do want to keep his bat in the lineup,” Girardi said. “He’s been our best hitter, consistent all season long, and the other choice is to take him out, and we don’t want to do that.”
Over the past six games,, Rodriguez, who is hitting .220 with eight home runs this season, has served as the DH once and pinch-hit in two contests.
Girardi said he hopes Beltran, who is batting .297 with 19 homers, will be able to return to the outfield after the All-Star break.
The Yankees‘ manager also said he would wait until the weekend to decide whether Beltran should play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. The 39-year-old fielder was selected for the team this week.
New York is 41-43 and trails first-place Baltimore by five games in the American League East.
Girardi was asked if he’s heard any chatter in the clubhouse from players concerned they might be traded near the deadline.
“I have not heard that,” he said. “Maybe other people have heard that, but I have not heard that in the clubhouse. I think they’re focused on just trying to win games and keep this team together. And I’m not always in the clubhouse and hanging out in the back of a bus or the back of a plane with the guys, but I think they’re pretty focused on what they have to do.”
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio player above.