NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Not seeing much time at designated hitter lately, Alex Rodriguez suddenly seems interested in taking another stab at first base.
A-Rod is reportedly spending his All-Star break fielding ground balls.
The 40-year-old, a shortstop and third baseman before shifting to DH, played two games at first base last season, committing one error.
“I was told he was more open to playing the field. Last year he was opposed to it,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Post, adding that no one had encouraged A-Rod to work out at first during the break.
Starting first baseman Mark Teixeira is being held out of the lineup every few days since tearing cartilage in his right knee. Rookie Rob Refsnyder, who is learning the position himself, has been serving as Teixeira’s backup.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez has been in the starting lineup just once since July 1. His playing time has been curtailed, in part, because manager Joe Girardi has been using Carlos Beltran more at DH to limit his time in the outfield as he’s been dealing with an ailing hamstring.
A-Rod also has found himself benched against right-handed pitchers. He is batting .220 this season with eight home runs and 28 RBIs, but he’s hitting just .198 against righties.
Cashman said he doesn’t think anyone knows if Rodriguez will actually play at first this season.
Girardi, meanwhile, has seemed open to the idea of A-Rod playing the field again, but it appears a lot of would have to fall into place before that might happen.
“I tried last year, and it didn’t work out,” Girardi said last week, according to The Journal News. “It’s something that we could talk about, but I think you look at the position that he could possibly play, and it would be first base. That would be it. We’ve been running Ref out there for right now. It’s something we could definitely look at, but we haven’t.”