Girardi gives A-Rod first day as DH

Girardi gives A-Rod first day as DH

ANAHEIM -- The dugout runway at Angel Stadium is a little bit too long for Alex Rodriguez to keep running to the video room, so he planned to spend most of Saturday afternoon sitting on the bench.

But A-Rod will have four or five at-bats to look forward to as he logs his first designated-hitter day of the schedule, and as manager Joe Girardi tries to keep his lineup fresh, Rodriguez would certainly prefer that to not playing at all.

"I hate days off. I absolutely hate them," Rodriguez said. "We get enough days off with the schedule. I don't ever, ever, ever want a day off."

Girardi approached Rodriguez before Saturday's game and asked if he thought it might be a good time to accept a half-day. Rodriguez wasn't struggling -- he has reached base in 19 of his last 33 plate appearances and is 6-for-15 on the road trip.

"It's important for Alex to have a DH day," Girardi said. "He's swinging the bat so well right now, you hate to give him a whole day off. He's been a huge part of our lineup right now. It's easier to just give him a DH day."

Rodriguez said that he welcomed the idea, even though DHing isn't exactly a familiar task. Last season, DH days were a necessary part of Rodriguez's plan to come back from right hip surgery, but that is less of a priority now.

"It feels pretty good," Rodriguez said. "No complaints. I think overall Joe checks with me and we always communicate on that. I feel good -- there's definitely no pain."

Before Saturday, Rodriguez had played only 28 games in the role previously, batting .316 (31-for-98) with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. All but four of those DH days came with the Yankees.

"If you DH once a month, that's probably about five or six times a year," Rodriguez said. "You take the benefits from it and go from there."