Yankees’ A-Rod gets day off – and he’s not hurt

When Alex Rodriguez arrived at Nationals Park on Saturday

morning, he knew his name wasn’t in the lineup.

According to manager Joe Girardi, it was ”just a day off” for

the New York Yankees’ third baseman. Nothing more.

A-Rod had played in all but one of the Yankees’ previous games

this season, and for the first time in several years, he’s been

healthy.

”I’m giddy when I get up in the morning. I’m giddy. It’s nice

to wake up and make it about baseball,” Rodriguez said before the

game against the Washington Nationals.

Rodriguez, who turns 37 next month, has been on the disabled

list each year since 2008. Not so this year. Not yet, anyway.

”The good news is my body feels great. I feel better and

better,” Rodriguez said. ”I feel good, healthy, strong. I’m

moving around good.”

Rodriguez began the day batting .276 with 10 home runs and 31

RBIs, needing one RBI to pass Jimmie Foxx for sixth place on the

career list. On Tuesday in Atlanta, he hit his 23rd grand slam,

tying Lou Gehrig for most in baseball history.

Girardi said that A-Rod would be available to pinch hit.

”Hopefully, I don’t need him,” Girardi said

On Friday, Girardi didn’t start Robinson Cano, but used the

second baseman as a pinch hitter. Without the designated hitter, it

gives the manager a chance to rest his veteran regulars.

”One of the big things is trying to keep him and (shortstop

Derek Jeter) healthy,” Girardi said. ”We’ve been able to DH him a

lot more than we thought, and it’s probably helped him on the

field.”