Girardi: Rodriguez has lots of energy

Updated: June 26, 2009, 1:55 AM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Alex Rodriguez should be in the lineup this weekend when the Yankees play their first games at the Mets' new Citi Field.

Rodriguez
Rodriguez

"It's our home city, and I think our guys enjoy the Subway Series," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday before New York played the Atlanta Braves. "Alex feels good, feels like he's got a lot of energy in his legs. He feels good, so we'll let him keep going."

A-Rod then went out and showed his manager how well his surgically repaired hip was feeling, hitting his 563rd home run to tie Reggie Jackson for 11th place all-time with a solo shot in the first inning.

Girardi said he and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman discussed Rodriguez's recovery from the surgery in March with team physician Christopher Ahmad on a conference call earlier Thursday.

According to Girardi, Ahmad said Marc Phillipon, the Colorado specialist who operated on the $275 million third baseman, doesn't think Rodriguez needs one off day a week as the team indicated recently.

Rodriguez's two-run single in the sixth inning of an 8-4 victory Wednesday over Atlanta snapped a 1-for-25 slump that had dropped his average to .204.

Girardi added that he and several members of the Yankees' staff have stressed to Rodriguez that he must tell the team if he doesn't feel 100 percent.

"We have pounded that home to him, more than one person," Girardi said. "He completely understands this. I'm trying to get guys a little recharged."

Rodriguez returned May 8 from the surgery and didn't miss a game until last Friday at Florida. Girardi said Rodriguez was dealing with "fatigue," and the three-time AL MVP appeared only as pinch hitter on Saturday.

Girardi added that he doesn't plan to use designated hitter Hideki Matsui in the outfield against the Mets because of his knees. During the first four games of the Yankees' current NL road trip, Matsui has pinch hit four times, going 1 for 2 with two walks.

Matsui hasn't played in the outfield this year.

Against the Braves on Thursday, Girardi held Robinson Cano out of the lineup so he could rest a sore left wrist. Cody Ransom took his place.

Outfielder Melky Cabrera also rested to overcome flulike symptom, but Girardi said he was available to hit.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press