Bruised A-Rod, Posada sit for Yankees
SEATTLE -- Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are out, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are in, and the Yankees are still glad they acquired versatile fill-in Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds two weeks ago.
New York began a four-game series at Seattle on Thursday night with several stars banged up, though manager Joe Girardi said he expects to have his regulars back soon.
Rodriguez was hit by a pitch on his left elbow in the 11th inning of a particularly brutal win over Toronto on Wednesday. He said the tingling in his hand didn't stop until about 20 minutes after the game.
He'd been scheduled for an off day Thursday, disappointing thousands who always turn out to boo the former Mariner whenever he returns to Seattle. Rodriguez spurned the team he grew up with as the first overall draft choice in 1993 to become a $252 million free agent with Texas following the 2000 season.
Girardi said A-Rod could also be out Friday, though he added "we hope to have him."
"It's sore," Rodriguez said before testing the injury in batting practice. "I've had treatment and the X-rays were negative. I've been icing it regularly. It's a little swollen."
Rodriguez got the winning rally started when he was hit by Shawn Camp (1-6) with one out in the 11th inning Wednesday. He stayed down for a short period after he was struck on his left elbow, but remained in the game after visiting with Girardi and a trainer.
He said the pitch hit his "funny bone and I felt tingling in my fingers."
When asked if he thinks he will play Friday, Rodriguez said: "We'll see. We just have to wait and see how it reacts. I haven't taken a swing yet."
Hairston started for Rodriguez at third base Thursday night against Ian Snell, whom the Mariners acquired from Pittsburgh last month.
"Hairston is the key," Posada said, when asked how the Yankees are weathering the sudden rash of injuries. "He plays every position except first base and catcher -- and if you asked him, he'd do that, too."
Girardi acknowledged Hairston has made the his job of filling out the lineup card easier.
"He's been great for us. We've played him all over," Girardi said, adding Hairston was one of only three Yankees who had faced Snell before. "He's a guy I can play anywhere in the infield and anywhere in the outfield to spell someone. And he's played really, really well for us."
Jose Molina started for Posada at catcher.
Posada has bruised fingers in the middle of each hand after he got hit with foul tips in four places -- both hands, plus off the mask and foot -- while catching Wednesday. He said he could have started Thursday, though he added "I'm beat up."
He said he gets beat up "every day" behind the plate, "you just don't see it."
"Just part of being a catcher," he said with a shrug. "Yeah, you don't want to be a catcher. They make you a catcher."
Rivera was available one day after seeking treatment for discomfort in his pitching shoulder. Girardi said it was the second time this season the All-Star closer's shoulder was cranky, and that one day off usually cures it.
"It pops up," Girardi said. "Just being cautious."
Jeter said "everything's good" a day after X-rays were negative on his bruised right foot. He was again leading off at shortstop.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press