- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suffering from a minor injury to his right thumb, but the Yankees general manager said it was not the reason manager Joe Girardi did not use Rodriguez in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.
Cashman does not expect Rodriguez to miss any playing time when the Yankees resume their season Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
"It's not even worth talking about," said Cashman, reached on his cell phone after he attended a wake on Long Island for Bob Sheppard, the longtime Yankees announcer who died Sunday at 99.
"I called Girardi and he said the thumb's been bothering [Rodriguez] for the past couple of days, but not the point not to play him. It had nothing to do with him not using him in the game. That was strictly [Girardi's] decision."
Cashman said he did not know when or how Rodriguez had incurred the injury. "He just said it's been sore for a little while," Cashman said.
Rodriguez missed four games after removing himself from a June 7 game in Baltimore after experiencing what he termed "stiffness" in his right groin. The team officially diagnosed his injury as a strained right hip flexor, a source of concern since that is the hip that was surgically repaired in March 2009 and caused Rodriguez to miss the first 28 games of last season.
Rodriguez insisted the injury was to his groin and has not missed a game since returning to action June 16, although Girardi has used him several times as a DH in order to reduce his workload.
In the 24 games since his return, Rodriguez has hit seven of his 14 home runs and driven in 27 runs, his most sustained power output of the season.
According to Cashman, Girardi told him Rodriguez had been "launching home runs in batting practice," before the All-Star Game, and was healthy enough to pinch-hit with two out in the ninth inning, when the American League was trailing by two runs with a runner on first.