NEW YORK (AP) — A slumping Alex Rodriguez was dropped three spots to sixth in the New York Yankees’ batting order Sunday.
Looking to spark his struggling lineup, manager Joe Girardi made the move for the series finale against Seattle as New York tried to stop a four-game losing streak.
The 40-year-old Rodriguez was hitless in his last 19 at-bats. A season after hitting 33 home runs, A-Rod was batting .100 (3 for 30) with one homer and two RBIs.
He was hardly the only Yankees hitter in a funk at the plate. New York was 0 for 24 with runners in scoring position during the first two games of the series and 3 for 46 in those situations in its last five games overall.
Carlos Beltran, off to an excellent start, was moved up two spots to third in the lineup. Beltran homered and matched a career high with four hits Saturday, the first time he had three extra-base hits in a game since June 2013 with St. Louis.
“I’m trying to take advantage of Carlos swinging the bat extremely well, too,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Carlos has been consistent, he has been hot, trying to take advantage of that. Sometimes moving a guy will help them relax a little bit, in a sense. Not that I feel like Alex needs to relax, but sometimes just shaking up a lineup once in a while can help a little bit.”
Girardi said he spoke to Rodriguez about the decision and noted the designated hitter was moved up from seventh in the order early last year to the No. 3 spot after serving a season-long drug suspension in 2014.
“Nothing is ever permanent,” Girardi said. “We’ll get him back on track.”
Scuffling third baseman Chase Headley was given a day off in favor of rookie Ronald Torreyes. Headley was hitting .154 without an extra-base hit in 26 at-bats.
Girardi was asked whether he has been disappointed by Headley’s lack of production.
“I think disappointed is a strong word,” the manager said. “You know, he’s been on base, he’s taken his walks. But he’s not off to the start like a lot of our other guys that we hoped they would be, too. But that’s not unusual. I think people can make too much of 10 games. We’ve played one-sixteenth of our season. That is it. But as I said, I’m trying to keep everyone involved.”