KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Alex Rodriguez is set to play in the field.

Joe Girardi said the 39-year-old will start at third base in either Sunday's home game against the Nationals or Monday against the Rays, also at Steinbrenner Field.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I have him at third one of the two days, I'm not sure which one it is,'' Girardi said before Saturday's 9-4 victory over the Astros. "It's [the lineup] been made up for like four or five days, that's how we do it, so guys know their schedule, but I don't memorize the board.''

Regardless, it will be another opportunity for A-Rod to progress. In two starts at designated hitter, Rodriguez, who did not play Saturday, is 1-for-4 with two walks.

What has encouraged Girardi the most about A-Rod? "That his body's responding every day,'' he said. "I think that's what you're curious to see, how it's going to respond. We haven't really had to give him more days off. He's been ready to go every time he's been called upon.''

Girardi has said he won't begin to truly evaluate Rodriguez's production until the third or fourth week of exhibition games, but he likes what he's seen early.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"You worry about guys being overanxious,'' Girardi said. "I don't think you're seeing that from him.''