ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Alex Rodriguez's days in the field are all but done.
With regular third baseman Chase Headley "beat up," according to Joe Girardi, and in need of a day off, the Yankees manager started Stephen Drew at third for the first time in his career.
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"Hopefully it's not too difficult," Girardi said of the transition for Drew, always a shortstop until the Yankees converted him into a season baseman after acquiring him last season. "We feel it's our best option right now."
Drew said Girardi first approached him about playing third last week in Toronto.
"I think it will be fine," Drew said. "Just trust my instincts and go from there."
Girardi said his preference is to avoid using Rodriguez, who has been nursing a sore left hamstring, in the field at all.
"I would prefer to keep Alex as our DH," Girardi said.
"If we have to adjust it, we'll adjust it, but in my mind we'll be able to play him a lot more if we DH him."
Rodriguez said he is OK with that.
"I'm totally on board with whatever Joe wants," said A-Rod who has started 27 games at DH, two at third and one at first.
"I've said that from Day 1."
As for Headley, Girardi said he wasn't injured, just in need of a break.
"All the diving that he does, he just physically could use a day," Girardi said. "It physically takes a toll."
Masahiro Tanaka (right forearm strain/right wrist tendinitis) reported to the clubhouse Wednesday feeling no ill effects from his bullpen session the day before, the first bullpen of his rehab. He is scheduled to throw another bullpen Friday.
Capuano getting closer
Chris Capuano (quad) is near the end of his rehab and closing in on rejoining the rotation.
"We have to make a decision," Girardi said. "He'll throw a side tomorrow and be in line depending on what we do."