KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Have a seat, A-Rod.
Though Alex Rodriguez has been one of the Yankees' more productive players, Joe Girardi said he's leaning toward sitting the 39-year-old DH rather than playing him in the field in the interleague games against the Nationals in Washington Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
"I think you wait to see how you come out today," Girardi said before Sunday's 6-0 loss. "We've tried to keep him out of the field for the most part, so it will probably remain the same. But I could change my mind. I have that prerogative."
Rodriguez, hitting .250 with a .351 OBP, 10 homers (second-most on the team), and 22 RBIs (also second-most), went 1-for-4 with a double Sunday.
Girardi said his plans with A-Rod -- still at 1,991 career RBIs, one shy of Babe Ruth for fourth on MLB's all-time list (since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920) -- could change depending on Mark Teixeira's right toe injury. Teixeira, who was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning and left in the seventh, said the toe "doesn't feel very good right now" but expects to play Tuesday night. "Whatever Joe wants," A-Rod said, "I'm ready."
Tanaka still on
Masahiro Tanaka (right forearm strain/right wrist tendinitis) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session in Washington on Monday and, if there are no setbacks, make a rehab start in Triple-A or Double-A on Thursday.
The Yankees wore No. 28 patches on their uniforms, part of the Royals' annual tribute to the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. Banks wore No. 28 for the Monarchs, whose replica uniforms were worn by the Royals on Sunday, from 1950-53.
"Ernie was always very humble, very gracious," said Girardi, who played for the Cubs and got to know the Hall of Famer. "As a kid, I grew up watching him, so that was a thrill for me to become friends with him."
The Yankees optioned righthander Bryan Mitchell, who had been brought up Saturday, to Triple-A as the corresponding roster move for activating Sunday's starter, Chris Capuano, from the disabled list.