Alex Rodriguez’s role with the Yankees appears to have diminished even further. He wasn’t expected to be the designated hitter Saturday against tough Giants righthanded starter Johnny Cueto, but surely a pinch-hitting opportunity would be in store when the game went into extra innings.
It was not.
The optimal moment seemed to have arrived in the 10th inning when lefthanded reliever Josh Osich was on the mound and Aaron Hicks was at the plate. Though a switch hitter, Hicks is batting only .191 with three homers.
But Rodriguez was never a thought. “No,’’ Joe Girardi said without further comment when asked if he considered him at any point. Rodriguez reportedly met with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner on Friday but no details leaked out about their get together. Rodriguez has no intentions to ask for a buyout on his contract, which runs through 2017, a person familiar with his thinking said recently.
Hicks in the dumps
Hicks appeared in his 81st game for the Yankees, who obtained him last November from the Twins for John Ryan Murphy.
“I’m very disappointed in my production and what I’ve done for this team,’’ Hicks said. “I felt like I’ve had good at-bats, I’ve been putting balls in play hard but in the end, it’s all about getting the job done, getting hits and helping the team win.’’
Hicks has heard the talk about how he has made Brian Cashman look bad by making the deal.
“I didn’t give him a reason to actually believe in me as a player,’’ he said. “I’m a guy coming from a different organization and once I show them that I can produce and I’m not this kind of player, then that’s the only way to change their mind.’’
Girardi was willing to cut Hicks some slack, saying: “This is a role he’s never really had. He’s been in the big leagues a short period of time. When he’s been up, he’s played every day. If he’s gotten sent down, he’s played every day so it’s an adjustment. He saves runs defensively.’’
Hicks made a nice throw home in the first inning Saturday to keep a runner from scoring on a fly to right by Buster Posey.
“I think he understands that he can produce more offensively. And we believe that, too,’’ Girardi said.
Girardi lauds Piazza
Girardi, a former catcher, spoke about Mike Piazza a day before the former Met is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“An extremely dangerous hitter and not just a power hitter,’’ he said. “This was a high-average hitter that put on tough at-bats, took the ball the other way. Its seems like the biggest memory of mine is, a bad memory in a sense, every time he came into Colorado, he seemed to hit a grand slam . . . Seemed like he would rattle ’em in between the bullpen and the stands in rightfield, it would be going off the concrete back there. The amazing thing is he put up all those numbers as a catcher, just a physical grind. He was durable, he was tough and he was a force.’’