ARLINGTON, Texas — Each game, there’s an odd man out.
But Yankees manager Joe Girardi said getting adequate playing time for Matt Holliday, Chase Headley, Greg Bird and Todd Frazier, while a balancing act, hasn’t been a huge challenge.
“It’s not difficult,” Girardi said Sunday morning.
When Holliday and Bird returned from the disabled list around the same time, it created a logjam of sorts. With Headley — who had been the everyday first baseman until Bird returned — still swinging a hot bat, the switch hitter has gotten some games as a designated hitter or, as in Sunday’s 16-7 victory over the Rangers, at third base, with Frazier taking a seat. Because Girardi kept catcher Austin Romine with starter Jordan Montgomery, Gary Sanchez shifted to DH, meaning Holliday sat for a second straight game.
“Just kind of rotating [everyone],” Girardi said. “We kind of have four guys for three spots and I’m just keeping them all involved because I think it’s important.”
Holliday — who had a key pinch hit Saturday in a 3-1 comeback victory over the Rangers — gives Girardi fewer options because he doesn’t play the field, but that doesn’t mean he’ll play the least.
“I’m always going to start him against some righthanders,” Girardi said. “It’s a nice weapon to have, obviously, because you know he’s going to have a professional at-bat and not be overwhelmed by any situation.”
Aaron Judge walked for the 107th time in the second inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s a rookie record for a season. The previous record was held by Cleveland’s Les Fleming, who walked 106 times in 1942.
Girardi said rookie Clint Frazier (left oblique strain), who has been rehabbing with Double-A Trenton since Wednesday, should return “sometime” this week.
Girardi has taken note of the 17-game winning streak the Indians brought into Sunday night’s game against Baltimore, a stretch that includes a three-game sweep of the Yankees Aug. 28-30.
“They’re strong in all areas,” he said. “For any team to win that many games in a row is really amazing. They’re on a roll and we were part of that.”