NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez is in the New York Yankees' lineup as the designated hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night because he was not yet ready to play third base after missing four games with a sore groin.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi watched Rodriguez take grounders Tuesday and felt he needed more time to heal.
"I just didn't think he had the lateral movement we wanted to see," Girardi said Wednesday.
But Girardi felt the slugger was ready to serve as the DH and cleanup hitter after talking to him. Girardi said the three-time MVP felt he had the necessary "explosiveness" in his swing that has produced 591 career homers, but only eight this season.
Girardi didn't have a timetable for Rodriguez's return to his position. He said the slugger was having some trouble moving to his left for grounders.
Rodriguez has been out since leaving the Yankees' game against Baltimore after the first inning Thursday. He missed the three-game sweep of the Houston Astros and the opener of the series Tuesday night against the Phillies, New York's World Series opponent last fall.
The Yankees have said the injury, described as right hip flexor tendinitis, is unrelated to the hip surgery Rodriguez had before the 2009 season. Rodriguez has explained the soreness is in the groin area.
The right-handed batting Kevin Russo was given the start at third Wednesday night against lefty Jamie Moyer.
Jorge Posada was behind the plate after serving as the DH Tuesday. On Sunday, Posada caught for the first time since breaking his foot May 19.
While Posada feels fine there will be a "little bit of concern" until he's played several games in a row, Girardi said. The five-time All-Star felt some fatigue in the foot Sunday and was removed after eight innings.