The highest paid player in baseball, Alex Rodriguez, was pinch hit for in games three and four and was benched in game five of the ALDS, but he is starting and batting sixth in Game 1 of the ALCS tonight.
Girardi explained that the pinch hitting and the benching was based on a gut feeling, but said that the Yankees need A-Rod to be playing, and playing well, to be at their best.
“This is a guy that we really need to get going,” Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “This is a guy that, 2009, you think about what he did throughout the playoffs. I just believe in my heart that he’s ready to go. I believe he’s going to contribute. We’re going to put him back in there.”
Girardi is right. As bad as A-Rod has been, he’s 2-for-16 with no extra base hits and nine walks in four games, he still has something to offer and the Yankees will be much better off if they can get him right. So playing him is necessary. At the same time, it’s good to see that they’ve dropped him lower in the lineup so at least he won’t constantly be coming to the plate in the biggest situations.