ARLINGTON, Texas -- If the New York Yankees are to avoid a sweep with Dustin Moseley on the mound against the Texas Rangers' Cliff Lee on Sunday, they'll have to do it without Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher.
Manager Joe Girardi decided to give his $30 million third baseman Sunday off. Girardi said he doesn't want to play Rodriguez six straight games. The manager said he could pinch-hit on Sunday and still play in all three games in the Yankees' big series with the Tampa Bay Rays, beginning Monday in St. Petersburg.
Girardi has said that he wants to give A-Rod some rests after he missed nearly three weeks with a strained calf. Rodriguez said he's fine, and that Girardi is being smart. "It is all good," Rodriguez said.
As for Swisher, he has been running gingerly the past few games because of a bone bruise on his left knee. The right fielder was scratched just prior to Sunday's game. Swisher has played with the bone bruise since fouling a ball off his knee in Toronto on Aug. 24. Since then, he has been in and out of the lineup, but he has said he didn't think anything was seriously wrong because he had an MRI that revealed no structural damage.
Girardi wanted to start Swisher on Sunday because he was already resting A-Rod and he doesn't want to start Brett Gardner (sore wrist). When the Yanks get to Tampa, which is their training base, Gardner is expected to have an MRI to make sure his wrist injury is not serious. Girardi expects Gardner can play defense and pinch-run on Sunday.
Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com.