Alex Rodriguez: 'You haven't heard the last of me'

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez has been benched by Yankees manager Joe Girardi for a second consecutive game with the expectation that A-Rod will not be at DH against most righties in the foreseeable future.

Girardi declined to say he was entering the 40-year-old into a strict platoon with Rodriguez starting against lefties. But Girardi indicated he will choose carefully when Rodriguez will play against righties.

A-Rod is hitting .223 with eight homers and 26 RBIs on the season. Against righties, his OPS is just .584, while versus lefties, it is .837. A-Rod, for his part, vowed this is not the end of him.

"You haven't heard the last of me," Rodriguez said.

A-Rod is being paid $21 million this season. He is owed $21 million for next year, which the Yankees would be obligated to pay even if he were released.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees have had no discussions about releasing Rodriguez.

Girardi said that A-Rod would start on Tuesday against Texas lefty starter Cole Hamels. However, with righties starting on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as a trip to San Diego over the weekend -- where there is no DH -- it is hard to find too many more starts for Rodriguez over the next week. He does not play the field anymore.

The Yankees want to keep right fielder/DH Carlos Beltran healthy, while giving Aaron Hicks and Rob Refsnyder at-bats in right. With Hicks in the field, the Yankees are far superior defensively.

"Like I said, this is a tough decision," Girardi said. "This is something we are looking at."

Cashman started the discussion on reducing Rodriguez's at-bats during a recent meeting in which Cashman asked Girardi and the coaching staff, "How can we better? We have a short sprint now until the trade deadline. This team needs to declare itself as good enough as contenders or not."

The Yankees entered Monday with a 37-37 record. They were 7½ games back in the American League East and 2½ games back in the wild card.

"I want to be a contender, not a pretender," Cashman said. "I don't want to be a pretender."

The coaching staff thought one solution could be reducing Rodriguez's at-bats versus righties.

A-Rod said he was a "little surprised" when Girardi told him about the new plan.

"He just said he is going to start mixing it up," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has 695 career homers in his controversial career.