Yankees bench Alex Rodriguez, uncertain when he'll return

HOUSTON -- The New York Yankees have already decided to bench Alex Rodriguez against most righties. Now, he is not starting against a lefty.

On Monday night, Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to go with Carlos Beltran as his DH instead of A-Rod with the Astros' Dallas Keuchel pitching.

Still, the Yankees have no plans to release Rodriguez, according to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

"That is something that is not being considered right now," Cashman said.

Girardi also said that Beltran will DH against righties the next two nights. When asked how Rodriguez will find time considering he didn't pinch hit against a lefty reliever Sunday (even with the struggling Aaron Hicks up), he is not starting against a lefty Monday, he is not in the lineup against most righties, and doesn't play the field, Girardi was not definitive.

"His time is going to come," Girardi said. "He is going to get more chances."

A-Rod has now been omitted from the lineup the past three games. Girardi has committed to Beltran, his best hitter, at DH the next two games.

After that, the Yankees go to Tampa, which may have two lefties start, but also has turf that Girardi will probably want to rest Beltran's knees on. That is followed by a two-game trip across town to Citi Field, where there is no DH. It is hard to see where the chances Girardi mentioned will arise in the near future.

Rodriguez, who turns 41 on Wednesday, is hitting .206 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 58 games. He is hitless in his past 12 at-bats and has one hit in his past 21. He has 696 homers and another year on his contract.

Rodriguez sought out the Yankees' sabermatricians to seek counsel on a change he had made in his swing. The team's advanced analytics department , A-Rod said, pointed out some peripheral numbers that made him feel better; he is striking out less and his exit velocity is improving.

His hard hit percentage in his past 15 games is 6 percent, according to ESPN Stats & Information's Mark Simon.

Cashman did give A-Rod an "A" for effort.

"Say what you want about Alex Rodriguez and the current season he's having," Cashman said. "This guy is coming every day to prepare, bust his tail, do the pregame work, put himself in a position to succeed, wait to be called upon, support his teammates."

A-Rod said he remains "optimistic."