Joe Girardi benches Jorge Posada

BOSTON --- In a pregame meeting Sunday, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jorge Posada he is not going to be the team's designated hitter anymore.

"He said he's going to put the best lineup on the field, and he doesn't know when I'm going to DH again, so right now I'm sitting the bench," Posada said.

On the season, Posada is hitting .230 with nine homers and 31 RBIs. Since the All-Star Break, Posada has not hit a home run. In those 17 games, he has a .232 average and two RBIs.

"He was OK with it," Girardi said. "Jorgie has a lot of pride and respect for what he's done. You could see the disappointment and I understand that. But at this point I thought I had to do what I did today."

Since mid-May, Girardi had severely limited Posada's playing time against lefties -- and now he is doing the same against righties. On Sunday, Eric Chavez was the DH against Boston Red Sox righty Josh Beckett.

In Posada's place, Chavez will receive more playing time. When Alex Rodriguez returns, Chavez could also DH some. The Yankees could call up top prospect Jesus Montero at some point, as well, but Girardi said that wasn't happening yet.

Girardi said the Yankees have no plans to release Posada.

"Jorgie is with us, and my plans are that he's going to be with us," Girardi said.

In a little more than three weeks, the rosters expand, which would eliminate the need for room on the 25-man roster.
Posada is in the final season of a four-year, $52.4 million deal. The Yankees are not expected to bring him back in 2012.

The beginning of the end for Posada came in the middle of May when Girardi decided to bat Posada ninth against Beckett and the Red Sox. Posada took himself out of the lineup. After a he said-he said public argument with the Yankees' front office, Posada eventually apologized.

Still, since then Posada has been playing mostly against righties. Girardi made it clear Sunday that Posada will no longer play much, if at all, in those situations.

Since the Yankees don't allow Posada to catch anymore, he plays every once in a while in place of Mark Teixeira at first base. Off the bench, Posada has little value since the Yankees don't have faith in him as a hitter and he doesn't have enough speed to be useful as a pinch runner.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.