Although it looks like the New York Yankees will be without their superstar third baseman for at least one more game, their All-Star catcher is finally expected to be back behind the plate.
Alex Rodriguez(notes) sat out his second consecutive game Saturday because of tendinitis in his right hip flexor. The injury is a concern for New York (39-23), but Rodriguez and the team sounded relieved that the groin tightness doesn’t appear to be related to last year’s hip surgery.
With an off day Monday, it appears the Yankees will rest the three-time AL MVP in the series finale.
“Everybody’s got to step up - with him or without him,” Posada said, referring to Rodriguez.
It was an encouraging performance for the veteran catcher, who was hitting .133 with one RBI in his first nine games after coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined with a broken right foot.
Posada, who didn’t have a rehabilitation stint in the minors, has been regulated to DH duties since coming off the DL, but that appears to be over.
“Unless he comes in and can’t walk, he’s going to catch,” manager Joe Girardi said.
That should come as pleasing news to Posada, who has been eager to return to his position after struggling to grasp the DH role. He has not been behind the plate since May 16.
“It’s like pinch-hitting four times,” he told the Yankees’ official website. “I don’t know what to do with myself between innings. You’re involved as a catcher, and you really don’t think about hitting.”
Posada hasn’t had much trouble hitting against Houston. He is batting .467 with three home runs and nine RBIs in seven career games against the Astros, and is 5 for 12 against scheduled starter Brian Moehler(notes).
Although it was a somewhat shaky performance, Hughes won his third consecutive start and matched his career high for victories.
This will be the right-hander’s first career appearance against the Astros, whom the Yankees swept in a three-game series from June 13-15, 2008. New York has won seven of eight all-time meetings.
Moehler (0-2, 6.12), set to face New York for just the second time since the end of the 1999 season, was erratic in a 4-3 win over Colorado on Tuesday. The right-hander, who didn’t receive a decision, gave up three runs before registering an out but shut down the Rockies over the rest of his six-inning outing.
Moehler, 0-1 with an 8.36 ERA in three starts, is looking for his first victory since Aug. 22, a 10-start span.