A-Rod hitless in 3 plate appearances against Pirates

Yanks DH walks, lines out, strikes out, says he's a 'work in progress'

A-Rod hitless in 3 plate appearances against Pirates

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez is still getting re-acclimated to standing in against high-octane velocity, and while he would love to discuss what he saw in his final plate appearance on Friday, it might be more appropriate to guess what he heard.

Rodriguez walked, lined out softly to shortstop and struck out looking in three trips to the plate during the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Rodriguez seemed wowed by the heat he saw from Bucs right-hander Blake Wood, who was clocked between 96 and 98 mph by scouts in the stands.

"The last at-bat, I don't think I saw one of those pitches," Rodriguez said. "I was hoping one of them was a ball. It had nothing to do with the lights, but I actually felt pretty good. I'm seeing the ball well, the ones that I am seeing. So far, so good."

Wood has pitched in the big leagues with the Royals and Indians and had crossed paths with Rodriguez previously. In fact, one of Rodriguez's 654 homers came off Wood -- a solo shot on May 12, 2011, in an 11-5 Kansas City victory at Yankee Stadium.

"Some days are going to be pretty good, some days are going to be pretty bad," Rodriguez said. "This is just a work in progress."

Rodriguez is now 1-for-4 with two walks in two Grapefruit League games, both of them as the Yanks' designated hitter. In his first plate appearance Friday, he battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a free pass. He shattered his bat on the fourth-inning liner.

"All I'm looking to do right now is just square the ball, start hitting the ball with good contact," Rodriguez said. "I think like any other spring, hopefully in week four, week five, I'll start driving the ball. It's par for the course right now."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it is possible that Rodriguez will appear at third base in his next game, scheduled to be on Sunday against the Nationals.

"I like to play the game, so anything Joe wants me to do, I'm fine with," Rodriguez said. "But my focus right now is just to get as many at-bats as possible. Timing is everything right now."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.