Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

Yankees general manager likes what he's seen from slugger at the plate

Cashman: A-Rod showing he could be everyday DH

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees were not sure what to expect from Alex Rodriguez this spring, having seen him in just 44 games over the last two seasons due to injuries and suspension, but general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that he has been pleased with the slugger's output.

"He's done well," Cashman said. "I'm not looking at performance and statistics as much as just how he's been swinging the bat. He's got a lot of life in his body. If he continues to show athleticism, that means he's going to impact the baseball. That will be good for us."

Rodriguez, 39, went 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning single off Chasen Bradford in Wednesday's 7-2 loss to the Mets. Rodriguez is batting .290 (9-for-31) in 13 Grapefruit League games, with a double, two homers and three RBIs on his stat line.

Cashman on the Yankees' roster

"I think I'm getting better," Rodriguez said. "I'm happy with my strike-zone discipline, and for me the goal never changes -- just get a good pitch and take my 'A' swing. I thought I took some good swings today, fouled them off. But any time I give myself a chance to do some damage and swing at strikes, that's a good thing."

Asked if Rodriguez has exceeded expectations this spring, Cashman replied, "I didn't have any. I didn't know what to expect. As I said before camp even started, I had no idea what we were going to get. You prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and be really productive for us in that lineup."

The Yankees acquired first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones from the Marlins in December, in part to provide a solid option at designated hitter in the event that Rodriguez was unable to play.

There had been talk about having Jones take the majority of DH at-bats against righties and using Rodriguez against only lefties, but Jones has had a rough spring (.189) and Cashman said Wednesday that Rodriguez has shown enough to convince the Yankees he can DH on an everyday basis.

"So far, I think he's certainly taken a run at the full-time DH situation, for me," Cashman said. "We'll talk about all these things, but the way he's looked so far down here, I would say he's definitely pushing himself in the mix for full-time DH consideration."

Informed of Cashman's comment, Rodriguez said, "Well, we still have 10 days to go. Obviously, that feels good. But I still have a lot of work to do. I'm kind of working on some things. It's still a process, looking forward for the next 10 days."

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.