ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees are preparing to use Stephen Drew as their backup third baseman in the hopes that it will allow Alex Rodriguez to remain healthy, according to the New York Daily News.
The newspaper reported that Drew was on the diamond at Tropicana Field early on Tuesday taking ground balls and working on footwork. Manager Joe Girardi told the Daily News that he might use Drew instead of Rodriguez the next time Chase Headley gets a day off.
"We're just thinking of keeping him at [designated hitter] mostly," Girardi said of Rodriguez, adding that based on what he saw Tuesday, he would be comfortable using Drew at third base right now.
Rodriguez has been nursing a sore left hamstring, though he was in the lineup as the Yanks' DH on Tuesday. Rodriguez has played the field sparingly this season, making three appearances at third base and one at first base while seeing 26 starts at DH.
Drew has started 21 games at second base and six games at shortstop this season, and he has never played third base in his pro career.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.