A-Rod, Girardi: No worry over slugger's start

A-Rod, Girardi: No worry over slugger's start

TORONTO -- Alex Rodriguez's slow start has not prompted any panic buttons to be pressed around the clubhouse, but the Yankees would love to see their designated hitter contribute with more consistency on their upcoming homestand.

Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and a run scored in the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. He is hitless in 14 at-bats since slugging career homer No. 688 off the Tigers' Mike Pelfrey on April 9.

"I feel fine. I felt great today at the plate," Rodriguez said. "I thought I had good swings, swung at strikes, had my 'A' swing. Didn't like the results, but tomorrow's another day."

The skid has dropped Rodriguez's average to .120, though he had plenty of company in the hitless department on Thursday, as Toronto's Marcus Stroman limited the Yanks to three hits over eight innings.

"It's what he does all the time," Rodriguez said. "He keeps the ball down, he doesn't give you too many fat pitches over the middle of the plate. A lot of hitters just pound the ball right into the ground, right into the turf."

Rodriguez is set to turn 41 in July, but his age is a topic that Yankees manager Joe Girardi seems weary of discussing. Girardi said that the sample size (3-for-25) is not large enough to prompt concern.

"I'm not making much out of it, because it's not that many at-bats," Girardi said. "I think we get caught up. I understand why. When you're 40, you're going to be asked those questions. When you're expected to produce and you're 40, you're going to be asked those questions even more. I'm not making too much out of it."

A year ago, Rodriguez said that he was in regular-season form upon reporting to Spring Training, feeling as though he needed to win a spot on the roster coming off his season-long suspension.

That resulted in five April homers and an .876 OPS for the month, but he suspected that his early readiness had something to do with wearing down in August and September. This spring, Rodriguez made changes in hopes of better budgeting his energy over the full season.

Rodriguez said that he is not concerned that the slow start may prompt observers to wonder if his age has become a factor.

"I can't get into other people's heads," Rodriguez said. "I've just got to go out and do my job. I feel good and I feel really optimistic."

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.