TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez walked through the Yankees' clubhouse with a heat pack on his right throwing shoulder on Friday morning, not a good omen for the day's game ahead.
Not much later, it was revealed the Yankees third baseman would only be the designated hitter in New York's game against Houston because of right shoulder discomfort.
Rodriguez, who had two at-bats vs. Houston, legged out a double on a sharp hit to left field and scored the game's first run. He was replaced in the fifth inning by pinch-hitter Jorge Posada, who was also a late scratch from Friday's game after he felt discomfort in a lateral muscle while throwing on Monday.
"I threw a little bit today [before the game] and it felt fine," said Posada, who finished 0-for-3 on the day. "I didn't really let it go, but I didn't get any bad soreness or anything."
Rodriguez said he's hampered "just a little bit" by the shoulder, but only when he throws. He was able to participate in all of the pregame drills that didn't involve a throwing motion.
"I certainly wouldn't miss a game during the regular season or have to DH," Rodriguez said. "But I think right now, it's just being smart."
Rodriguez said he probably would rest the shoulder for a couple of days, but he would continue to DH if that remained an option. Posada, too, feels no pain when hitting, but he will rest the muscle until Monday. He's listed as day-to-day.
Speaking about his two stars, manager Joe Girardi said that neither of the injuries is serious, and the skipper said that he expects to have the duo clamoring to be reinserted into the lineup as early as Saturday, when the Yankees host the Rays at Legends Field.
Still, Girardi plans to wait a couple of days and utilize each Rodriguez and Posada in the DH spot in the meantime.
"A lot of people are going to go through some arm issues in Spring Training, and for me, it's better safe than sorry," Girardi said. "If they were competing for spots, I don't think they would've said a word."
Dawn Klemish is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.