NEW YORK -- In the clubhouse before Tuesday night's matchup against the Rangers, Derek Jeter tried to downplay the fact that his name was absent from the Yankees' lineup.
But judging from the crowd of reporters huddled around him, even a regular day off for the New York shortstop is news.
There haven't been many guarantees in the Bombers' lineup in recent games. With Hideki Matsui on the disabled list, manager Joe Girardi has been able to shuffle and toy with the batting order to get his players rest.
And Tuesday was Jeter's turn.
The shortstop was on his way home Monday night when Girardi informed him of the day off.
"I just told him that he's played a lot of baseball in the last seven, eight days, with the split doubleheader," Girardi said. "I thought it was just best to give him a day and, you know, it be his last day off before the [All-Star] break. I'm trying to rotate the days for everyone."
Jeter said he will still prepare as he normally would in case the Yankees call on him to pinch-hit or play later in the game.
"Just because you're not starting a game doesn't mean you're not going to play," Jeter said. "It's not like you can just come in here and go to sleep."
While the series against the Mets gave Jeter the feeling of one continued day, he said he didn't sense any unusual exhaustion.
Girardi knows his shortstop well enough to know that he would never ask for a day off, but the manager said getting Jeter some rest just made sense.
"Physically, making sure he stays healthy and stays strong and making sure he doesn't get hurt [is important]," Girardi said. "And he would never tell you that he's ever fatigued. He could play 3,050 games in a row and wouldn't tell you he's fatigued. You just try to use common sense."
Samantha Newman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.