A-Rod gets scheduled day off, feels 'great'

A-Rod gets scheduled day off, feels 'great'

A-Rod gets scheduled day off, feels 'great'
WASHINGTON -- Alex Rodriguez was out of the Yankees' starting lineup on Saturday for a scheduled day off, his third time not being in New York's lineup this season, but he glowed that his body has been feeling "great."

"I'm giddy when I get up in the morning," Rodriguez said. "It's nice to wake up and make it be about baseball. I've had more work with [hitting coach] Kevin [Long] this year than probably the last combined two years. That's great.

"When it's only about baseball and you have to answer baseball questions, whether you're good or you're bad ... it's just about the game, and that's a lot of fun."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it has been positive to not have to worry about injuries thus far with Rodriguez, who has played in 62 games this year. Rodriguez entered Saturday batting .276 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs.

"It's been great," Girardi said. "We talked about one of the big things was trying to keep him healthy for us during the course of the year. With the absence of Gardy [left fielder Brett Gardner], we've been able to DH him a lot more than we would have. It has probably helped keep him on the field."

Rodriguez said that he feels healthy enough to play 20 days in a row if needed, a level of confidence that comes from his stronger legs. As partial proof, he is 6-for-6 in steal attempts this year, his most stolen bases since he swiped 14 bags in 2009.

"Seeing me go first to third -- I haven't been able to do that probably in the last 16 months," Rodriguez said. "I'm stealing bags when I need to. Overall, I just think the ball feels good coming off the bat.

"Anytime you see an athlete, whether it's boxing or anything, it always goes back to your legs and your core. If your legs are not under you and you're not running around well and moving around well, then that's going to trickle down to every aspect of your game."