A-Rod scratched with sore right knee

ST. PETERSBURG – Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was scratched from the team’s regular season finale on Wednesday with a sore right knee.

An official announcement was made approximately a half hour before the scheduled first pitch against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Rodriguez’s health has been a point of concern for the Yankees as they prepare for the postseason.

The 36-year-old has been slowed by both his surgically repaired right knee and a sprained left thumb this season, which he has called his most frustrating big league campaign.

Rodriguez has said recently that both the knee and thumb have been giving him few problems, and that timing has been his most pressing issue. He was hitting .143 (4-for-28) over his last eight games coming into play on Wednesday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that he is not sure what the team can expect from Rodriguez as the American League Division Series opens on Friday against the Rangers or Tigers.

“I don’t know. Really, I don’t know,” Cashman said. “Obviously he’s going to benefit from getting as much reps as he can get before Friday, because of all the time he missed. I don’t think he’s quite there yet.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi dropped Rodriguez to fifth in the order behind Robinson Cano, and suggested that the move could hold firm against left-handed pitching in the playoffs.

Brandon Laird replaced Rodriguez at third base, batting ninth.

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