NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was out of the lineup on Sunday, getting his first day off this season. Ramiro Pena started at third in his spot while Nick Swisher moved up to the cleanup spot.
"You never really want to take Alex out of the lineup, but sometimes you need a day." manager Joe Girardi said. "This way, it's almost like two days off because you've got a night game on Monday. And it's hot and it's not something we've had to deal with really yet. Today's a pretty good day to give him off."
Rodriguez is off to a bit of a slow start in 2010, batting .258 with just two homers though 23 games. Pena, who will make his third start of the season and second at third base, is 1-for-9 so far this season.
Girardi also decided to give Mark Teixeira half a day by slotting him in as the designated hitter and playing Nick Johnson at first base.
Granderson feels better, but likely out a month
NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson was officially placed on the disabled list on Saturday with a Grade 2 strain of his left groin. Although the Yankees have not set a timetable for his return, manager Joe Girardi estimated it would be about a month before Granderson could return to the lineup.
"You're probably looking at a month," Girardi said. "It's one thing if you're a DH who doesn't run extremely fast, but when you're a center fielder, it takes some time. I hope it's less than that."
Granderson suffered the injury in the sixth inning on Saturday. The center fielder was stealing second when Brett Gardner singled to right field, forcing him to quickly change his angle and reach a little too far for the bag.
"I was stealing second, and my angle was to steal the base," Granderson said. "I had to get deep, and I ended up reaching for second base. As soon as I did that, I felt a grab right in my groin area -- no pop, no snap, just a grab."
Granderson compared the feeling to that of a cramp, which allowed him to hop his way safely to third base. He added that it felt a lot better on Sunday than it did on Saturday, that there isn't much swelling and that he feels pain only during certain movements -- such as changes of direction and stepping sideways.
"It definitely could be worse," Granderson said. "Ankle, knee, Achilles -- it could be a lot longer than this."
Granderson will miss the Yankees' upcoming road trip, which includes the team's only stop in his former digs in Detroit this season.
"I was looking forward to it, getting the chance to go back there and play," Granderson said. "Hopefully I can still go. I have a lot of friends and family coming up from Chicago."
In Granderson's absence, Gardner will move over to center field with Marcus Thames and Randy Winn splitting time in left. Thames was in the starting lineup on Sunday against White Sox left-hander Mark Buerhle. Winn is likely to earn more time against right-handers.
The team called up right-handed reliever Mark Melancon to take Granderson's spot on the roster, although that is to fill a short-term need.
"Right now, we're going with a 13th pitcher," Girardi said, adding that Melancon was the most rested reliever at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "Until we feel that our bullpen is back, because we used our two long men yesterday, we'll do that."
Girardi on Vazquez: 'We have to fix it'
NEW YORK -- A day after Javier Vazquez's fifth consecutive subpar outing, manager Joe Girardi still hadn't announced whether the pitcher would make his next scheduled start on Friday at Fenway Park.
"Right now, we're on rotation," Girardi said. "It's no secret Javy's struggling, and it's something that we've talked about. We've got to find a way to get him going."
Girardi said that Vazquez has looked sharp in his bullpen sessions and his warmup prior to Saturday's start against the White Sox, but the veteran has had difficulty translating those results to the diamond. Vazquez is 1-3 with a 9.78 ERA in five starts this season.
Girardi recalled the time David Cone threw him out of the bullpen because Cone's stuff was so bad before a start; the pitcher proceeded to give up one run in seven innings.
"Sometimes when you get in the heat of the moment, your mechanics can get out of whack," Girardi said. "You can say it's physical, you can say it's psychological, you can say it's mechanical. Whatever it is, we have to fix it."
With an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees can skip Vazquez's turn and throw the rest of their rotation on regular rest. Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett would pitch in Boston in that scenario. New York could also opt to call a starter up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or give the ball to longman Sergio Mitre, who tossed three hitless innings in relief on Saturday. Mitre was 3-3 with a 7.16 ERA in nine starts for the Bombers in 2009.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.