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Posada to the Bench

via MLB.com | The Yankees appear to be approaching the end of an era with another of their core players. Jorge Posada has been removed from the team’s everyday lineup and could complete the season as a bench player.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had a conversation with the 39-year-old Posada on Sunday in which he said that Posada would no longer serve as the Bombers’ regular designated hitter and could not promise when Posada will next start.

“I’m very disappointed,” Posada said. “You want to be out there, but right now, it’s about winning ballgames. He said he’s going to put the best team he can on the field. Today, I’m not in there.”

Eric Chavez started on Sunday at designated hitter for the Yankees, who had won eight of their last nine games heading into their weekend series finale against the Red Sox.

“We’re going to see how this works,” Girardi said. “We’ll try some different things. I told Jorgie, ‘You’re still going to be a big part of this, and we need you.’ We’re just going to do some different things.”

Posada has been a Yankee since his big league debut, appearing on all five of their most recent World Series championship clubs, though his transition to life as a designated hitter this season has not gone smoothly.

“It’s tough — Jorgie and I have a relationship that goes back a long, long ways to 1996,” Girardi said. “He’s done so many great things in this game and great things for the Yankees — been part of so many championships and division winners. I know how much he wants to be a part of this.”

In the final year of a four-year, $52.4 million contract, Posada is hitting .230 (65-for-282) with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 90 games this year, having seen 10 games of duty at first base but none at catcher due to concern over repeated concussions.

Girardi said that he did not envision a scenario in which Posada would not finish the year on the Yankees’ active roster.

Posada has hit just three homers since April 24 but said that he had felt as though his at-bats were getting better during the Yankees’ four-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago this week, during which he appeared in three games and went 3-for-11 (.273) with a double.

“I felt fine in Chicago, felt like things were coming around,” Posada said.

But Posada went hitless in three at-bats on Friday and again in four at-bats on Saturday against the Red Sox, leading Girardi to prefer seeing the bats of Chavez and Eduardo Nunez, who started at third base on Sunday night.

“I’m not happy about it, but right now, I can’t do [anything] about it,” Posada said. “I put myself in this situation. You’ve got to just keep on working.”