The Yankees have used seven players at third base this season, each of them expected to serve as a stopgap option until Alex Rodriguez's return from offseason hip surgery.
And after a long wait, the Yankees will finally get their regular third baseman back on Monday. Rodriguez is in Monday night's starting lineup against the White Sox in Chicago, batting cleanup and playing third base.
Major League Baseball announced its suspensions for players involved with the Biogenesis investigation on Monday, and A-Rod was the most prominent name included. Effective Thursday, the 14-time All-Star has been suspended for 211 games -- the remainder of this season and the entirety of the 2014 season -- but he plans to appeal.
Rodriguez's return will almost certainly provide a boost for a Yankees lineup that could potentially lose shortstop Derek Jeter to the disabled list again due to a right calf injury.
"I think all of us are curious what's going to happen and if Alex is going to be a player for us tomorrow, and what's going to happen with the other guys that are involved in this," Girardi said. "Because in my mind, I have him penciled in here tomorrow."
The Yankees' third basemen have been among the worst in the league this season. The long list of players who Girardi has started at the position -- most recently Brent Lillibridge, David Adams and Luis Cruz -- is collectively batting just .215 with four home runs and 32 RBIs combined this season.
There are 22 third basemen who have better numbers from an individual player at the position than the Yankees do as a team this season.
"My goal is to get [Rodriguez] back here as a player for us. That's my goal," Girardi said. "I manage the players in the clubhouse; that's my job. My goal is to get him back. I hope we have him back on Monday."
White Sox third basemen haven't fared much better this year. Chicago's hot corner starters have hit a combined .216 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs, numbers which aren't far better than the Yankees'.
Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger, who have split most of the time at the position, are batting .159 with one home run and three RBIs during the team's current 10-game losing streak.
"It's one of those things that nobody likes to go through," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think that's the rut you get in. Even though you get some guys on, you can't push it through. You continue to grind. That's the only way you can do it and continue to hustle and do all that stuff, to be able to get out of it."
Yankees: Pettitte back on track
After allowing four or more runs in six consecutive starts in June and July, Andy Pettitte seems to have finally found his footing in his last two outings.
The veteran left-hander allowed just two runs in each of his past two starts, allowing eight hits over six innings in a loss to the Rangers on July 24 and eight hits over seven innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers on Tuesday.
For the season, Pettitte is 7-8 with a 4.28 ERA. He's 3-7 with a 6.30 ERA in 12 career starts at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I was happy with the way [Pettitte] threw the ball," Girardi said Tuesday. "To give me seven innings, and only give up two runs against a lineup that's scoring a lot of runs, that's pretty good pitching."
White Sox: Quintana surging as August begins
Jose Quintana probably wasn't too happy to see the calendar flip to August on Thursday. The White Sox starter had just finished off his stellar month of July the day before, throwing five innings of three-run ball in a no-decision against the Indians.
Quintana made six starts in July, going 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings. He's also 1-0 in his career against the Yankees, though he did give up six runs over six innings against them in Chicago's 14-7 win on June 29, 2012.
• Jeter sat out for the second consecutive game Sunday with a sore right leg. Girardi said before the game that Jeter might have been available as a pinch-hitter, but he didn't play in the Yankees' 6-3 loss to the Padres. There's still a chance he could go back on the DL, Girardi said.
"I think it's always a possibility," Girardi said. "It's not what we want to do. My hope is I get him in the lineup tomorrow. But I wouldn't say it's 100 percent no that he wouldn't go on it."
• The White Sox lost their 10th consecutive game Sunday, marking the first time they have had a losing streak that long since the 1976 season.
• Yankees catcher Austin Romine hit his first career home run against the Padres on Sunday. He's now 10 for his last 21 at the plate with a home run and five RBIs.
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.