TAMPA, Fla. -- Jorge Posada is built to have his mind involved with every pitch of the game, squatting behind home plate and flashing the signals that could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Now, he waits ... and waits ... and hits. And begins the waiting again.
Such is life as the Yankees' designated hitter, and figuring out just what he is supposed to be doing -- and when -- has been a process for Posada.
"I'm still working on it," Posada said. "I've got a lot of time on my hands."
This figures to be an intriguing year for the 39-year-old Posada, who is entering the final season of his contract and has been stripped of his catching gear for all but the direst emergencies.
After the wear and tear of being behind the plate left Posada limping and concussed last season, the Yankees are hoping that the DH role can not only keep his bat in the lineup, but also allow the switch-hitter to have a more productive campaign.
"I'm clear with what's going on. I'm looking forward to DHing, I really am," Posada said. "I want to have a good year and think of all the positives that I can contribute. I really want to concentrate on that. If the team wants me to be a DH, I have to be a DH."
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He's a lifetime .275 hitter otherwise, having batted .248 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs in 120 games a season ago.
"The most important thing to get out of March with Jorgie is to get a routine and used to DHing," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "DHing is not easy."
This is especially true when considering the relatively sparse facilities available when the Yankees are away from their spring home of George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Posada is experimenting with what to do in all of his down time between at-bats -- riding a stationary bike, stretching, hitting in the cage -- but he has yet to come up with what the perfect formula will be.
"I'm still working on different stuff," Posada said. "I just go out there and have a good four at-bats, five at-bats, whatever it takes. The bottom line is it's really about the at-bats when you're DHing.
"The process is getting ready, getting comfortable, and what you're going to do between at-bats. Obviously I'm working on that. It's just a process in knowing what I want to do."
Posada initially was hesitant to agree to give up his glove and mask, but manager Joe Girardi felt that Posada was changing his tune as the winter went on and the report date for pitchers and catchers grew nearer.
"I got the sense that he was accepting it and understood what he needed to do," Girardi said. "The conversations were different in the beginning.
"I don't know what it was like to be in his shoes, but I can understand why they were difficult [discussions], because of how hard he's worked at his trade and how long he's caught, the pride that he has."
Newcomer Russell Martin was eventually installed as the starting catcher, and now youngsters Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are vying to be Martin's understudy.
Instead of being scorched by the change, Posada seems to have embraced it. He has spoken highly of the maturity shown by both Montero and Romine this spring and has taken the time to deliver advice to both.
"I see him as a major asset to Montero and Romine, especially," Cashman said. "Jorgie has really taken these guys under his wing to embrace his new role."
Girardi said that he knows from experience how difficult it can be to take off the gear, and he can see Posada getting the itch to get back behind the plate if that becomes a problem spot this season.
But for now, Posada repeats the mantra, "I'm a DH," and seems committed to figuring out how to make his new title work.
"I think he has come into Spring Training with a tremendous attitude, a great work ethic and a willingness to share with the young players," Girardi said. "He's been a model citizen. He's been wonderful."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.