Rodriguez has just two singles and has struck out nine times in the first four games of the best-of-five American League Divisional Series. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter each of the last two games.
In the third game of the series, Raul Ibanez hit a ninth-inning home run while hitting for Rodriguez. Ibanez also hit a home run in the 12th inning of a 3-2 Yankees' win.
Eric Chavez hit for Rodriguez in the 13th inning Thursday, lining out to end the game, which Baltimore won 2-1 to force a decisive fifth game.
Chavez is to start Friday at third base while Ibanez was inserted as designated hitter.
The Yankees also said Derek Jeter, suffering from a bone bruise in his foot, would play shortstop Friday. He was the designated hitter Thursday.
The winner of Friday's Baltimore-New York game advances to the AL Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers, who eliminated the Oakland Athletics Thursday.