After watching Alex Rodriguez decline last year and have a second hip surgery in January the Yankees understood what they had was an above-average third baseman and weren’t delusional to believe Rodriguez could recapture his MVP mojo.

Now after missing the first four months of the season and becoming the face of the Biogenesis PED scandal Rodriguez is back.

So does the club still believe he is an above-average third baseman?

“I don’t know’’ general manager Brian Cashman admitted before Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field where Rodriguez went 1-for-2 walked and got hit by a pitch. “He has been above average at the position but not the MVP player for a while. I know he will be better than what we have.’’

Manager Joe Girardi used Rodriguez as the DH against hard-throwing lefty Chris Sale last night but it had nothing to do with wanting to give Rodriguez a half workload in his second game back.

“We had a long game [Monday] and I chose to DH him [Tuesday night]. I will probably put him back at third [tonight]’’ Girardi said. “I didn’t even ask him but he said he felt good.’’

Because he has five outfielders for three spots Girardi has choices besides Rodriguez in the DH spot.

“I would like to play him at third more than DH him’’ Girardi said.

As for the crowd cheering when Rodriguez got plunked by Chris Sale Girardi was perplexed.

“There is something wrong with that and it starts with adults’’ Girardi said. “If it was their kid would they cheer them to get hit.’’