When Eduardo Nunez made 2 errors in the first two innings of play against the Rays last week and Girardi pulled Nunez in the sixth inning of that game in favor of Jayson Nix, I got to thinking...why do the Yankees still hang onto this guy? It's a long story...here it goes...
I wanted to break down Nunez and his positions for you. I thought it would be a cool exercise. So far this year, he’s played shortstop, third base, second base, left field, and right field. Let’s take a look:
- Shortstop: 66 games, 468.2 innings, .929 Fld%, -23.6 UZR/150, -11 DRS
- Third base: 62 games, 412.1 innings, .920 Fld%, -27.5 UZR/150, -3 DRS
- Second base: 18 games, 91 innings, .977 Fld%, -7.4 UZR/150, 0 DRS
- Left field: 4 games, 26 innings, 1.000 Fld%, 9.1 UZR/150, 0 DRS
- Right field: 4 games, 17.1 innings, 1.000 Fld%, -10.6 UZR/150, -1 DRS
While Brett Gardner was injured, and before Nunez went down to AAA, the Yankees tried Nunez in the outfield, specifically in left field. I was on board with that; It give Nunez some more at-bats considering Derek Jeter can’t have a half-day or a full day off at shortstop every time out. Nunez is athletic, and I think he has what it takes to play the outfield. Read WHY NOT MAKE NUNEZ AN OUTFIELDER? It's our opinion at BYB that he’s looked fairly decent in left, considering he’s only played out there for a short amount of time. The old saying is practice makes perfect, right? If the Yankees were to stick with Nunez in left field, maybe things would work out nicely...if he ever comes back up again. But I’m sure the experiment would have worked out.
So what happens now with this kid? The Yankees train Nunez in AAA and wait. Clearly they want him to be the Yankees shortstop, but don't dismiss that left field role either. We kind of like that idea here. Some fans want to unload him, but that’s simply wrong . Nunez is 24 years old, cost controlled (Earns $500K in 2012, isn’t arbitration eligible until 2014, under team control until 2017), has speed (33 career steals, 83% success rate), and can play many positions. Those four things make him pretty valuable and I can see why the Yankees are giving Nunez every opportunity he can get.
--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse
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