I miss the Captain. I miss Derek Jeter and I am praying daily that he will come back soon because I just can't stand looking out at shortstop and he isn't there. Finding a good shortstop is like finding a needle in a haystack or a four leaf clover. They are rare. No offense to the backup, but it just isn't working out.
I understand why people like Eduardo Nunez because I see how funny and likable the guy is.....but the Yankees really don't have use for him and honestly, I don't either. I used to, but not anymore. It sounds harsh but it is true. I like Nunez's speed on the bases. I like his sense of humor, and I love how his helmet flies off of his head every time he motors around the bases. I don't like his glove at all and his bat isn't so good that it makes up for it. I'm not the only one who seems to think so either.
Rewind back to March. Sure, it is a while back but if you read HERE Brian Cashman said the same thing and this was before the season even began. It was before he had a lackluster start to the season and then got injured. I quote...“That’s not a great offensive player." There you have it. Sure, he runs into the ball and he can be productive but I tend to agree. He is more effective running on the bases. Aside from that, he is a liability.
The Yankees needed him to work out this season. They were desperate for him to fill in and succeed. We put a ton of responsibility on a bench player who struggled in that role. Did the Yankees really expect him to just magically get better in a regular role? It was a risky roll of the dice. Now with Derek Jeter and Jayson Nix out with muscle strains we are expecting Nunez to get the job done. That scares me.
For whatever reason, Cashman and company believe that Nunez is destined to be an everyday shortstop and the heir replacement once Jeter finally calls it quits. That is supposedly where he has the most value. Where is this value? Looking at stats so far this year he has 5 errors. That's quite a few considering how much time he has missed over the season due to injuries. In his 4 years so far, he has committed a total of 33 errors. 23 of those come from playing shortstop. His other errors come from playing second and third base. Sure, putting him at either of those positions won't be an option considering we have Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.....but that should tell the Yankees that he just does not have a feel for the position.
He should have a feel for the position by now, he's had plenty of play time there over the years. Maybe he needs some confidence? Maybe he needs the good old Scott Hatteberg "Moneyball" treatment. You know the part in the movie where Billy Beane is sitting in his office during the first day of spring training and his coaches tell him that he just "doesn't have a feeling for the position" and "the nice way to put it is....he lacks confidence." Billy Beane answers that with, "well....give him some!" (Yes, I have watched this movie about a million times). I think the Yankees have given him plenty. They have utilized him in some important games and he doesn't always pull through.
I just don't understand why the Yankees continue to hold on to this guy aside from the injury epidemic this year. He is a defensive liability, and considering how our offense isn't running on all 4 cylinders some nights scoring 3 runs is an uphill battle. Putting Nunez in the game and committing just one error could be the difference between a win and a loss, sad to say but true. At this point, I feel more confident with Luis Cruz. Shortstops are hard to find, but it makes me wonder what we could have gained if the Yankees had traded him to the Atlanta Braves when they were showing interest last year.
Nunez is a nice guy, but the Yankees need to stop trying to make this guy something he isn't. I don't know what the answer is without Jeter....but I am convinced it isn't him.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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