The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Look who’s coming to camp: Middle infielders

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 02, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

These big league jobs are about as sewn up as they get, but the Yankees still invited a ton of shortstop/second basemen to big league camp as the team begins looking toward a future that (very soon) might not include either of the guys we’re used to seeing at second and short.

Robinson Cano is in the last year of his contract and Derek Jeter has one more year — a player option — remaining on his.

Robinson Cano
The Yankees starting second baseman and almost certainly their No. 3 hitter. Really has nothing to prove this spring.
Derek Jeter
Coming back from a broken ankle but expected to be 100 percent this spring. Already going through light drills.
Corban Joseph
Left-handed hitting second baseman who popped 15 home runs last season, most of them in Triple-A. Can play a little third, too. 
Eduardo Nunez
You know the drill. Has the tools. Pretty good bat. Great speed. Inconsistent glove. Yankees aren’t sure he can handle being a utility man.

I guess Nix wasn’t technically a minor league free agent — avoided arbitration, then accepted an outright assignment after he was designated — but he fits this category better than any of the others.

Jayson Nix
Called up early last season, Nix stuck around the rest of the year as a dependable utility man capable of playing just about anywhere. Trying to win his job back.
Gil Velazquez
Veteran utility infielder played 19 games with the Marlins last year. Can play anywhere in the infield. He’s 33 years old but has very little big league experience.

Although Ibarra, Maruszak and Pirela spent last season in Double-A, none is assured a Triple-A job this year and the Yankees immediate middle infield depth is probably going to come from the 40-man and the minor league veterans.

Cito Culver
First-round pick in 2010. The Yankees love his glove, but he hit just .215/.321/.283 in Charleston last season.
Walter Ibarra
The 25 year old has spent seven seasons in the minors with only 62 games above Class A. Primarily a shortstop.
Addison Maruszak
Had a breakout season last year in Double-A where he hit .276/.330/.457 and won the everyday shortstop job. Can play all over the place, including a little bit of experience at catcher. Trying to prove last year wasn’t a fluke.
Jose Pirela
Moved away from shortstop last year and had a nice season as a second baseman and occasional left fielder. Might have revived a little bit of prospect status.

If a player can handle a middle infield position, he’s usually listed that way, so this list is pretty small.

David Adams
Moved from second base to third base late last season, and right now it seems the Yankees plan to keep him primarily at third. Will still see some time at second, though.
Ronnier Mustelier
This one is a bit of a reach. Mustelier will almost certainly see all of his time at third and the outfield corners, but he has a little bit of second base experience. I guess the Yankees could put him there just to see if he could handle it on an emergency basis as a bench player.

Associated Press photo




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