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


Spring decision: What to do with Nunez?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 05, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pitchers and catchers report in exactly one week, so this seems like a good time to start looking at some of the decisions the Yankees will have to make in spring training. Let’s start with a decision that could significantly impact some other spots on the bench: What in the world to do with Eduardo Nunez?

The situation
Nunez is an interesting offensive weapon that might not have a defensive home. The Yankees prefer to keep him at shortstop and hope that his fundamentals catch up with his tools, but he has more immediate value as a utility infielder who can DH from time to time without sacrificing his potential to replace Derek Jeter at some point in the near future. That said, Nunez has another option remaining, which means the Yankees can ship him back to Triple-A to work on his defense while someone else helps out in the big league infield.

The options
There are three options, really: 1. Nunez is sent back to the minors to play shortstop everyday. 2. Nunez is kept on the big league roster strictly as a DH and backup shortstop. Another infielder is kept to backup at second and third. 3. Nunez is kept on the big league roster as the only true backup infielder, freeing the Yankees to carry two reserve outfielders or an outfielder plus a left-handed pinch hitter like Dan Johnson (could be valuable to hit for the catchers in the late innings).

The fallout
One reason I thought Russ Canzler might be pretty valuable is that he can play at least a passable third base. Carrying Canzler and Nunez together might free Nunez to focus on shortstop with a handful of appearances at second base, and the Yankees would still have another bench spot open for an additional outfielder or left-handed bat (no longer an option now that the Orioles have claimed Canzler). Ronnier Mustelier could create a similar option if he’s carried on the big league bench. Another guy I wonder about fitting into this equation is Corban Joseph. That’s a left-handed bat that’s shown some power and can play both second and third. Say the Yankees carry a bench of — just for argument’s sake — Nunez, Joseph, Matt Diaz and Chris Stewart. That would give them a backup catcher (Stewart), a platoon outfielder (Diaz), a platoon shortstop/DH and pinch runner (Nunez) and a backup 2B/3B who could hit for the catcher in the late innings (Joseph). Not saying that’s going to happen, only pointing out one way that Nunez’s value and limitations might impact a player who otherwise might be seen as not quite ready for the big leagues.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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62 Responses to “Spring decision: What to do with Nunez?”

  1. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    @YankeesWFAN

    Russ Canzler claimed off waivers by Balt. Early leader for this year’s Steve Pearce Award.

  2. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    i dont have a problem with the yankees using nunez at both 3b and ss, as it seems there will be alot of games available and theres not that much difference playing the two.

    id be very reticent to use nunez at 2b where the footwork and throwing angles are so different.

  3. yankeefeminista February 5th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Thing with Joseph though is really love his bat but his D isn’t really up to snuff, or he would likely have been a viable candidate already.

    Radiokev, I’d rank JR over Romine right now if we are talking upside. I like Romine, but he needs to increase his value/stay healthy. And he needs to get his bat back up to where it was in AA before he got hurt. Or he isn’t going to be a starting catcher.

  4. Rich in NJ February 5th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Supersub and live with the pain in the hope that his learning curve flattens. It’s the only way to max out his value, assuming he isn’t traded.

  5. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    i hope nunez and gardner are getting fired up!

    those two are poised to have huge on impact on this yankees team.

    and hughes, joba and nova.

    this is a year where the Yankees are going to need these organization guys to come through in a big way.

  6. Nick in SF February 5th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    “but the second is preposterous.”

    It was meant to be preposterous. The notion that any particular championship since the 80′s isn’t tainted in some way is kind of proposterous too. We know the names of some accused/actual users, but not the names of the uncaught.

  7. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    @DKnobler

    Jack Morris joins Blue Jays radio team. Won WS with Tigers, Twins, Jays. Now has broadcast for Tigers, Twins, Jays.

  8. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Gardner is going to be the Yankees Centerfielder and might be their leadoff hitter coming out of training camp.

    That’s big stuff.

    I think he’s gonna have a great year.

  9. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
    Colin Cowherd(radio host) always says fans would be surprised how many players they think are jerks are good guys while those they believe are good are really mean guys in real life.

    ———————————

    You know who I bet is a total sweetheart in real life?

    Mike Mussina.

    ———————

    I wouldn’t be surprised

  10. Nick in SF February 5th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    The Moose Bars were plenty sweet. :grin:

  11. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Moose wanted the foul pole of the old stadium… I wish someone would have given it to him lol.

  12. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    @Ken_Rosenthal

    Callaspo two-year, $8.975M contract with #Angels now official.

  13. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    lemme just throw this out there.

    on a scale of 1-10 how shocked would you be if jeter decided to hang ‘em up after this season?

    shame, my guess for who would be the nicest guy to meet would have been granderson.

    but who knows?

  14. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I hate it when LoHud tells me I’m posting too quickly… This is a fast paced world, LoHud.

  15. Jerkface February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Rays DFA’d Reid Brignac. Dude cannot hit at all but is only 27.

  16. Jerkface February 5th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    on a scale of 1-10 how shocked would you be if jeter decided to hang ‘em up after this season?

    10. I think Jeter is going to stay around where he was last season and OPS .750-.770. At that rate he’ll keep going.

  17. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    on a scale of 1-10 how shocked would you be if jeter decided to hang ‘em up after this season?

    ———————

    10 (and let it be noted that this is me avoiding the temptation to put something stupid here like 12 or 100).

    Granderson probably is a nice fella. But looks can be deceiving.

  18. Shame Spencer February 5th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    @LoHudYankees

    Tragic story wonderfully written RT @alex_prewitt: A tale of broken dreams about a legend who never quite got out. http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  19. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    btw i just want to give props…

    in 1976 jerry koosman went 21-10, 2.69 era for the mets

    he also agreed to let at 10th grader interview him for journalism class. (that was me)

    and he was as nice a guy as you could ever meet.

  20. Rich in NJ February 5th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    If he is physically able to play fairly well, Jeter is staying until the Steins sell his group the team.

  21. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    i’d give it an 8 if jeter retired, but if he has a tough year physically that could go all the way down to a 5.

  22. jacksquat February 5th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    lemme just throw this out there.

    on a scale of 1-10 how shocked would you be if jeter decided to hang ‘em up after this season?

    1.

    Nothing regarding retirement would surprise me with Jeter.

    However, I suspect he will want to play longer as long as he is playing well.

  23. kd February 5th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    jeter retires if he gets hurt again.

    if he hits over 300 he’s gonna keep playing. they’ll make him a dh before they give him the bernie treatment

    now that montero and maybe alex are out of the mix, a full time dh is not impossible

    only issue will be if alex comes back and derek can hit, but can’t field

  24. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    hard to say if jeter will want to be in baseball after he leaves.

    on the one hand, he’d be a great manager.

    on the other he has no need to do the traveling and dealing with the head-cases.

    and there will be piles of easy network money if he wants that.

    i think he’ll walk away and we’ll only ever see him in uniform at OTD after a few years.

  25. pat February 5th, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    TBTimes_Rays
    #Rays DFA Brignac AND elliot johnson

  26. kd February 5th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    jeter has said that he wants to own a team. he’ll likely have to get other investors but it’s something he could pull off

  27. austinmac February 5th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Ys,

    Good story as it’s nice to hear celebs can be kind. But, you couldn’t get a Yankee interview? :)

  28. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    in 1963 yogi berra caught 32 games, had 147 AB hit 8 hr/28 rbi and ops’d .856, got his one AB in the WS and retired.

    that winter they made him the manager.

    would the yankees offer jeter the manager’s job?

    would he take it?

  29. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    austin, no the Yankees never even replied to my letter.

    the met’s also said no but i had an in a WOR-9.

  30. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    would the yankees offer jeter the manager’s job?

    would he take it?

    —————

    No because players with his type of status and money don’t take jobs as manager. he’s rather be the owner. Besides Jeter is not a baseball lifer he doesn’t even really watch games he’s not playing in. But you know who would take that job?

  31. ac1 February 5th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Would be vey interested in seeing if JR Murphy does well in training camp, if the Yankees ever believe he can actually catch for them instead of Cervelli or Romine.

  32. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    aao, mariano?

  33. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    fyi, jerry koosman played 19 years in baseball, made a total of $1.8M, won 222 games, had a 3.36 lifetime era

    …AND was as nice a guy as you could ever meet!

  34. 4 NYY February 5th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Granderson – One of the nicest guys in MLB PERIOD

    Mariano – Same

    Matsui – Same, only retired

    Jeter – Same

    Classy guys all !

  35. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    aao, mariano?

    ——————–

    No not Mo

  36. austinmac February 5th, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I can’t imagine Jeter wanting to manage.that is a very tough life he simply doesn’t need to endure. Ownership would seem like a different matter. If anyone could attract a group with massive money, it’s Jeter. Let him retire to ownership. That would be unique.

  37. austinmac February 5th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    AAO,

    AROD, of course. He would either be good or awful. Not sure which.

  38. tomingeorgia February 5th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    AAO,
    Posada might do it, and kick any needy ass.

  39. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    im sure arod would LOVE to manage.

    i don’t think anyone will ever let him.

  40. austinmac February 5th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    If these allegations are true, I don’t see how he doesn’t become a baseball pariah. If true, it is shockingly stupid and ego driven behavior. Too bad.

  41. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    austinmac February 5th, 2013 at 6:09 pm
    AAO,

    AROD, of course.

    ——————–

    Austin got it right. Alex is a baseball fiend lol.

  42. tomingeorgia February 5th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    If i’m Arod, and have hundreds of millions, I pitch in with Jeter (as a silent partner), buy the club, and hire Jorge.

  43. Rich in NJ February 5th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    They probably need even deeper pockets, Tom, but I’m on board in principle.

  44. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Alex for GM! :D

  45. tomingeorgia February 5th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Rich,
    Sure, but there are a lot of minority partners in the Yankees ownership right now, whom we’ve never heard of, who have zillions, and there are more out there who’d love to own the Yanks.

  46. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    i think jeter will never have anything to do with arod ever again once one of them leaves the yankees.

  47. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    Alex for GM!

    —————

    Jeter for owner :)

  48. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    i think jeter will never have anything to do with arod ever again once one of them leaves the yankees.

    ———————

    Probably

    This latest episode might be the last straw. Over the past few yrs it seemed like they were at least back on good terms.

  49. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    Alex for GM!

    —————

    Jeter for owner :)
    ///

    Of course! :D

    Jorge will be involved, also. (more likely, these two than Alex).

  50. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Bernie can play the anthem :D

  51. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    Alex for GM!

    —————

    Jeter for owner
    ///

    Of course!

    Jorge will be involved, also. (more likely, these two than Alex).

    —————

    Jorge can be the hitting coach

  52. yankeefeminista February 5th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pYwon4UpK0

  53. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    i think jeter will never have anything to do with arod ever again once one of them leaves the yankees.
    ///

    Probably not professionally, but “never have anything to do with arod ever again,” sounds more like your personal projection and lack of compassion – not Jeter’s.

    Consider Jason Giambi, friend of Derek :D

  54. Ys Guy February 5th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    its just my opinion, but i think jeter can’t stand arod at all.

    he’ll never say it but i think he hates the guy.

  55. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I think it’s a little more complex than that, and again, I think it’s you who “hates the guy” not Derek.

  56. mick February 5th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    giambi was a stand up guy, liked by his teammates.
    arod is not called afraud for nothing…

  57. Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    He loved him in 09

    http://seattletimes.com/ABPub/.....136295.jpg

  58. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    Alex for GM!

    —————

    Jeter for owner
    ///

    Of course!

    Jorge will be involved, also. (more likely, these two than Alex).

    —————

    Jorge can be the hitting coach
    ///

    Odds, he can also coach the catchers, and teach them that hitting is also an important part of what they bring. ;)

    yankeefeminista February 5th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pYwon4UpK0
    ///

    Now, that’s nice….

  59. mick February 5th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    hitting will always be secondary to defense for catchers.

  60. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Mo calls him “my FRiend.”

  61. mick February 5th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Mo and Jeter are diplomats and team players.

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock February 5th, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Against All Odds February 5th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    He loved him in 09

    http://seattletimes.com/ABPub/…..136295.jpg
    ////

    Odds, I was watching that live from Main. Good times :D


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