Today might bring some answers about Eduardo Nunez. Here are five options.
1. Nunez is surprisingly healthy
Can’t really expect this at this point, but I suppose there’s a chance that Nunez feels good today, manages to hit without any problems and proves he’ll be a viable option for Monday’s doubleheader. It’s probably the best-case scenario, and also probably the least likely.
2. Make the easy, cautious move
If it’s going to take more than a couple of days, might as well put Nunez on the disabled list, make him miss another week, and go ahead and call up Corban Joseph from Triple-A. He’s the only infielder on the 40-man roster, which means he’s the only player who can be called up without putting someone else on the 60-day or putting someone else on waivers.
3. Put an emphasis on the glove
If Nunez is going on the disabled list, would the Yankees really feel OK with Chris Nelson as their backup shortstop for another eight days or so? It might make more sense to go ahead and bring up Alberto Gonzalez, the newly acquired Triple-A shortstop who has big league experience all over the infield and isn’t a bad defensive player. Making room for him on the 40-man, though, might require putting Mark Teixeira on the 60-day disabled list, which would basically assure that Teixeira won’t return until June.
4. Boesch pays the price
Let’s say Nunez is going to be back in three days. That’s too late for him to play in the doubleheader — when the Yankees badly need an infielder — but it might be too soon to make the DL worthwhile. Would it make sense to option Brennan Boesch to Triple-A and call up Joseph? Boesch doesn’t deserve the demotion, but he doesn’t really have a role either. Joseph could come up, give some infield depth for a few days and provide a left-handed bat just like Boesch. The Yankees would still have a backup outfielder in Ben Francisco and could use Jayson Nix out there in a pinch.
5. Go bold with Mustelier
Don’t want to DL Nunez. Don’t want to lose Boesch. Don’t want a guy like Joseph who primarily plays Robinson Cano’s position. Is it possible the Yankees could DFA Francisco and bring up Ronnier Mustelier to be a right-handed DH, backup outfielder and backup third baseman? Of course, the problem is that Mustelier has hardly hit since being activated in Triple-A.