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Postgame notes: Nuno making his case for some sort of role

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 15, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Vidal Nuno

This was not a bad lineup Vidal Nuno faced this afternoon. The Orioles rolled out Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy, Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis in the top four spots in the order, and Nuno faced each of those guys twice. He finished with four scoreless innings, one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.

“It’s just mixing pitches, not using my fastball that much, locating better and just having that confidence,” Nuno said. “I’m not a flamethrower. A guy that mixes in the breaking balls and cutter and changeup. They’ve seen the other side of me, mixing it in, and that’s how I got them off balance. Yeah, I’d fall behind in the count and not put them away early, but there’s again that routine and just being positive with it.”

Although he’s clearly seen as the long-shot of the four fifth-starter candidates, Nuno has pitched awfully well this spring. He has a 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, nine strikeouts and only one walk through six innings. That’s not counting his three-strikeout, two-inning start against Florida State in the exhibition opener.

“His offspeed is really good, and his fastball has good plane on it,” fill-in manager Rob Thomson said. “They don’t seem to get good swings on it. And he can locate his fastball. So it’s a really great repertoire that he’s got. … He works fast, throws strikes, changes speed behind in the count, throws all his pitches for strikes, and he’s a valuable guy because he can pick up a lot of innings out of the bullpen, he can start, and he can get lefties out. So he’s a versatile guy.”

With Michael Pineda showing some encouraging results, and David Phelps pitching well — not to mention Adam Warren, who’s pitching tonight in Panama — I find it hard to think Nuno will break camp in that open rotation spot, but it’s worth wondering whether the Yankees could find a spot for him in the bullpen. Could be in their best interest to keep him stretched out in Triple-A, but Nuno does have a 40-man spot and he does bring some value in a versatile role.

“Maturity and just knowing that I’ve seen what happened last year and how everything works down here; it just helps me move forward and try to do the best I can do,” Nuno said. “… Being in big-league camp again and just knowing that I’m fighting for a job, still just going out there and enjoying it. You never know what’s going to happen the next day. Pretty much take it day by day.”

Brian Roberts· In his return to his old spring training home, Brian Roberts got a pretty nice ovation for his first at-bat, then he went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. “Brian Roberts was great today,” Thomson said. “He hit the ball hard three times. Ichiro hit the ball hard once. Kelly Johnson hit the ball hard once or twice. So it was good.”

· Talking about a play Roberts made up the middle, Thomson said that “Robbie” made a great play. It was hard not to immediately think of Robinson Cano. Apparently Roberts has inherited that nickname.

· In six innings, Kelly Johnson made four plays at third. Handled them all. Nothing too crazy, but it was a decent number of plays for a guy learning the position. “He’s done a lot of work with (infield coach) Mick (Kelleher),” Thomas said. “Almost every day they’ve been on that back field one on one, doing stuff, reading ground balls, top-spin ground balls and being able to move his feet and create the proper hop. He’s coming along fine.”

· The AP reporter who stayed behind in Tampa reported that Jacoby Ellsbury skipped the on-field batting practice session but went through other drills. Thomson said he heard of nothing wrong with Ellsbury, and it’s likely he either went inside to hit or simply decided not to take a full round of batting practice. Sounds like a complete non-issue.

· Thomson said all of the guys who stayed back for batting practice today — including Ellsbury and Eduardo Nunez — will be in the lineup tomorrow. Ichiro Suzuki will also play for a second straight day tomorrow.

Mason Williams· Mason Williams went hitless today, and he’s hitting just .143 this spring, but Thomson works with outfielders quite a bit down here and said he’s been impressed with the young center fielder. “Mason is a really, really good defender in center field,” Thomson said. “He’s got great instincts and gets jumps off the ball, reads bat speed well, direct routes to the ball. He covers a lot of space out there. … He’s grown up and he’s a little bit more poised around here, and a little more relaxed I guess. And he’s getting stronger. He hit that ball off the wall in Houston a couple weeks ago or last week, and today just missed a home run. He’s starting to use the field a little bit and the ball is jumping off the bat a little bit more. He’s grown up.”

· Good day for Ramon Flores who had two hits including a double. He did, however, stop going home on a fly ball to center field in the fifth inning. It wasn’t a particularly deep fly ball, but the throw was off line and Flores probably could have scored if he’d kept going. Thomson said he spoke to Flores on the bench about reading the situation — it was a scoreless game at the time, the fly ball was the second out of the inning — and using that to determine the risk-reward of trying to score in a situation like that. “Gotta feel that run might be the only run of the game,” Thomson said. Young player. Thomson indicated it was more of a teaching moment than anything.

· Box score notes: The Yankees only run came on a solo homer by Francisco Arcia against Chris Tilman. … Roberts and Flores had four of the Yankees six hits. Arcia had another, and minor league addition Taylor Dugas added a double. Got it off Darren O’Day as well. Pretty good pitcher against a relatively inexperienced hitter. … Dan Burawa was one out away from two scoreless innings, but Chris Davis clubbed a solo home run to center field. It was a game-tying shot. … Mark Montgomery allowed his first base runner of the spring. It was a leadoff single by Delmon Young, which ultimately led to the go-ahead run in the seventh. … Brian Gordon pitched a scoreless, hitless ninth.

· Give the last word to Nuno today: “Pretty much you’re just having a good time being around the guys, and whatever happens happens. Let the front office decide who’s going to do what and where.”

Associated Press photos

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57 Responses to “Postgame notes: Nuno making his case for some sort of role”

  1. BoJo March 15th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    jmills March 15th, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    I guess having a knuckler as an ace is alright if only for the fact you get your 200+ innings. R.A. has been great and has been working with abused kids here as I knew he would.
    ======
    Are you referring to the young Blue Jay players?

  2. BoJo March 15th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    You would think a team that has seen the success of Jummy Key, Tommy John, Andy Pettitte, and Whitey Ford would value Nuno higher. I’d love to see him get a rotation spot at #5.

  3. tomingeorgia March 15th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Bojo,
    He has the stuff to do it, for sure.

  4. bigdan22 March 15th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Notes on today’s game:

    –said my peace on Nuno earlier. Funny thing about him though. Nobody ever gives him much of a chance for anything, but all he does is pitch better than anyone else around him. And he’s been doing that for two years now.

    –Roberts is a pro. The kind of guy you wouldn’t mind starting for you in the playoffs. All spring he’s had good long ABs, played great defense and today actually got a couple hits from both sides of the plate. Seems like a perfect no. 2 hitter to me. When everything is said and done, the biggest problem for the Yanks’ infield this year may be at SS.

    –Because of the injuries to Austin and Heathcott, we’ve seen a lot of Flores. And he is def the most impressive of the OF group right now offensively. His level, short swing always seems to be the same every time he takes it. He never seems off balance. Controls the strike zone. Can’t see him having much power but if he can get his OBP above .360 in the majors then he can be a starter. Like to see him hit .300 in AA and AAA this year. That would be a change for a Yankee position prospect.

    –Burawa was featuring a nice tight slider today until he hung one to Davis. It’s just a question of when as to him pitching for the big club this year.

    –I’ve never thought much of Romine’s offense or defense. Maybe I’m missing something.

  5. LordD99 March 15th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    He is making the case to be the first pitcher called up from AAA. Both Phelps and Warren will make the starting roster, either with one at the 5th man and the other in the pen, or both in the pen if Pineda is most likely in the pen if Pineda is ready. They are all lined up in front of Nuno today.

    That means they will need to have a starter ready to call up from AAA to spot start, and the guys in the pen aren’t stretched out enough. That will be Nuno’s role. He can work is way up from there, but he’s not leaping over Phelps, Warren and Pineda today.

  6. BoJo March 15th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Per JF’s suggestion, I would put Pineda down at AAA until Aug 1, put Warren and Phelps in BP, and start Nuno #5. I know people here like Phelps a great deal, but i don’t think he would be anything great over 2 innings as he really doesn’t have a great knockout pitch. He is the type of pitcher Dave Duncan would turn into a 20 game winner with a spitter, but I don’t see that happening here. But he has value in multiple roles in pen. Same for Warren…but I see Nuno as being crafty enough to win 12-15 games if given the chance. Smart crafty lefties with control have a history of winning big in YS.

  7. austinmac March 15th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    That’s a great attitude from Nuno. This stuff must be stressful hoping for your big chance.

  8. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Sorry, I was lost on the other thread discoursing the merits of gilles villeneuve. Forza Gilles!

  9. Joe from Long Island March 15th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    bigdan22 – agree on your points.

    Re: Nuno – wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it possible for warren to be traded in the right deal.

    Re: Romine – I keep waiting for him to show me something. Nice kid, but you have to produce. I think that if he had shown that he could be a capable back up for McCann, that cervelli would have been traded already for infield help.

  10. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Bojo, hi, I still select Alomar at second, never knew Rogers Hornsby.

  11. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Bojo, R.A.is out there in the community helping kids who were left with little chance.

  12. coney1 March 15th, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Scott Merkin ?@scottmerkin 1h

    White Sox announce Gordon Beckham has a strained left oblique. No baseball activity for 7 days with two weeks left in Spring Training

    ———————
    White Sox don’t have anyone to offer us for Cervelli now. Not interested in any of the other garbage they have.

  13. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Assuming Ellsbury did skip BP as the AP reporter suggests, I am reminded Ellsbury had a wrist issue at the end of the season with the Red Sox. Gulp.

  14. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    White Sox don’t have anyone to offer us for Cervelli now. Not interested in any of the other garbage they have.

    *****

    What about Marcus Semien?

  15. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    @JimBowdenESPNxm: Iglesias will miss most of 2014 with shin injury according to another player that is close to him. Speculation that Tigers will pursue Drew

    Well there goes that….nice job Yankees. #stupid

  16. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Assuming Ellsbury did skip BP as the AP reporter suggests, I am reminded Ellsbury had a wrist issue at the end of the season with the Red Sox. Gulp.

    ****

    caveat emptor

  17. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Stone, help me out here, my rotation ” appears ” to be a mess :(

  18. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    If Tanaka starts game 4 of the regular season, that means he misses the Red Sox twice in April. If he gets game 3 or 5 he starts twice against the Red Sox. Since the Red Sox are the Yankees biggest competitor for the division, I hope Tanaka starts game 3 or 5.

  19. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Ellsbury just gets hurt with freak stuff….he’s not injury prone I’ve been told…..not to worry

  20. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:17 pm
    Stone, help me out here, my rotation ” appears ” to be a mess

    ******

    I have not been keeping up w/ your Jays this ST – how bad is it? (side note: I still think AA should have gone for Ervin – they have two 1st round picks protected!!!)

  21. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Is this game not on tv?

  22. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Tanaka, meanwhile, said the MLB ball gives his splitter “more bite compared to balls in Japan,” which is something he’s still adjusting to. [Wally Matthews, Brendan Kuty]

  23. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Jim Bowden just tweeted: “Iglesias will miss most of 2014 with shin injury according to another player that is close to him. Speculation that Tigers will pursue Drew”

    The Drew saga may be coming to an end. Mercy.

  24. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    ” Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    “Tanaka, meanwhile, said the MLB ball gives his splitter “more bite compared to balls in Japan,” which is something he’s still adjusting to. [Wally Matthews, Brendan Kuty]”

    Is this a good thing though?. Had plenty enough bite in Japan Might make it harder to command and and throw it in the zone when he wants to.

  25. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    “The Drew saga may be coming to an end. Mercy.”

    Yea they waited until one of their rivals lost their SS and allowed Drew to bail them out…..while the yanks still have the worst infield in the league. Awesome

  26. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    ” blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Is this game not on tv?”

    Says TBD on my mlb.tv which usually means no, plus there is a YES game on TV Sunday I believe, so my money is no game from Panama will be on TV. Hope I am wrong.

  27. bbb51 March 15th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Ellsbury is not hurt as far as we know.

  28. bbb51 March 15th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    We have Prime Time, no worries.

  29. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    How are they not televising this game? shouldn’t MLB kinda be demanding they do?

  30. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    ” blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    “Yea they waited until one of their rivals lost their SS and allowed Drew to bail them out…..while the yanks still have the worst infield in the league. Awesome”

    ====================

    It could have been worse, they could have traded for Iglesias and then had him come down with a season ending injury

    Agree on the lost opportunity, although if they get lucky and Jeter remains healthy and has a season like 2012, low probability as that is, it won’t hurt much.
    Just glad the Red Sox don’t grab them. The Orioles and Blue Jays could have used him as well given their needs at 2B. Don’t know for sure the story is true though.

  31. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Machado experiences setback on knee, won’t be ready opening day and is schedule for an exam.

    Orioles might be in on Drew with the 14 million they had earmarked for Santana if the exam does not go well.

  32. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Stone, my whole rotation is upside down at the present moment :)

    Morrow is a big concern.

  33. blake March 15th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Drew would have to play 3B for both the Os and yanks…..he’s goin to the Tigers unless they just won’t pay him ….chance to win:…can play SS

  34. mick March 15th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Said it before…why no TV for Panam games….why no Mo?

  35. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    mick, nobody cares aboot the PanAm games.

  36. mick March 15th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Panama games.

  37. jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Panema – great song by Van Halen.

  38. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Aside from the fact the games are played in Panama, they are playing against the Marlins in an exhibition game. I doubt the costs in setting up a broadcast team with equipment in Panama makes much sense for YES. If the game was broadcast in Panama, which it may not be, you would think it could be picked up and rebroadcast here, even if it is in spanish.

  39. UpState March 15th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Panama games.
    PanAm games.
    Ipanema games.

    Cable is such a cornucopia of all different sports !

  40. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:55 pm
    Panema – great song by Van Halen.

    ******

    :)

  41. blake March 15th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    @mikeaxisa: Here comes the part where the Tigers sign Stephen Drew and wind up with a better team than the one they had with a healthy Iglesias.

  42. pete2 March 15th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    “jmills March 15th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    “Stone, my whole rotation is upside down at the present moment :)

    They could have outbid the Braves for Santana who had to sacrifice a 1st round pick.

    They have a nice monopoly in Canada and collect revenue sharing dollars, its not a necessity that they compete, and the fact they are in the AL East means trying to compete against long odds does not make much financial sense

  43. stillstuckey March 15th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    blake, I know you aren’t the only one, but this Stephen Drew-love is irrational.

    Reminds me of the time when some of “us” were hot and bothered to sign Carl Crawford in 2011 to sign left field despite having Brett Gardner and some of “us” were laughed at for questioning out loud if the upgrade justified the extreme difference in cost.

    Good times.

  44. Revenge of Stoneburner March 15th, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    blake, I know you aren’t the only one, but this Stephen Drew-love is irrational.

    *****

    It is a seasonal thing – last year it was Josh Hamilton – next year it will probably be Chase Headley

  45. mick March 15th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    mills check it out.

    THIS FRIDAY: Little Murders : newyorksh*tty.com
    http://www.newyorksh*tty.com/uncategorized/6623?
    Aug 4, 2008 – In Little Murders (1971), directed by Alan Arkin, with screenplay by … this made him conclude that he might as well be taking pictures of sh*t.

  46. Abe Peterham March 15th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Found link for panama game on RAB

    http://tvmax-9.com/envivo/

  47. bigdan22 March 15th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I haven’t seen a Solarte at bat in a few days now. I knew something was wrong with the universe.

    Let’s talk about Solarte for a bit. I, like almost everyone else here, didn’t know who the hell this guy was until the Yanks signed him a few months ago. His past statistical performance is ok but not particularly noteworthy. Yet just the same, after watching Solarte this ST, color me impressed.

    As to his defense, you can’t tell much about his range by just watching a few games on TV. But I can tell he has a shortstop’s arm. Nevertheless, it’s really his at bats that are the most impressive things about him. He just doesn’t set up, swing, or hit like a utility infielder. Anna looks like a utility infielder at the plate. A good one. Like Enrique Wilson or Luis Sojo. I saw a quote from Beltran the other day saying he was impressed with Solarte and that Solarte was a “real switch-hitter.” Pop from both sides of the plate. I’ve seen him turn on fastballs or hit them the other way this spring. I’ve seen him pull curve balls. He just looks hitterish.

    Solarte has very little chance of getting any significant time at SS for the big club this season. The best thing for him then is to play SS every day in Scranton. There’s going to be quite a large opening at SS for the Yanks in 2015. I believe the Yanks are prepared to do something big to fill that hole next off season. But if Solarte has a strong year in Scranton, it would behoove the Yanks to direct their attention to their newly impressive AAA SS as a possible long term in house solution. Sounds far fetched? Hey we didn’t even know how to spell this guy’s name a few months ago. And maybe he really is from Hannibal Mo.

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