It was just three years ago when Vidal Nuno was a Washington Wild Thing, pitching in the independent Frontier League, a former 48th-round pick that the Indians had given up on after two minor-league seasons.
He made six starts, going 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA. His best Wild Thing memory?
“Pretty much the atmosphere and the teammates,” Nuno said. “They trying to strive to play affiliated ball.”
Nuno, of course, made it back to affiliated ball when the Yankees signed him out of that league in June of 2011. Now he’s getting the first shot at replacing Ivan Nova in the rotation.
His chance begins this afternoon against the Angels, a team he has never faced.
“It’s an opportunity,” Nuno said. “Trying to pitch every five days is a dream come true. But now it’s back to business and trying to help the team win.”
The 26-year-old lefty is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in his four starts for the Yankees these last two seasons.
“I think it’s a big stretch for him and for our club, trying to solidify that role,” Joe Girardi said.
Here’s a link to my feature story on Nuno on LoHud.com today. Also, here’s my story on Hiroki Kuroda and last night’s Yankees debacle. And here’s a link to my Yankees notebook with items on Derek Jeter and the adjusted transfer rule, David Phelps/Michael Pineda and Brendan Ryan.
Photo by The Associated Press.