The season hasn’t even started yet and Yankees manager Joe Girardi is already planning on giving Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter days off. Girardi says the plan is to sit the aging veterans early and often and use Eduardo Nunez in their place. That’s why Nunez is expected to start this week against the Rays’ David Price.
“I’m not waiting a month this year (to put Nunez in the lineup),” Girardi told Chad Jennings of the Journal News.
Nunez, who has a career .314 OBP and .696 OPS, hits slightly better against lefties. In his career, he has a .306 OBP and a .733 OPS against them. If the Yankees gave him regular starts in the place of A-Rod against lefties it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea as he had an OPS of just .750 against them last year. However, with Jeter, they’d probably be better off sitting him against righties as the Captain had a .423 OBP and a .946 OPS agaisnt southpaws last year.
The Yankees also have Eric Chavez on the bench who will play a lot on place of A-Rod. However it seems that Nunez will get the bulk of the at bats off the bench probably to keep Chavez healthy and also because they seem to think Nunez will take the next step in his development this year.