Eduardo Nunez can’t play defense at the major league level

The Yankees like Eduardo Nunez that much is clear, he’s a middle infielder with a lot of speed, athleticism, and a bit of pop in his bat, and they try to play him as often as possible. On a team with no holes in the lineup, this bench player has managed to find himself in 20 of the team’s first 31 games.

The problem is that he can’t play defense. At all. He’s consistently bad and if he’s not the worst defensive player in the game, he’s in the Top 10. Yet the Yankees keep playing him because nobody can consistently be this bad and with all of his athletic ability surely he will improve. It makes sense except Nunez has not shown any improvement whatsoever out there as he made two more errors on Thursday night.

“I think we’re gonna have to evaluate it a little bit, how much we move him around in a sense,” Girardi told Kieran Darcy of “Maybe it’s just difficult for him, all the different throws.”

The Yankees are going to have to evaluate him alright. They have to evaluate whether or not it is worth having him on the team at all. He’s got a few solid tools, but he is such a liability on defense that it’s hard to see how he’s worth it. A move to the outfield seems possible, with his speed he could potentially cover a lot of ground out there. However, his power numbers would leave a lot to be desired in the outfield.

The way I see it the Yankees have two options because they can’t keep running him out there. They could try him in the outfield now with Brett Gardner on the DL or they could send him back down to the minors. A trip to the minors may be what’s best for him as it would give him a chance to play everyday to try to improve his consistency.

One things for sure, they can’t just keep running him out there to make error after error.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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7 Responses to Eduardo Nunez can’t play defense at the major league level

  1. mlblogsaugustine says:

    I've been a big supporter of Nunez because of his great eye at the plate. I really can't get behind him anymore because I'm totally slack-jawed at how bad he is defensively. I had no idea he'd stoop this low. Its like watching a little league game when he fields a ball. No one should be that bad.

  2. Matt_DC says:

    I agree, Rob. He should probably be in AAA be playing every day working on fundamentals. The Yankees are doing a young shortstop no favors with inconsistent playing time, mixing in at 3rd and LF. If in '96 Jeter was thrown into the outfield as well as SS he would have committed more than 22 errors.

  3. Bronx_Knight says:

    My take is different. Most of Nunez's infield errors are the result of bad throws. His outfield errors are a result of a lack of experience in the outfield.

    I'll never trust Nunez in the infield, but, with his athleticism, I think he could make a decent outfielder, possibly as a cheap, home-grown replacement for Swisher next year. He has a good arm and a little inaccuracy from the outfield is usually not fatal, provided he gets the ball in.

    I'm not saying he'll ever be Dave Winfield, but just trying to be a little creative…

  4. Fred says:

    I think sending him down is the most logical answer. Give him playing time every day, play him only at shortstop, and see if he can consistently field.

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    They can't be serious envisioning Nunez as Jeter's eventual replacement. This guy is silly bad with the glove. No way I want him out there at all. They've sent him to AAA, so okay, but if the Yanks had included him they could have had Clif Lee. Talk about misjudging talent. And now they think Nix will be the backup SS? What a mess!
    Here's the solution: bring Pena up to be the utility INF (at least he can field). Trade Chavez (always injured) and make Nix backup 3B. Trade Jones (he sucks this year, no way he's around next year, and we need to see who might replace Swisher) and let Wise be the 4th OF. Trade Ibanez now, while his value is high, and replace him with another potential RF for 2013, Jack Cust.
    These moves make the team younger, cheaper, more athletic (can you imagine Ibanez and Nunez in the OF on the same day?!), and starts looking for a RF for 2013.

  6. joe trez says:

    tanned tom–i think your brain is have no baseball sense whatsoever

  7. joe trez says:

    jack cust couldn't cust oops i mean cut it with oakland,and you TANNED TOM would hit better in the big leagues than PENA

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