Yankees want Nunez to play everyday

In a somewhat surprising move, the Yankees sent infielder Eduardo Nunez back down to the minor leagues on Friday in a move designed to get the struggling defender consistent playing time at his natural position – shortstop.

“It gets him back to playing every day,” Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “When I look at Nuney’s future, I don’t see Nuney as a utility guy. I see him as an everyday player, so we made this move.

“It’s tough, because he’s a great kid with a great work ethic that’s willing to do anything for you — that provides a lot of excitement. But for his development, we thought it was more important to get him playing every day at short again.”

Nunez has the tools to be a good defender, he’s got excellent range and a good arm. It’s hard seeing him being this bad throughout his career. But right now he’s not playing everyday and he’s constantly moving around the field, playing up to five different positions.

Now whether or not this will actually help Nunez is hard to say. A lot of it depends on how long he stays down in the minors and how motivated he is down there. He’s offensively able to hit at the Major League level so it could be hard for the Yankees to resist calling him up if he’s hitting .350 a month from now. For the good of the team though, he probably should spend almost the rest of the season down there.

The interesting thing about this is how it affects Nunez’s trade value. The Yankees see him as a starting shortstop one day, but have Derek Jeter for at least the next two and probably even next three seasons. They might be doing this as a way to build up his value as a shortstop to other teams so they can dangle him at the deadline.

The Yankees haven’t revealed their ultimate plans with him, we’re going to have to wait and see on that. Right now though, this is the best thing for him and the organization long-term.

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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5 Responses to Yankees want Nunez to play everyday

  1. Bronx_Knight says:

    Nunez definitely sucks defensively, so this makes sense as a developmental move. Who replaces Nunez as utility infielder?

    • Bronx_Knight says:

      OK, I haven't been paying enough attention this week … The Yanks called up Jayson Nix and he replaces Nunez as super-utility man.

      Jayson is a classic utility man — no bat, but decent defense across the infield. I'll miss Nunez's bat, but we need solid defense in a utility man more than pop in the bat. The rest of the bench — Chavez, Ibanez, and Jones — are providing tons of offensive pop off the bench.

      Meanwhile, hopefully Nunez solidifies as a defensive infielder at AAA.

  2. Nix has actually been with the Yankees since Chavez first had his concussion, but he will play a bigger role now that Nunez in in Triple-A.

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    I know that Lee wanted to return to Philly, but am I the only one who remembers Cashman's unwillingness to include Nunez as what doomed the Lee trade? How can this guy be the future SS? He CANNOT field. Range is great except when you get to a single only to throw it away and the batter turns up on second. Please let this guy stay in AAA. And when will they wake up about Chavez? Guy cannot stay healthy. Trade him and let Nix and Pena handle the INF utility duties. Revisit Nunez spring 2013.

    • Matt_DC says:

      Cliff Lee? Seriously? The same Lee who lost two games in the WS against San Fran in 2010, then got rocked by the Cards last year. How would that play in New York? Lee owns the Yankees and the Rays in the playoffs. That said do you really think the Phils are happy with the money he's owed until he's almost 40?

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