Nunez back in utility role

After having enough of his epically bad defensive performances last season, the Yankees demoted Eduardo Nunez to Triple-A and declared that he would no longer play any position other than shortstop. That might have made sense from a developmental perspective, but it made him fairly useless to the big league team since, ya know, they already had a pretty good shortstop.

Since then the Yankees’ stance on Nunez has apparently softened, and Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that Nunez would likely be a utility player once again in 2013. “If he is at the big-league level, he is going to have to,” Cashman said. “We have everyday guys at other positions. If he makes our club, it will be at a utility role.”

I know Nunez is hardly the most popular guy in the Yankees’ organization, but this is obviously the most logical track to take. Presenting Nunez as a shortstop in an attempt to trade him makes a certain amount of sense, but it’s not like other teams don’t know who he is, and you can only leave him sitting in the minor leagues for so long. Besides that, his hitting and baserunning abilities give him plenty of value even if his defense is, um, a little shaky, so there’s a pretty good argument to be made that he’s still the best option the Yankees have to fill the utility infielder role.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

7 thoughts on “Nunez back in utility role

  1. All I can say is the scariest thing on TV isn't Ghost Hunters or any of those so called reality shows. it's a ground ball hit to Nunez when he's in the field for the Yankees.

    • What's great about Nunez is that he's an equal opportunity player – he can't field and he can't throw. On those rare occasions when he fields the ball cleanly it's 50/50 he'll throw it away. He is also an atrocious base runner, despite his speed. Sort of an anti-3 tools guy.

  2. Between the minors and the majors Nunez has had over 3,000 chances on defense at just the SS position. He will be 26 years old in June this year. He's been in the Yankees system since 2005 how much more practice does he need? There comes a time when what you see is what you get. In my opinion that time has more then come with Nunez.

  3. They should have moved him to 3rd base last year when arod was injured. He could have then gained enough experience to then play everyday 3rd base this year. Yes we did get Youk who has a good glove but I don't see him being a major upgrade offensively and is injury prone too

  4. Nunez is an athletically gifted DH who could play a position in an emergency. You would think with the coaching the Yankees have in their system that he would improve at least a little. His footwork at SS is atrocious, which causes the bad throws as well as the more than occasional boot. But his bat is definitely a plus. He could be a real find in the DH role.

  5. If we go under the assumption that Jeter will play, say, 115 games or so at SS this year (he played SS 132 times last)… that leaves nearly 1/3 of the season for Nunez to play short (often against lefties with Jeter at dh)

    in the average 3 game series Jeter will play SS twice and Nunez once… imo that's enough to decide once and for all if he's really a building block or not