In last night’s game recap, I mentioned that Eduardo Nunez has looked very good at short stop. In fact, over the last few weeks, both his fielding and throwing has looked fantastic. His range was always an upgrade of Derek Jeter‘s, but the ability to get the ball to another fielder is a rather important part of the game.
In the past, Nunez disappointed fans with his wild throws, but he mostly disappointed himself. This spring, the short stop and Mick Kelleher got together to work on his arm action, and we’ve seen an incredible improvement.
In 2012, Nunez brought his arm behind his back, similar to how a pitcher will position their arm during the stride. This motion allows a pitcher to create a longer slinging action with their arm, but also puts the trunk and hips in higher torqued position. In 2013, Nunez skips this step and brings his arm immediately into cocking position. This simplified arm action should be easier to replicate and give him more accuracy, but at the expense of arm strength.
Nunez has always had a strong arm according to scouts, but his accuracy was another story. You could probably attribute his strong arm to his pitcher-like windup, where he’s getting a great deal of power from bringing his long arm action and extreme trunk rotation. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for a defensive player to use this when they’re jumping around the infield and trying to set up their feet. The new mechanics and shorter arm action may take away some of that velocity, but the accuracy we’ve seen is well worth it.