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.
(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
After some positive early signs that Derek Jeter was going to be able to recover from his ankle surgery and be ready to play, we now know that Eduardo Nunez is going to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop. We also know that he’s going to be the starting shortstop for at least the next handful of games after that and we can safely assume that he’ll be getting regular work at the position all season long. That’s a frightening thought for any Yankee fan based on what we’ve seen to date from Nunez, but it’s a reality that we’re going to have to accept and live with. That being the case, let’s investigate just how the Yankees can maximize Nunez’s potential value and not have another spot in the lineup and position on the field turn into a black hole.
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Happy Friday, all. I hope your week hasn’t been too stressful. Anyway, let’s get down to business. We’re all aware of Derek Jeter‘s injury situation. Opening Day has long been Jeter’s goal, but that now appears in jeopardy. Yesterday, GM Brian Cashman announced that Jeter would no longer participate in Major League Spring Training games; however, he’ll continue to play in Minor League games. As we’ve all heard by now, this is essentially a clerical “just in case.” It allows Jeter to get game action, but also allows the Yankees to retroactively place Jeter on the 15-day Disabled List in case he isn’t ready to go for Opening Day. This all makes me think that they should just place Jeter on the DL now.
The Derek Jeter we’ve all come to know and love is the guy who “shows up to work every day” and just “does his job” (and does it exceedingly well most of the time). Like any successful worker, Jeter is goal-oriented, and in this case, Opening Day readiness is the goal and he’s been steadfast in his determination to reach that goal. That effort is certainly laudable, but is this “toughness” actually a good thing? Being in the lineup on Opening Day is certainly admirable, but if Jeter isn’t field-ready by then, can’t we argue that it hurts the team just as much as–if not more than–it would if he just sat out for the first few games and returned on April 6th? Granted, Eduardo Nunez isn’t going to be any great shakes at short for those few games, but how effective would an injured Derek Jeter be? His range is already limited and now he’s got another year to his name as well as an ankle plate and some screws to match. Wouldn’t it be better to get the DL stint out of the way now rather than in May or June when he’s an absolute statue in the field and possibly unbalanced at the plate?
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Brace yourselves, folks. I may say something nice about Eduardo Nunez in this post. Derek Jeter has a plate and screws in his ankle. Derek Jeter is turning 39 in June. Derek Jeter is a Major League shortstop. The first two things listed do not bode well for the third. Regardless of what you think [...]
(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) It hasn’t been a very long career for Eduardo Nunez, but it also certainly hasn’t been one short on headlines. Once the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as the Yankees’ everyday shortstop, Nunez has been shuffled around various positions and roles, experimented with as an [...]
Before the announcement that Alex Rodriguez would–again–need hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, the Yankees’ roster situation was dire enough. Perhaps “dire” is overselling it a bit, but going into yesterday, the Yankees were without a legitimate catcher, right fielder, and designated hitter. Now, they find themselves without a wholly viable third baseman. With [...]
(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) Eduardo Nunez is a strange case. He reminds me of a joke that Patrice O’Neal told about Jeff Ross at one of the Comedy Central Roasts, where he called Ross a legend and then corrected himself by saying Ross was more like a myth because [...]
Alex Rodriguez is having a nice month of May. Though the 36-year-old slugger has just three home runs since May first, he has raised his batting average by 43 points and his OPS by another 63 points over the last month. Coming off the worst season of his career, A-Rod is off to a pretty [...]
In the last few days, both Alex and Steve have touched on Eduardo Nunez making the transition to the outfield and how it could affect the outfield going forward. They’ve given some support to the idea, though I wouldn’t say either has given the it a glowing recommendation. Consider this my declaration of being firmly [...]