Yankees GM Brian Cashman, in an interview with ESPN New York, has stated that Eduardo Nunez will be the team’s utility guy, should he make the big league team out of Spring Training. However, Nunez was never considered a replacement for A-Rod, who will undergo hip surgery on Jan. 16.
Earlier this winter, and even going back to last season, Cashman was adamant about keeping Nunez, 25, as a shortstop. The organization says that the reason Nunez’s defense is so suspect is because he hasn’t had a chance to focus on one position. Cashman did say that if Nunez were to start the season at Triple A, he would be the everyday shortstop.
At the big league level, he can give Derek Jeter a rest, who is coming off of ankle surgery, and can give Cano a rare day off here and there. Youkilis has had a history of health issues, so there is a possibility of a Nuney sighting at third, even though that seems to be his worst position. Last year, Nunez even got some time in the outfield in the minors. He can even be used as a right-handed DH.
It’s hard to imagine the Yankees keeping Nunez’s bat off the big league roster. He seemed to be the only Yankee to hit Detroit in last year’s ALCS. The Yankees love his bat speed and quickness on the base paths. Therefore, expect Nunez to be an important player on the 2013 squad. That doesn’t mean Yankee fans won’t be holding their breath every time a ball is hit to him.
What do you think? Should the Yankees keep him as a utility guy on the 25 man roster, but risk his defense? Or, should he start at Triple A and focus only on shortstop?