Jul
02

Postgame Notes: “Derek’s our shortstop”

By

Two topics dominated Joe Girardi‘s postgame press conference: Eduardo Nunez and Bartolo Colon. The Yankees’ temporary shortstop went 3-for-4 with three extra base hits this afternoon (the one out was a rocket that Justin Turner caught on a dive), leading to questions about his role with the team after Derek Jeter comes off the disabled list on Monday. “Derek’s our shortstop,” said Girardi, who rattled off cliche after cliche about how Jeter’s done it for them before and he makes the team better when he does the things he can do, so on and so forth.

It’s clear Jeter will get back his job on Monday, leaving Nunez and limbo. Girardi acknowledged that he’s been impressive when pressed into everyday duty (.339/.369/.525 with four walks and four strikeouts in 65 plate appearances since taking over), and they’re going to look for ways to get him more at-bats in the second half. The skipper mentioned giving Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez a little more rest than usual, be it days off or half games at designated hitter. Basically whatever they have to do to keep him going. The July and August weather figures to be hot and they have some extended stretches with no days, plus they have a few doubleheaders to get through. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Jeter comes back and continues to hit poorly (.260/.324/.324 before the injury), because Nunez has certainly given everyone something to think about. This long-time nonbeliever included.

  • “[That's] as good as I’ve seen [Bartolo], and I’ve seen him really good.” That wasn’t Joe Girardi, that was Mets manager Terry Collins. Girardi called this afternoon’s performance “vintage Bart,” emphasizing the movement on his two-seamer that resulted in five called strike threes out of six total strikeouts. They’re going to see how he feels tomorrow, see if there’s soreness in the hamstring before deciding whether or not to give him an extra day off before his next start.
  • Still no word about what happens to the rotation when Phil Hughes is ready to be activated, though that ties into the previous bullet point. Girardi didn’t promise he’d have an answer tomorrow either.
  • Girardi credited Dillon Gee’s changeup for keeping the Yankees off balance for the first five innings, but that’s as obvious as it gets.
  • Since this was Game 81, the season is officially halfway over. The Yankees have won 50 games already and Girardi just repeated what he said before the game: he’s pleased with his team and likes the way they’ve rebounded after tough games and series.
  • As for Jose Reyes, his hamstring tightening up running out his first inning infield single, but he didn’t say anything until he came off the field between the top and bottom halves of the second inning. He’s going for an MRI tomorrow and they’ll know more about how serious the injury is then. Reyes has dealt with hamstring issues in the past, but apparently this is the other hamstring. Collins stressed that they took him out as a precaution, Reyes didn’t ask to be lifted.

The win guaranteed that the Yankees will go a perfect 6-0 in interleague series this year. They’re on one of those rolls when they look unstoppable, and right now they are. The offense is clicking, the starting pitching has been great, and the misfit relievers behind David Robertson and Mariano Rivera have been a pleasant surprise.

Categories : News

91 Comments»

  1. The team can always get better, but at the start of the season I never thought they’d be this good.

  2. Gonzo says:

    Maybe adding Nunez to the Cliff Lee deal would have been a bad move.*

    *SSS and all that jazz.

  3. Dino Velvet says:

    I hope for the good of the team and for the good of his brand, Derek asks to be dropped in the order when facing Rightys.

    He can still contribute effectively vs Leftys (.299/.405/.403/.808), but no longer versus Rightys.

    This team has turned into a contender and it can make a run at title, as long as all cylinders are clicking.

    • Stuckey says:

      “Turned into a contender?”

      The team that won the World Series in 2009, went to the ALCS in 2010 and has been in contention since opening day has just now turned into a contender?

  4. Jd says:

    Jeter should be SS but real glad for. Nunez. Mike, I think you are generally right about Nunez but the power is a surprisse

  5. Rhino says:

    This team might not lose another series this season. With Bartolo back we have the best 1-2 punch in the starting rotation and the bullpen. 2nd best rotation behind Philly, best lineup in all of baseball. Forget about Nunez spelling Cano and A-Rod, he should be splitting time with Jeter. Gardner stays leadoff vs righties, Swisher vs lefties, Jeter 9th.

  6. Angryankee says:

    Does anyone care that he has 10 or so errors?

    • Len S. says:

      Apparently not. Let’s get a gun and shoot that bastard Jeter!

    • mike c says:

      no, they’ve been non-believers in jeter longer than they’ve been non-believers in nunez

      • bexarama says:

        I’m pretty sure if they gave Nunez full playing time, the same thing would happen to him that happened to Cervelli last year. He probably has more power, but gets on base last often (Cervelli’s OBP last year was actually .359 which is not at all bad.).

        • hogsmog says:

          Yeah, this is what I smell. I mean it’s great, but in all honesty he’s just had two great games and a lot of throwing errors.

          • Monteroisdinero says:

            Jeter can barely hit the ball to the warning track let alone over the fence. If you want to take away one game in Texas, neither he or Cervelli have ANY HR’s and Jeter has 3 in about 600 ab’s. This will not change.

            Nunez’s defense will/would improve with more playing time. He is the better option batting 9th and Gardner leading off but we are not there yet.

            Change is hard.

          • Brian S. says:

            Uhm, he’s had way more than two great games. He’s had nine multi-on base games and a couple other ones where he has only one hit but it was for extra bases. And that is in less than thirty starts.

            • Rock says:

              LOL at this post. I’m pretty sure Jeter has had many “multi-on base games” this year. Nunez OBP was under .300 coming into the Mets series. Let’s not get carried away about his on base effectiveness.

              • Brian S. says:

                Have you been watching Nunez since Jeter went down?

              • Cult of Basebaal says:

                Since I’m bored.

                From BBREF

                Jeter has 62 games started, 32 double or more on base games (H,BB,HBP) and 9 triple or more on base games.

                Nunez has 29 games started, 9 double on base games and 2 triple on base games.

                Since Jeter’s injury, Nunez has 16 games started, 6 double on base games and 2 triple on base games.

                • Rock says:

                  Thank you for bringing som reality to the table.

                  • Brian S. says:

                    Nunez has a higher wOBA than Jeter…that’s reality. Even with the last two games that don’t count. (Although then I don’t think we can count Jeter’s top two games either…)

                  • Grit For Brains says:

                    I don’t have a horse in this race but I think you’ve missed Brian’s point…Look at the stats since Nunie got everyday AB’s, not his stats inclusive of the sporadic AB’s he had before he stated getting to play everyday.

    • David, Jr. says:

      Not really.

      The logic of the Jeter worshippers:

      Nunez is bad.

      While Nunez replaced Jeter, the Yankees dominated.

      If those are true, what importance does Jeter, at a salary of 17M, have the team?

      • Rock says:

        I liken it more to coincidence and inferior competiton. These NL teams are generally pretty weak. Let’s not forget that when Arod when on the DL last year the Yanks went 12 and 3 and won 8 straight. Again, I think that is coincidence.

        • Brian S. says:

          This. Nunez has been playing well without a doubt but he’s not the reason the Yankees are winning. Collectively we have had good pitching, defense, and hitting.

        • Evan3457 says:

          The combined record of the NL teams the Yanks have played is .485, and the Rockies will likely wind up significantly better than they’ve shown so far. They always do.

      • mike c says:

        “jeter worshippers”…? please get a life. jeter is paid to be the shortstop, otherwise cashman wouldn’t have resigned him. it’s obvious you feel nunez is a better player, so why do you feel the need to attack fans who might have a different point of view than you?

    • David, Jr. says:

      No. Not with 14 – 3. Who cares? He brings different positives to the table. They looked younger and faster, more athletic.

      • Rock says:

        Again. The Yanks were 12 and 3 and won 8 in row when Arod was on the DL last year. I guess they should have replaced him as well.

      • Brian S. says:

        I don’t buy this. Nunez has played well but he’s not single handingly making the team “faster and more athletic.”

  7. NYYROC says:

    Mike, I know you haven’t been a big fan of Nunez but I give you credit for your comment in the post and for being open-minded.
    Also, can’t figure out why the “where & when” Hughes pitches next is so difficult for Joe & Co. to decide.

  8. Mike Francesa says:

    DEREK JEETAH IS A STAHTING SHORTSTOP!!!

  9. Starlin Castro says:

    I have like 20 errors so I obviously cannot handle shortstop.

  10. Brandon W says:

    If anything, Nunez’ performance makes me wish they would just send him down to AAA to play every day when Jeter gets back. His ML time this year is a pretty small sample, but he’s shown that he’s at least not completely overmatched. Let him play every day, get reps at SS, and keep his timing down in case he’s needed.

    I don’t want to see him take a lot of playing time from Cano and Alex just because Girardi wants to keep him hot; Pena can handle the occasional sub. Nunez has at least not been a total disaster, despite some huge defensive blunders, which means I’d rather see him improve as much as he can instead of being a bench player the rest of the year.

    If Nunez ever becomes a regular player (either for another team, or a long-term injury, or whatever), I expect something similar to what Gardner has been through: alternating periods of raking and huge slumping as the league adjusts and he gets used to adjusting back. It’s the way the game works.

  11. Mojo says:

    “Jeter, who has been out since June 13 with a strained right calf, singled on a ground ball through the left side of the infield to lead off the game, moved to third on a double to right field, then scored on a sacrifice fly to deep center.” – Yankees.com

    I find it sad that the kids around him at AA are hitting the ball harder than Jeter . . . I didn’t watch the feed or anything, but I can only imagine that it was an excuse-me grounder with eyes that snuck past a lagging shortstop . . . I. Am. Dreading. Jeter’s. Return. For sweet fuckin’ sake, please don’t bat the senile, pompous geriatric leadoff. PLEASE!

    • Xstar7 says:

      Cool story bro.

      • Mojo says:

        Totally, bro. Right on, douche.

        • Xstar7 says:

          You’re funny.

          • Mojo says:

            Cool story, bro. Really. I’m f%&king guffawing right now, bro. Cool.

            • Xstar7 says:

              Keep going. I want to hear more.

              • Mojo says:

                Literally, bro. Cool. You are the epitome of cool, bro. Seriously.

                • Xstar7 says:

                  You’ve obviously never heard that meme before have you?

                • Xstar7 says:

                  Yeah, thats what I thought you douche-nozzle.

                  • Mojo says:

                    No no no. Do not incite the flames of war, bow out and close the door.

                  • Mojo says:

                    Umm, bro. Yeah . . . I’m going to go ahead and agree with Bro Fist. Brotha’s gotta point, yo. This is so not a cool story, bro. Epic fail. You’re mean, bro. Take some anger management courses or perhaps a nice warm glass of Shut-the-hell-up. Animosity is mutha-truggin’ rampant tonight! HOMINA HOMINA HOMINA!

                    • Xstar7 says:

                      First of all, that comment was meant for bro fist, not you.

                      Second of all, this all started over when I posted “cool story bro” in response to your post about Jeter. Things got way out of hand after that.You do know that “cool story bro” is a common internet meme that shows indifference to the comment it responds to right? If you really think I’m such a douche, than just don’t read the comments section anymore. You’ll be better off.

                    • Mojo says:

                      ‘Tis no reason to display one’s indifference. The ol’ adage goes, “If you’ve nothing nice to say, then don’t say it all all.” Smokey Bear says, “only you can prevent forum fires.” Be nice. No need to be a sarcastic knob-gobbler. If you feel like you must infiltrate your snarky remarks unto unsuspecting commenters, don’t. No es simpatico. Cool story, bro? Cool. Cool story, bro.

                    • Xstar7 says:

                      “If you’ve nothing nice to say, then don’t say it at all.”

                      Smokey Bear says “only you can prevent forum fires.”

                      You should have thought about that before you called me a douche.

                    • Mojo says:

                      ‘Twas only in response to your snarky snark snarkanark. Remove that initial instigation from the equation and BAM!, all is fair in love and baseball. Should you choose to plant the seeds of chaos then don’t be surprised if an anarchic game of back-and-forth blooms into an uncontrollable weed of coarse and venom. Perhaps gardening is not forte? No problem, though, because it’s 9PM on a Saturday and I’s a gonna get drunk, massa. Bonne nuit, cher monsieur.

                    • Xstar7 says:

                      Game. Set. Match. (By the way. It seems like you’re already drunk.)

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      Step 1:
      Change the order the lineup goes up to bat: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1

      Step 2:
      Bat Jeter “first”

  12. Alex says:

    I love the contribution that Nunez has provided, however, Jeter is still the starting shortstop and 60 something at bats won’t change that. I will say that it is nice having people batting in their appropriate lineup spots though. Even if Nunez weren’t producing, he would be helping the team by batting 9th. Let’s face it, Nunez adds value simply by batting where he should. Instead of a .260 avg. and a .320 obp leading off we have legitimate contributors producing at above league average. I hope that once Jeter reaches 3000 hits we can stop hoping for the turnaround. Derek, you are still our shortstop, but .260 speaks for itself.

  13. mbonzo says:

    Nunez has been crushing mediocre NL pitchers. He may be shocking us with his recent play, but he’s still very raw out there and if I was the Yankees and thought other teams were high on him I think this is a great time to sell. I know most of the people who think he should get some at bats over Jeter are probably not the statistically minded ones since this all comes on small sample size, but Nunez still sits with a negative WAR on these numbers.

    • Brian S. says:

      Jeter has a sub .300 wOBA…how is that for statistically minded? Yes, Nunez has had porous defense but I’m hoping that with more playing time he could work some of that out, considering the scouting reports claimed he was decent on defense. I still think Jeter deserves to start despite what people may have assumed from my arguments above, but what I’m trying to say is that we haven’t lost any production with Nunez in the lineup and I would like to see him start at short more than once a week.

      • mbonzo says:

        Its not statistically minded because you’re talking about small sample size. Throw that out, and you still have Jeter out WARing the red hot Nunez. No matter how you look at this, Nunez isn’t ready to take time away from Jeter. I don’t mind using him when Jeter DH’s, but Jeter is better than Nunez and it’d be a shame to see Nunez steal starts from him.

        • Brian S. says:

          A) Obviously Jeter is going to out-WAR Nunez…he’s had waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more playing time. B)You don’t think Nunez’s defense is the result of a small sample size? You really think he’s an error per game player?

          • mbonzo says:

            Nunez has a negative WAR. If you give him more playing time, and he keeps playing like this he’s gonna be one of the worst players in baseball.

            As for his defense, he’s averaging .920 Fld% in the majors, and he average .938 Fld% in the minors. Yea, he’s been terrible on defense. Is there hope? Yes. He’s capable of learning how to play the position better, but he’s not gonna learn it on the bench or at the major league level.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Neither Niese (FIP 3.51) nor Gee (FIP 3.83) are mediocre pitchers. Try again.

  14. Rock says:

    Your point is what?

  15. RAB civil war says:

    theres a civil war going on between anti-jeter ppl and pro-jeter ppl. this will get very interesting. i’ve got my popcorn ready!

    • Brian S. says:

      I’m not anti-Jeter, I actually do want him to start. But Nunez isn’t “terrible,” he’s been pretty good.

    • bobtaco says:

      Just wait if the recent hot streak ends, and they lose a couple games as soon as Jeter comes back.

      • Jim Is Bored(Jim S) says:

        We’ll lose because nova/garcia/aj will allow 6-7 runs, the yankees will only score 3-4, and the story will be how the lack of athleticism caused our pitchers/hitters/manager to start pressing.

  16. Tags says:

    Mike, it must be killing you to watch Nunez hit like this since you have always been so down on him. Having seen him in the minors I thought he could play and now we’ve seen it here.

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