Cashman: Nunez could be a utility player in 2013


Via Andrew Marchand: Brian Cashman said Eduardo Nunez would have to be a utility player if he broke camp with the Yankees in a few weeks. The GM reiterated that he sees Nunez as being most valuable at shortstop, but also acknowledged the roster situation may force their hand.

“We have everyday guys at other positions. If he makes our club, it will be at a utility role … It remains to be seen how our team shakes out and how he looks in the spring. At an everyday basis, he is a shortstop,” said Cashman. Nunez, 25, has struggled defensively (to put it lightly) his entire career and the problem seemed to be exacerbated when the Yankees started moving him around as a utility man. He can run and hit a little though, enough to keep getting shots. At this point though, after all these years of working on his defense, it’s tough to see him improving in a meaningful way going forward.

Categories : Asides


  1. Mark L. says:

    So, basically, they don’t really have a plan.

  2. thunder rd runner says:

    The issue is his fielding. A good utility man’s gotta flash the leather..I suggest we include him in a trade while he’s still relatively young

    • Laz says:

      I hope not. Depending on how he looks Jeter may need more time at dh. Nunez is the only current option that can handle shortstop offensively for an extended period of time.

  3. Austin Aunelowitzky says:

    Cashman speaking with Forked Tongue.

  4. kevin w. says:

    Its a shame he can’t field because it’d be interesting to see what he can do with 500 at bats.

  5. RetroRob says:

    In theory it sounds great.

    I read it as they’ll give Nunez a chance, but soon as he throws the ball away again, he’ll be back in AAA.

  6. Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob) says:

    I respect Axisa’s opinion but I really believe that Nunez is a solid hitter and if he could work on his defense(obviously needs to stay at whatever position they put him) he could be a solid player for us. I have no problem saying he could hit around .270 get on base at about a .330 clip while stealing 30 bags and pop out 5 homers. As everyone knows though I am very optimistic about players I like and I really like Nunez, I think he could be a good leadoff guy.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      I think your numbers are pretty close. I would expect a few more homers (10 or so). If his defense was even acceptable, I’d love to see him get more ABs.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Nunez has never seemed like anything other than a “hits well for a middle infielder” kind of guy. Unfortunately, he’s no middle infielder. He certainly doesn’t hit like a DH, which appears to be the only position for which he’s qualified.

  7. kenthadley says:

    He will be the everyday SS for Scranton.

    • Vern Sneaker says:

      Ain’t it grand, we have one SS with great hands and an accurate arm but no range and another who can get to the ball but can’t pick or throw it. And two immobile guys for third. I’m sure someone will find the bright side of this.

  8. Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain) says:

    He has a decent bat but his glove makes me have an irrational (or maybe even rational) hatred for him.

  9. Shotsy23 says:

    Would have sent him to Winter Ball, Instuctional League and what ever else it took to make hime an outfielder. He can run, hit, throw , has some power and speed. Perfect for a right handed hitting outfielder. Even playing short everyday, his infield defense is erratic. Why doesn’t anyone in the braintrust see this.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Could have been (or still could be) interesting to see if he could play CF. His bat might not provide much value in a corner OF spot, though, whereas at SS he’s a relatively good or at least solid offensive player.

  10. Mike Cutler says:

    His bar has huge potential and his speed and baserunning are off the charts, the defense was more mental I think he can be solid he’s rangey. I would love him and Gardner 8,9 they could steal 80 bases in front of ichiro jeter cano. . Spell you’k and jeter and dh against lefties. Him and Gardner back to back adds a huge dimension then ichiro that is some speed. .

  11. Blake says:

    If they keep him then a utility guy is really his only role with the big club and he’s getting awfully old to be at Scranton…..

    The obvious problem is that they tried this last year and he can’t defend well enough to play one position…,let alone 3 or 4…..I guess they are gonna give it another go…,,

  12. Eddard's back and better than never says:

    I understand Cashman’s point. Nunez is young, he’s fast and he’s not going to strike out 200+ times so he doesn’t really fit in here. All I know is I saw a spark in this kid this past postseason. When all of our so called sluggers went up and quickly went down against Justin Verlander it was Nuney who came up and gave us a chance. Unfortunately, this Yankee F.O. will never give Nuney the chance he deserves.

  13. mrdbag says:

    Is it me or is this blog slow this was news like midweek?

  14. turd surfer says:

    That Verlander HR!!!

  15. TheManchine says:

    Just give Cano $220M now and move him to 3B with Nunez at 2nd. Youk can be the DH/R-OFer till A-Rod comes back to play the Edgar Martinez roll.

  16. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    A middle infielder who can’t field is like a pair of tits on a bull.

    If he doesn’t show he can be an average ( or close to average) fielder at SS, the Yankees should either trade him as he likely still has decent value or try him in CF as mentioned above.

  17. turd surfer says:

    I can’t believe he has so little service time. I feel like he’s been on the big league roster forever.

  18. RetroRob says:

    This is one of those ideas that sounds possible in January, but by April less so. I do believe Nunez has a future in the Majors, but it’s probably best playing SS reguarly. He’ll still be error prone, but the consistency of playing one position, and his natural one, will help him. Just can’t see him pulling off the utility role. I bet he’s back in AAA to start the year with Nix on the roster instead.

  19. turd surfer says:

    I wonder if teams asked about him…

  20. Ryan says:

    Just DH him. 280 avg 10 HR 30+ steals would be fine for that spot.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      That’s not a terrible idea, although I’d still rather him be the “MLB-ready” piece in a trade to a team that could use him as a starting SS.

      This utility talk is much to do about nothing. They’ll try it and his defense will fail them again, I think.

    • Evan3457 says:

      That’s not an average DH if he doesn’t draw walks. And he doesn’t.

  21. Andrew 518 says:

    I really see Nunez as a classic case of someone who needs some playing time. It sounds crazy at first, but his fielding isn’t that bad. He makes the tough plays, it’s the easy ones that go between his legs, or mis-throws. 7 out of 10 times (made up statistic) this is the sign of a mental problem He just couldn’t have been this bad and made it this far, I just feel like he’s the kind of guy who could get it together if he knew he would be playing the next day. It’s tough to get over a mental block when you feel like you’re one error away from AAA.

  22. celerino sanchez says:

    Typical yankees to not give this guy a shot. He is not a good infielder we get it. Why has he not seen reps in the outfield in minors and winter ball? The ball flies of his bat; he steals at will. This team sucks at developing young talent. Tired of other teams quadruple A retreads. Tired of Cashman. This thing is going to crash big time if they don’t start to develop there own talent instead of destroying it.

    • ClusterDuck says:

      “This thing is going to crash big time if they don’t start to develop there own talent instead of destroying it.”

      To the end of your sentence I would only add, “…or trading it away.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      Because he might be even worse in the outfield. Because his bat isn’t sufficient to play as an outfielder, except maybe centerfield where he might not have the defensive chops.

      The reality is he’s just not as good as Yankees fans want him to be, and most likely he never will be.

      • Brian says:

        How good does a utility infielder need to be? Even if he will only be a bench player for the Yanks he offers more than what they have right now.

    • barry says:

      But the Yankees are supposed to keep spending money not develop talent. See every post by most commenters here since, well since RAB started. They need to trade everyone for one year rentals and sign every FA every offseason. Didn’t you know that? It’s worked so well since it all started back in the early 00s.

      • Slu says:

        You must read I different blog than I do. The RAB I read is full of prospect huggers.

        • Barry says:

          Maybe for a short time when they sold big three shirts. But most commenters here are stat heads who like to pretend to be knowledgable. They complain about the Yankees every move and think all of our prospects are worth every teams keystone. But at the slightest hint of a struggle they fold.

  23. Mike in Davie Florida says:

    Funny we are looking for a RH hitting platoon outfielder. Can’t he learn the OF? I know he tried in AAA for a little bit, but he should be in winter ball playing all 3 OF positions. That is his value to us, other than trade.

  24. BigLoving says:

    I don’t understand the argument that Nunez’ bat doesn’t play in the outfield. The guy has the potential to hit .300 with 10-15 HR’s while stealing 40+ bases….how doesn’t that play well in the outfield? Considering guys like Ichiro (I am a fan) and Victorino got multi-year deals how can we say his bat doesn’t play? Look at every teams depth chart in the outfield and Nunez has the offensive ability to start on every one of them. Yeah it would be awesome to have that kind of production out of a SS but it’s not going to happen, the guy can’t field, and when I keep hearing things like this from Cashman about how he can be a utility infielder or a SS it feels like Rex Ryan is at the podium telling us Mark Sanchez gives the Jets the best shot to win. Enough.

    • Evan3457 says:

      Because he offensively level, currently, is not sufficient for an outfielder, unless he’s a plus-plus defender. Like Gardner in left. Or Ichiro used to be, in right.

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