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Saturday, February 23, 2013

YOGI HAS SPOKEN BUT WILL THE YANKEES LISTEN?

 A lot can be made of Eduardo Nunez.  Many Yankee fans love the kid, many have had enough.  I simply refer to him as "E" Nunez... the "E" standing for error, something he does often in the field.  E's that have cost the Yankees losses and Es that show up when we least expect it.  I will say this, and I've said it all along...  I love Eduardo's bat. I think he has the potential to really do some great things, but playing him in the field is nerve-racking and hard to watch. 

Luckily for me, and you, Yogi Berra has spoken out about Nunez and his bat, referring to him as "kid" and saying that the Yankees need to find a way to get Nunez 500 at bats this season.  I like that... I like it alot.  I worry though, will they use him as a Designated Hitter or will they try to hide him in the field where we already have great talent? Tough question... I don't have answer. 

In Bill Madden's piece the other day, read HERE, he offers a great nugget. Something many of you might not have seen. Yogi has faith in the kid's bat.  But lets face it, you don't need a legend to tell you about Eduardo Nunez and his potential at the plate.  What I found even more fascinating is the scout, who apparently is unnamed in Madden's piece who brought up a point many of us fans have stated for a while now.  Here's what Madden wrote that that scout:

"...thinks the Yankees have been making a big mistake with their handling of Nunez. 'I know he’s been shaky in the field,' he said, 'but is anyone in the organization really working with him? What they need to do with him is put him at a position and leave him there. There’ll be early growing pains, but you have to live with his errors and hope that once he gets comfortable in the position, defense will no longer be an issue. The only way to get better defensively is repetition. It’s not fair to a kid of his age to be jerked around from shortstop to third base to second base, or even to be just DH-ing. He’s too young for that and just coming into what should be his prime years. They’re going to need his bat in that lineup.'”


All true.  Think about it.  In 2011 and 2012, Nunez has committed 26 errors in 115 games combined. That's not only sad, it's embarrassing.  It's enough to ship the kid off and start fresh somewhere else.  But it's that bat, that glorious bat that can really bring some positive things to this club.

Look, Bleeding Yankee Blue had a theory last year and we suggested left field was the place for Nunez.  I wrote in WHY NOT MAKE NUNEZ AN OUTFIELDER? the following:

"It’s clear to me that Eduardo Nunez, given enough at bats during the regular season, could be a .300 hitter. I believe that.... a young guy with Eduardo’s legs and alittle practice with the mitt could really benefit the Yankees as a backup outfielder, for now at least. It’s not too far fetched. Nunez could fill in for one of our guys and we can get that bat in the lineup and essentially get him on base and manufacture runs."


Now, given the move just made by the Yankees with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson and a healthy outfield adding Ichiro Suzuki to the mix, this idea from last April doesn't exactly jive anymore, meaning, if we want to keep Nunez in the lineup and train him in the outfield all at the same time, it's just alot of juggling and I'm not sure my outfield scenario works anymore.  But truth be told Bill Madden's scout is right.  "It’s not fair to a kid of his age to be jerked around from shortstop to third base to second base, or even to be just DH-ing. He’s too young for that and just coming into what should be his prime years. They’re going to need his bat in that lineup."

The only way to see potential is to practice and the only way to practice is to get the kid in the lineup. It's tricky, ain't it?

Could Eduardo Nunez be a superstar for the Yankees one day? I'm not going that far yet.  I will say this, getting to the Major Leagues is a huge accomplishment... staying there is always another story.  I wish the best to Nunez... because he's got a ton of work ahead of him. Truth be told though... if he believes, he can accomplish anything.

Please comment, we have DISQUS, it's easier than ever. Let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

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