New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has inputted Eduardo Nunez into the lineup for the Bombers matchup with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. It is the second time Nunez has gotten a start since he was re-called at the start of September.
The 25-year-old will get the nod at shortstop while Derek Jeter will move to designated hitter.
Since May 10, Nunez has been battling fielding and injury issues, both have kept him from playing any important role with the big-league club this season.
And that is a shame for Nunez and the Bombers. The troubled infielder may be a liability defensively, but offensively he can swing the bat better than most middle infielders.
In 2010, Nunez came onto the scene and impressed in the short time he played. He hit .280 in 50 at-bats that season, following it up with a 2011 that saw increased time at the plate and in the field. Nunez hit .265, but added 22 stolen bases. Not too shabby for his rookie campaign.
Now in 2012, Nunez has seen much less action than most of us thought he would. In 55 at-bats, Nunez is hitting .291 and he made an immediate impact against the Baltimore Orioles on September 1, when he singled in a run that continued a rally for the Bombers.
But since that game, we haven't seen much of him. In fact, since then, Nunez hasn't made one start and has been relegated to a bench role.
So, why hasn't he gotten more time?
Again, Nunez can swing the bat, that we all know. His speed adds an element to the Yanks order that was lost with Brett Gardner's season-ending injury. Nunez is a nice fit in a lineup filled with mostly power and not many single-and-double hitters.
However, his defense is horrid. Nunez can make an error at any given time or place and in important September baseball, that is too risky of a proposition to accept.
Thanks to Jeter's minor injury, Nunez will get another shot in the field. He will once again get the opportunity to show what he can do and prove that he can be a reliable defender much like he is a reliable hitter.
The only thing holding Nunez back from a more prominent role is his defense at this point. Thursday's game against the Red Sox is the first step in Nunez's quest to earn more playing time down the stretch of this season.