First Pitch: Start Nunez!

September, 11, 2012
9/11/12
6:00
AM ET
On Sept. 1, Joe Girardi's lineup card posted in the Yankees' clubhouse had Eduardo Nuñez at shortstop. Nuñez had just been recalled and Girardi decided to put him in the field right away.

A few minutes and one captain-manager conversation later, Derek Jeter was at short and Nuñez was the DH. Nuñez went out and had a key RBI single in a comeback win over the Orioles and looked as if he could provide some help.

Instead, nothing. He briefly appeared in one game in Tampa last week and pinch hit in the ninth of Sunday's laugher, but, besides that, there has been nada for Nuñez.

I think tonight is a chance for Girardi to put Nunez in the lineup. With a day off and the game on Fenway's grass, it seems as if the old men on the left side, Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, should be up for playing the infield. In the outfield, Girardi could go with Nick Swisher, Ichiro Suzuki and either Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Chris Dickerson or the just called-up Melky Mesa, a right-handed hitter. Steve Pearce could play first.

That could leave the DH spot open for Nunez. The Yankees' offense was good in Baltimore. Nunez is a better option at DH than someone like Jones, who has seven hits in his past 54 at-bats (.130). If Girardi wants to play Jones because of his big weekend at Fenway in July (four homers in three games), that's fine; he has done OK versus lefty Jon Lester (.259, 1 HR, 6 RBIs in 27 at-bats).

But if it is a choice between Jones or Nunez, Nunez should be the call at DH.

UP NOW: News story on Mark Teixeira being out at least 10-14 days. We'll see if he is back in the regular season. That's still up in the air, considering the 10 games he missed the last time resulted in one game played before he needed another two weeks off.

Wallace Matthews has five reasons the Yankees are in the driver's seat and five more about how they are about to be run over.

ON DECK: The Yankees and Sox without all the intrigue, but with all the importance for the Yankees. Matthews will be on the ground in Boston and has you covered. Mark Simon will set the table with a What2Watch4.

IN THE HOLE: The pitching matchups in Boston are scheduled to be: Hiroki Kuroda (13-10, 3.14) vs. Jon Lester (9-11, 4.99) on Tuesday; David Phelps (3-4, 3.55) vs. Aaron Cook (3-9, 5.17) on Wednesday; Phil Hughes (14-12, 4.13) vs. Felix Doubront (10-8, 5.21) on Thursday.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Should Nunez start at DH tonight against Jon Lester?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .288
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .787
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135