Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yankees News and Notes from Friday and Saturday

Eduardo Nunez won’t be the Yankees starting shortstop much longer, and he knows that. Best-case scenario is that he’ll be in the lineup two more days. If he’s playing much longer than that, something’s gone wrong with Derek Jeter’s rehab.  Jeter got through a rehab today and felt good, he is slated for all nine innings tomorrow then should be active for the Cleveland game on Monday. 

“I’m Eduardo Nunez, I’m not Derek Jeter,” Nunez said. “He’s a Hall of Famer. I’m this young guy. I have to learn a lot and do my best… I know he’s coming back, but I play hard, and one time my moment is coming to play every day. These two weeks have been an opportunity for me to show my manager, my staff and everybody that I can play (every day) one day in my career.”

Nunez made this team because of his bat, and after tonight’s 4-for-4, he’s hitting .309 as Jeter’s replacement. The eighth-inning insurance run he drove in gave the Yankees some breathing room on a night they seemed to hold their breath a lot.  Nunez had three hits today and was robbed of another one by Justin Turner. 

The obvious knock on Nunez is his defense. He has a strong arm and plenty of range, but he’s showing some of the inconsistency that you might expect, but not necessarily like, from a young player.  He has had seven hits the past two days but Jeter is the shortstop for now.  Girardi did say he will try and get Nunez more at-bats. 

“He belongs here,” Mark Teixeira said. “He’s a guy that’s going to play in this game a long time, and he’s showing with this stretch here, these past couple of weeks, that he can play at this level.”

Said Joe Girardi: “When you have guys go down, a lot of times it’s kids who have a chance to step up. And he’s stepped up big time.”

Four scoreless innings from the bullpen, including key outs from Cory Wade and Boone Logan. “It makes it easier for us now that we have an idea exactly what we have,” Girardi said. “In the beginning when we were calling people up, you had to learn them as quick as possible and try to figure out which situations they’re most capable of being successful, but we’ve had them a little while and it definitely helps out to have that little background when you’re bringing them in.”

Nick Swisher has a season-best eight-game hitting streak coming into today's game. He’s hitting .379 during the streak.

  Brian Cashman said before the game that it’s unlikely Jeter will play the full nine innings.  He said this on Friday night.  Jeter ended up playing five.  He was 1-2 with a walk and made some nice plays in the field. 

 Cashman also said Rafael Soriano threw a 32-fastball bullpen and could be back the first series after the all-star break — that’s best-case scenario — but Eric Chavez had a mild setback with a strain in his back. He’s eligible to be back next week, but Cashman said that probably won’t happen

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