Núñez with the New York Yankees
|Minnesota Twins – No. 9|
|Infielder / Outfielder|
June 15, 1987 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|August 19, 2010 for the New York Yankees|
(through August 4, 2014)
|Runs batted in||93|
Eduardo Michelle Núñez Méndez (born June 15, 1987) is a Dominican professional baseball shortstop for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the New York Yankees from 2010 through 2013. Although shortstop is his primary position, the Yankees used Núñez as a utility infielder, and played him in the outfield as well.
The Yankees signed Núñez as an international free agent in 2004. He played minor league baseball in their organization from 2005 through 2010, until he made his MLB debut with the Yankees on August 19, 2010. He has served to allow Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez the ability to take days off in the field. Due to struggles and inconsistency, the Yankees designated Núñez for assignment at the start of the 2014 season.
The New York Yankees signed Núñez as an international free agent in February 2004. The organization introduced him to Derek Jeter, his childhood idol, at a press conference, where they told Jeter that Núñez was to be their eventual replacement for Jeter as the Yankees' starting shortstop.
Núñez made his professional debut in minor league baseball with the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A Short Season New York-Pennsylvania League in the 2005 season. Nunez represented the Yankees in the league's All-Star Game. That season, the Yankees won their third consecutive league championship, and Nunez was rated as the fourth-best prospect in the New York-Penn League. Going into the 2006 season, Baseball America ranked Núñez the sixth-best prospect in the Yankees organization, and the prospect with the best throwing arm. The Yankees started Núñez with the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in 2006; he struggled with Tampa, and the Yankees demoted him to the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League (SAL) on May 17. Overall, Núñez had a .214 batting average for Tampa and Charleston.
In 2007, Núñez started the season with Charleston, and was named the starting shortstop for the Southern Division in the SAL All-Star Game. He was promoted to Tampa on July 28. He played for Tampa in 2008, batting .271 with six home runs and 42 runs batted in (RBI) in 94 games. He was promoted to the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League for the 2009 season. With Trenton, he had a .322 batting average in 123 games and appeared in the Eastern League All-Star Game, in which he got two hits. The Yankees promoted Núñez to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the Class AAA International League for the 2009 playoffs. Following the 2009 season, the Yankees added Núñez to their 40-man roster to protect him from being selected by another franchise in the Rule 5 draft. In 2010, the Yankees assigned Núñez to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. There, he batted .289 in 118 games, with 55 runs scored, 25 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 50 RBI, and 23 stolen bases. He was named to the International League All-Star team, the postseason All-Star team, and the Topps Triple-A All-Star Team. Núñez won the Kevin Lawn Award as the Yankees' minor league player of the year for 2010.
New York Yankees
Núñez was called up to the majors for the first time on August 19, 2010 after Lance Berkman was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Núñez debuted on the same day, replacing Jeter in the seventh inning and fouling out in his only plate appearance. Núñez received playing time as a fill-in for Jeter and the then-injured Alex Rodriguez. On August 21, Núñez recorded his first major league hit, a go-ahead RBI single into right field. Núñez hit his first career home run against the Chicago White Sox on August 28, 2010. He also stole his first career base the same day. In 30 games for the Yankees, Nunez hit .280, with one home run, seven RBIs, and scored 12 runs. After the season, Baseball America rated him as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees organization, while also naming him the "Best Defensive Infielder" and the "Best Infield Arm" in the Yankees organization. Núñez was part of the Yankees postseason in case Jeter or A-Rod get injured again. The Yankees ventured through the playoffs until losing to the Texas Rangers in the 2010 ALCS.
Núñez beat out Ramiro Peña for the role as the utility infielder to start the 2011 season. With the Yankees, Núñez played approximately two games a week, allowing Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to rest more often. Núñez batted .339 while filling in for the Yankees as their starting shortstop for three weeks while Jeter was injured; he later became the team's starting third baseman when Rodriguez required arthroscopic knee surgery. In addition to playing various infield positions, manager Joe Girardi also used Núñez as an outfielder when Nick Swisher experienced tendinitis in his elbow. Núñez played in 112 games for the Yankees, and led the team in errors with 20, despite only playing part-time.
Despite his defensive struggles, the Yankees viewed Núñez as likely to make their 25-man roster out of spring training in 2012 as a utility infielder. With Brett Gardner, the Yankees' starting left fielder, injuring his elbow, Núñez received playing time in left field, as well as the infield. In his first twenty games of the 2012 New York Yankees season, Núñez hit .294, but committed four errors in 58 chances. The day after he committed two errors in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Núñez was demoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team. The team decided to abandon their approach of using Núñez as a utility player so that he can receive daily playing time at shortstop and second base, as the organization still views him as an everyday shortstop.
On September 1, 2012, the Yankees promoted Núñez from Triple-A and manager Joe Girardi placed him into the starting lineup against the Baltimore Orioles for that day. He finished the regular season with a .292 batting average in 82 at-bats. Though he was left off of the Yankees' postseason roster for the 2012 American League Championship Series, he was added to the roster when Jeter suffered a fractured ankle. In Game 3 of the 2012 ALCS, Núñez hit his first career postseason home run off of Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. The Yankees lost the series to the Tigers in a 4-game sweep.
Heading into the 2013 season, Yankees' General Manager Brian Cashman said that if Núñez were to make the team, he would do so as a utility infielder, reversing the team's position. However, Núñez only played shortstop during spring training. Jeter began the season on the disabled list, and Núñez started at shortstop for the Yankees on Opening Day. Núñez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 12 after missing the previous week due to soreness in his left rib cage. He was then transferred to the 60-day disabled list due to a strained left oblique. He was activated from the disabled list on July 6 after missing 2 months. He ended the season with .a 260 batting average and 28 RBIs in 90 games played.
In spring training in 2014, Núñez competed with Zelous Wheeler, Yangervis Solarte, Dean Anna, and Scott Sizemore for a reserve infielder role with the Yankees. With reserve infielder Brendan Ryan starting the season on the disabled list, the Yankees chose Anna and Solarte over Núñez. To add Solarte to the roster, the Yankees designated Núñez for assignment.
With the hope of improving their offense, the Minnesota Twins acquired Núñez from the Yankees on April 7, 2014, in exchange for minor league pitcher Miguel Sulbaran. The Twins optioned him to the Rochester Red Wings of the International League. After batting 7-for-22 (.318) for Rochester, he was promoted to the Twins as the 26th man on their roster for a doubleheader on April 17, and was optioned back the next day.
The Yankees viewed Núñez as a possible replacement at shortstop for Jeter. Though they were willing to trade Jesús Montero, their top hitting prospect, the Yankees considered Núñez untouchable in trade negotiations. Scouts consider Núñez's throwing arm to be strong, and compliment his ability to hit for average, hit for power, and baserunning ability. However, scouts feel he can get "lackadaisical in the field" and swings at too many pitches outside of the strike zone.
- Gobis, Peter (July 1, 2010). "Scranton's Nunez stuck in place". Thesunchronicle.com (The Sun Chronicle). Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- "Nunez Selected to 2009 Eastern League All-Star Team". OurSports Central. August 28, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Wassef, Mira (July 7, 2011). "Nunez enjoys ride as Jeter's understudy". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Samuel, Ebenezer (August 24, 2005). "B'klyn Fans Earn An 'A' - New York Daily News". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Rega, Marissa (September 16, 2005). "Yanks win third NY-Penn championship: Corona produces title with walk-off single". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Ringolsby, Tracy (October 14, 2005). "Rich Tradition Hits Pocket of Turbulence". The Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved May 11, 2012. (subscription required)
- Manuel, John (January 9, 2006). "Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees". Baseball America. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Malmros, Kent (April 30, 2006). "Florida State League Notebook: For the week of April 24". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Henley, Bill (June 19, 2007). "RiverDogs set for starring roles". The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Jones, Kira (July 15, 2009). "Abreu tops all stars at EL game: Bowie second baseman stands out at plate, on field in South's win". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Teatum, Ashley (September 13, 2009). "SWB Yankees advance to finals". MiLB.com (Minor League Baseball). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Jennings, Chad (November 20, 2009). "Seven added to 40-man roster". The Yankees LoHud Blog (The Journal News). Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- Caldera, Pete (March 8, 2011). "Yanks notes:Eduardo Nunez turns heads". The Record (NorthJersey.com). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Borden, Sam (February 25, 2011). "Nunez, Phelps pick up organizational honors". The Yankees LoHud Blog (The Journal News). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Durham’s Johnson Named 2010 IL MVP; Hellickson, Freeman, & Montoyo Round Out Award Winners" (Press release). International League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- "Arencibia, Hellickson on Triple-A team". MiLB.com (Minor League Baseball). November 9, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Hoch, Bryan (March 19, 2011). "Nunez, Phelps earn Yanks' Minors awards". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Feinsand, Mark (August 19, 2010). "Nunez promoted from Scranton". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- Jennings, Chad (August 21, 2010). "The Captain’s advice to the rookie". The Lohud Yankees Blog (The Journal News). Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- Carig, Marc (August 29, 2010). "Eduardo Nunez's big night comes at good time for Yankees". The Star-Ledger (NJ.com). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Hoch, Bryan (March 28, 2011). "Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez make Yankees' roster: Pena, Montero, Romine among those sent to Minors". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Marchand, Andrew (June 28, 2011). "Eduardo Nunez's play has given the Yankees an easy solution to the Derek Jeter drama". ESPN New York. ESPN.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- King, George A. (July 11, 2011). "Nunez gets another turn for Yankees fill-in duty". New York Post. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Feinsand, Mark (September 11, 2011). "Yankees' Eduardo Nunez surprises to see manager Joe Girardi starting him in right field vs. Angels". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Darcy, Kieran (June 6, 2011). "Nunez: 'I think I'm gonna be better'". ESPN New York (ESPN.com). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Carig, Marc (May 11, 2012). "Eduardo Nunez's defensive errors may be testing Yankees' patience". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- Boland, Erik (March 5, 2012). "Eduardo Nunez hit on hand". Newsday. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- McCarron, Anthony; Feinsand, Mark (April 19, 2012). "Nunez in mix to fill in for grounded Gardner". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Hoch, Bryan (May 11, 2012). "Nunez sent to Minors; Chavez activated". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "New York Yankees Send Down Utility Infielder/Outfielder Eduardo Nunez, Reinstate Third Baseman/First Baseman Eric Chavez From Seven-Day Disabled List". CBS New York. March 27, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "New York Yankees activate Eric Chavez, send down Eduardo Nunez". Sporting News. Associated Press. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- "Nunez Recalled By Yankees, Inserted Into Starting Lineup". CBS News New York. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- Marchand, Andrew (January 10, 2013). "Cashman: Nunez a utility player again". ESPN New York. ESPN.com. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- "Nunez replaces Jeter for ALCS; A-Rod still in lineup". Chicago Tribune. October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Bradley, Jeff (October 17, 2012). "Eduardo Nunez' home run against Justin Verlander justified Joe Girardi's faith in him". Star-Ledger. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "New York Yankees put INF Eduardo Nunez on DL with sore ribs - ESPN New York". Espn.go.com. May 12, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Shipley, John (April 7, 2014). "Twins pick up Eduardo Nunez hoping for more offense from infield". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "Yankees catcher Brian McCann revisits Braves, early days". NY Daily News. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
- "Yankees' Dean Anna 'numb' after making first MLB roster". NJ.com. March 28, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Why Yankees picked Yangervis Solarte over Eduardo Nunez". NJ.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Yankees cut infielder Eduardo Nunez". Associated Press. ESPN.com. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- Marchand, Andew (April 7, 2014). "Yanks trade Eduardo Nunez to Twins". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- "Twins add veteran infielder Nunez to Red Wings roster in trade". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- Berardino, Michael (April 16, 2014). "Twinsights: Eduardo Nunez to be called up, report says". Twin Cities. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- Madden, Bill (October 30, 2010). "Eduardo Nunez taking over for Derek Jeter at shortstop is part of the Yankees plan for the future". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eduardo Núñez.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)