The Yankees expect Eric Chavez back today and that means they will have to make a roster move at some point. The obvious move is to send Brandon Laird back to Scranton so he can play every day while Chavez and Eduardo Nunez split time at third. If the Yankees are confident in Chavez’s health, I assume he’ll play third against righties while Nunez takes time against lefties. Like I said, this is the obvious move. I’m not one for always making the obvious move, so I’ll offer the same suggestion I did when Derek Jeter returned from the DL:
Call me nuts, but I think the Yankees should send Eduardo Nunez back to AAA to get some more seasoning. He clearly has more of a shot at being an every day player than Pena does and he could use some more pressure-free work on his throwing and on his approach at the plate. While he may get a good deal of guidance at the Major League level, I think it would be more valuable for him to get consistent plate appearances and time in the field at AAA
The names and positions could be changed around but I think the point still stands. I don’t know how much of a future Brandon Laird has with the Yankees, but the team does seem willing to accommodate Eduardo Nunez and groom him for some future role. If that’s the case, he should be playing every day somewhere. He is still raw both in the field and at the plate and I’d like him to be able to get some pressure-free chances to work on his fielding and his approach. Laird could be a step back in terms of defense (but could it get much worse?) but his bat has enough pop that it could work if he were the one splitting time with Chavez. If that plan doesn’t work because of Laird’s ineffectiveness or Chavez’s help, Nunez would be a call away in Scranton.
It was pointed out that this plan leaves no one to play the middle infield spots off the bench, which isn’t a good plan. The 40 man roster reminds us that the Yankees have no healthy middle infielders to use, so a Chavez/Nunez platoon is going to have to get the job done.
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