NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi believes Eduardo Nunez has what it takes to be an everyday Major League shortstop. Nunez just will not be that for the Yankees whenever Derek Jeter returns from his strained right calf injury.
Once Jeter is back with the club, Girardi will do whatever he can to get Nunez on the field and in the batter's box.
"We'll continue to be smart," Girardi said. "We tried to get Nuney at-bats, and that's what we're going to do. And we fell under that crazy schedule the first month. But as you saw, we were getting Nuney at-bats and we'll continue to do that, and when Derek comes back, we'll play him short, third, second. We'll give guys days, maybe DH a guy a day or give him a full day off, but we'll continue to get him at-bats."
The 24-year-old Nunez has started all 12 games at short since Jeter went on the disabled list on June 14, hitting .293 as the captain's replacement while committing three errors.
Nunez started just 13 of the Yankees' 64 games before Jeter went on the DL, appearing in 19 others.
Girardi was adamant in saying Jeter would remain the club's starting shortstop when he returns, though he has been pleased with Nunez's production in Jeter's absence.
"I don't know if you could say there's anything keeping him, because he really hasn't had a chance to do it for a long period of time," Girardi said of Nunez's chances of being an everyday shortstop. "The one thing that you realize when you play every day is teams start to make adjustments to you. They figure out how to pitch you better. You've been around the league and you want to see how a player makes adjustments.
"It doesn't take long for a scouting report to get out. There's no doubt about that. But until guys see you, you're not sure exactly how a player's going to react, so for Nuney, he needs experience."