Yanks OK with Nunez's learning curve at third

Yanks OK with Nunez's learning curve at third

Yanks OK with Nunez's learning curve at third
TORONTO -- Eduardo Nunez is still young, he's not very comfortable at third base, and he certainly doesn't have much experience playing on artificial turf. So the Yankees just have to understand that the next four to six weeks, when he fills in for the injured Alex Rodriguez, will be one big learning curve.

They have to.

"We don't have any other options," Yankees first-base and infield coach Mick Kelleher said.

With Nunez, it's a give and take.

They know the errors will come; like on Thursday, when he booted a would-be inning-ending chopper in the first inning, then misplayed a popup that went for a double in the second.

But they also know he's a dynamic, explosive player that can give the lineup a spark; like on Friday, when he got two hits and drove in the Yankees' only run in a 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays.

"It's a learning process," Kelleher said. "So even though he's played in the Minor Leagues for the last four or five years or whatever, it's a different ballgame up here. You just have to be patient and stick with these guys and keep teaching them. The confidence level comes, and then when you have confidence you play better, you feel better, and that's how you improve, really. You can't get down on young players. You just have to be patient and just keep working with them."

Kelleher said Nunez essentially over-charged the grounder he booted on Thursday. That resulted in Nunez's 11th error of the season, with most of them coming at shortstop -- the position he's most comfortable at.

One thing Kelleher noted about Nunez is his ability to flip the switch after an error.

"It doesn't seem to bother him, which is fabulous," he said. "Everybody's disappointed when they make an error, but he doesn't let it carry over. He's done a very good job for a young player, in that respect."

Will Nunez be fully comfortable at third base soon?

Not this season.

"It takes some people two, three years to really get it all if they've never been a third baseman," Kelleher said. "It's a work in progress. Is he going to get better in the next four, five, six weeks? Yeah, he is. Absolutely. But is he going to be a finished product in six weeks? No way. Not at third base. It takes too much time."