With greater role, Nunez feels he belongs

With greater role, Nunez feels he belongs

With greater role, Nunez feels he belongs
BALTIMORE -- Eduardo Nunez's leaping snag of a Wilson Betemit line drive in the fourth inning of Monday's 6-2 Yankees victory over the Orioles was worth a second look. At least, he thought so.

Television cameras caught Nunez and second baseman Robinson Cano wandering over to see a replay in the third-base dugout at Camden Yards, after Nunez saved Ivan Nova what was likely a run-scoring single.

"Robbie and [Derek] Jeter, they laughed at me and said, 'That's not a good play,'" Nunez said, laughing. "I said, 'You're liars. Go see. Go see the replay.' ... They always kill me."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said that he expects Nunez to play a large role this year for the club, seeing time in place of Alex Rodriguez at third base and Derek Jeter at shortstop.

Nunez muffed the first ball hit to him this season on Saturday at Tropicana Field and committed a team-leading 20 errors last season, but Girardi believes that having Nunez play more often will help his comfort in the field.

"You know, Nuney is exciting for us," Girardi said. "We like some of the things that he offers us with the speed, and we can move him around -- we can play him all over the place."

Nunez said that he was told not to worry about errors or hitless days at the plate, which is boosting his confidence. He figures to also see time this year at second base and in the outfield -- positions he played at the Major League level in 2011 as well.

"Last year was tough, my first year," Nunez said. "I tried to impress everybody [and prove] I can play, I can do it. I didn't want to go back to [Triple-A] Scranton/[Wilkes-Barre]. Now, I feel like I'm part of the team."