Connect with us


Lack of Offense Could Leave Ramiro Pena as Odd Man Out. Chavez and Nunez Take Lead.

With Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez having good springs, the Yankees find themselves with a decision to make. Does this mean Ramiro Pena will be the odd man out?

Ramiro Pena has never been known for his work with a bat in his hands. His glove is what got him to the major leagues as a backup infielder for the New York Yankees. Now however, as the Yankees work to improve their bench, the glove may not be enough.

Pena hit .287 in 115 at-bats for New York in 2009. His production dropped last season, hitting just .227 with two extra base hits in 154 at-bats. Pena provides zero in the power department. If the Yankees can find role players that can contribute pop off the bench while still being solid defensively, they would have to consider that an upgrade.

They may have found their answer in two players. Veteran spring training invitee Eric Chavez and up and coming infielder Eduardo Nunez appear to now have the inside track to a Major League roster spot.

Chavez leads all Yankees that have more than 10 at-bats, with a .471 average. Known throughout his career for his glove at third base, Chavez is also working on playing first base for the Yankees. He can can show the ability to do that, the veteran could be a backup corner infielder.

Chavez has won six Gold Glove Awards in his career.

Of course, a major issue that remains is health. Once one of the games best all around third baseman, neck and back injuries slowed his career. The 33 games in which he appeared last season for the Oakland A’s was the most in three seasons.

Eduardo Nunez, like Pena, can play three infield positions. Nunez is a natural shortstop but can also play second and third. He has also worked on playing some outfield to increase his chances of catching on with the Yankees as a backup.

Last season, Nunez appeared in 30 games, getting 50 at-bats for the Yankees. In that limited time, the youngster showed some potential. Nunez batted .280 with one home run for the Yankees last season.

So far this spring, Nunez is batting .286 with a double and a home run in a team high 21 at-bats. Considering he leads the team in at-bats shows they are giving him a long look. He has driven in five runs.

While his play in the field may not be considered as good as that of Pena, his glove is certainly above average.

Nunez would also bring some speed off the bench. He has stolen 20 or more bases three times in the minor leagues. While stuck behind star players like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano, Nunez could be a valuable piece of the bench for the Yankees in 2011.

Unless Chavez or Nunez go down with an injury or fall into a slump, I think it’s safe to say Ramiro Pena will be the odd man out this season.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Baseball