The New York Yankees are calling up Derek Jeter a day early because Travis Hafner fouled a ball off his foot in the batting cage mid-game last night. Jeter will be the DH for tonight’s game against the Kansas City Royals in the final game of a four-game set. Jeter was supposed to DH for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he will replace Hafner in that spot, batting in the two-hole.
The bigger question is what will happen when Jeter returns to his normal position at shortstop. Luis Cruz has been the usual third baseman as of late, but his production has been less than stellar. In eight games for the Yankees, he has seven hits and three RBIs. That is not the typical output that teams would like from a corner infield position.
The problem is that the Yankees do not have another everyday third baseman on the roster. My move would be to put Eduardo Nunez at third tomorrow when Jeter returns to the field at short.
The tricky situation is that Nunez tends to be erratic when he does not play his natural position at shortstop. When he is moved around the field, as the Yankees have tried in the past, he tends to make boneheaded plays and a multitude of errors. Still, Nunez has been hitting well since coming off the disabled list and they cannot lose his bat in the weak lineup.
I say give Nunez a chance at third even with the risks it entails. Nunez is a professional ball player and hopefully has matured in the past year.