7/30/2013 9:00 P.M. ET
Nunez hoping to become an option at third base
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Eduardo Nunez said that he planned to take ground balls at third base during infield workouts on Tuesday, looking for a new angle to stick in the Yankees' lineup with Derek Jeter back at shortstop.
The Yankees abandoned the idea of having Nunez play a utility role last season, saying he would only focus on playing shortstop in the future, but Nunez said he feels a tweak made with infield coach Mick Kelleher will reduce his throwing errors.
"Now that my arm action is better, I think I have a chance to play better," Nunez said. "I think I'm more confident to play third base. I'm not worried about throws."
Nunez made nine errors in 64 games at third base, a .920 fielding percentage, over three big league seasons. He said that he wouldn't mind expanding his range.
"I did it before. I had like eight years of playing short, and learning to play at the big league level -- playing third base, left field, right, second base," Nunez said. "I never played [elsewhere] in the Minor Leagues; just shortstop all my life. Learning to play different positions in the Major Leagues is now more easy after the past situation."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi seemed non-committal about the prospect of actually playing Nunez at third base.
"I don't know what we're going to do there," Girardi said. "I want to see him work out there a couple of days before we do anything."
Girardi also said that he was not ready to commit to Jayson Nix as the everyday third baseman; the team also has Brent Lillibridge available to play the hot corner.
"I'll look at it every day to see what we're going to do here," Girardi said. "There's nothing etched in stone. Third base has kind of been a revolving door a little bit. [Nix is] going to get his share of playing time there, and we'll move him around like we always did."
Schedule is working in Jeter's favor
LOS ANGELES -- The West Coast portion of the schedule is a friendly one for Derek Jeter as the Yankees shortstop works toward returning to everyday duty.
Jeter was activated on Sunday and went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an intentional walk in the Yankees' win over the Rays, then he received the benefit of an off-day on Monday after the team traveled to California.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he would not hesitate to play Jeter both Tuesday and Wednesday against the Dodgers, and then Jeter will have another off-day on Thursday before the Yankees open a three-game series with the Padres in San Diego.
"I think it should [help] because he has to work up to playing in everyday shape," Girardi said. "That's one thing that's really difficult, and because of some of the injuries and us needing him, he didn't probably play as much as a guy probably would in Spring Training."
Tuesday will mark just Jeter's third game of the season in what is game No. 106 for the Yankees. Girardi said that Jeter will also be able to see time as the designated hitter once the Yankees are out of Interleague Play.
"He'll have some DH days and some off-days, but I think at this point in the season, we don't have the luxury of working guys in slowly," Girardi said. "I think you have to just kind of go day by day and see where he's at."
Girardi still preparing for A-Rod's return to Yankees
LOS ANGELES -- Despite reports from multiple media outlets indicating that Alex Rodriguez will soon be disciplined by Major League Baseball, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that he still expects to have Rodriguez back on the big league roster at some point in the near future.
"We have him scheduled for a rehab on Thursday -- a game somewhere if everything goes OK," Girardi said. "If we didn't think he was going to be with us, we wouldn't do those things."
Rodriguez took batting practice at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday as he continues to rest and rehabilitate a Grade 1 strain of his left quadriceps. He did not speak to reporters upon exiting.
Girardi said that he had not been told of the specifics regarding what sort of game Rodriguez would participate in on Thursday, but it could be of the simulated variety at the Tampa complex.
• Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells said that he received no compensation from Alfonso Soriano in exchange for surrendering uniform No. 12 over the weekend. Wells switched to No. 22.
"I didn't ask for anything, and I didn't receive," Wells said. "I'm not the kind of guy who is going to ask for anything."
• Ichiro Suzuki entered play on Tuesday with 3,984 hits when combining his Major League hit total (2,706) and Pacific League total (1,278).
• Yankees relievers entered play on Tuesday with a 1.98 ERA (86 1/3 innings, 19 earned runs) since June 21, the best mark in the Majors over the last 33 games.
• On this date in 2011, the Yankees scored a franchise-record 12 first-inning runs in Game 2 of a doubleheader vs. Baltimore, sending 16 men to the plate with 13 reaching base. All nine batters had at least one hit and run in a 17-3 win.