Spring Training games have been taking place for about two weeks so far, and the New York Yankees have had their fair share of disappointments. Although there is still plenty of time in Spring Training for a player to turn themselves around, it’s never too early to single out a few players as the biggest disappointments of the spring thus far.
Eppley, a side-winding relief pitcher, had himself somewhat of a breakout 2012 season. He went 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA, and was one of Joe Girardi‘s most trusted relief pitchers, as evidenced by the fact that he found himself in 59 games. He didn’t give up a ton of runs, but averaged giving up a hit per inning. He wasn’t the best asset that Girardi had in the bullpen, but he was a solid one nevertheless.
It has been a different story for Eppley so far this spring. Although he has only pitched in four games, he has had a ton of trouble whenever he has entered. In four innings pitched, he has given up seven runs (four earned), seven hits, and has walked three batters. Opponents are also hitting a staggering .368 against him, which is never a good sign. The only real plus to Eppley’s spring is that he has struck out five batters in four innings, so you know that the command on his pitches is there somewhere.
As I said before, there is still plenty of time for Eppley to turn himself around. If Eppley continues to pitch like he has though, Girardi might have to call upon a new face to come out of the Yankees’ bullpen.
For years now, people have raved about Nunez’s hitting ability. Everybody says that he has potential to be a solid hitter in the big leagues, despite a small sample size. While he may have the ability, the fact that he is only batting .174 in Spring Training is a little bit worrying. The Yankees are making sure that Nunez sees plenty of playing time, and he really is not making the most of his opportunities. Through nine games, Nunez has only racked up four hits in 23 at-bats, and has an OBP of .296.
I’ll give Nunez credit though, he was gotten a bit better with his fielding. Throughout his entire career, Nunez’s “kryptonite” has been having a ball hit in his general area. This Spring though, he has only committed one error in 48 innings, so that must be some sort of beacon of hope, right?
Luckily for Nunez, the Yankees have a limited amount of backup infielders, so he might make the Opening Day roster out of necessity. He too has plenty of time to turn things around, and he will undoubtedly still receive a significant amount of playing time. What he does with that time on the field remains to be seen.
As I keep saying, there is still about three weeks left before the regular season gets underway. While these two players have been disappointing so far, the game of baseball is anything but normal. Their disappointing two weeks of play may not necessarily equal a disappointing spring as a whole. It all remains to be seen.