Eduardo Nunez to the Disabled List, Alberto Gonzalez recalled

Jim McIsaac

Embrace the return of the lesser A-Gone, I guess.

The Yankees decided that Eduardo Nunez's ribcage injury was too problematic to tolerate a short bench, so since he is not able to return anytime soon, they have placed him on the D.L. Recently-reacquired minor-league shortstop Alberto Gonzalez was recalled to take Nunez's place, and Mark Teixeira was transferred to the 60-day D.L. to make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster. The move was made retroactive to May 6th, so Nunez will first be eligible to come off the D.L. on May 21st, next Tuesday.

The Yankees first had Gonzalez when he joined the 2007 team in the Randy Johnson trade. He played with them through 2008, never hitting very well. He's strictly a defensive shortstop, so Jayson Nix figures to get the lion's share of starts at shortstop with Nunez out. The 30-year-old Gonzalez hit a meager .152/.211/.182 with an alarmingly-low OPS+ of 5 in 73 plate appearances during his initial stint as a Yankee. They dealt him away in a mostly-meaningless '08 Trade Deadline swap to the Washington Nationals for minor-league reliever Jhonny Nunez, who eventually was involved in the Nick Swisher deal, so good for him!

The second half of '08 was really the only time Gonzalez has ever been productive with the bat, as he hit .347/.407/.531 with a 147 OPS+ in 17 games (54 PA) down the stretch for the Nats. The righty hitter reverted back to normal the next two seasons, though he appeared in over 100 games in each, hitting a combined .258/.291/.331 in 514 plate appearances with a 66 OPS+. Gonzalez was then traded to the Padres, with whom he hit .215/.256/.283 in 102 PA in '11 before getting released after the season. He was a backup last year with the Rangers, only making it into 24 games.

In Gonzalez's three seasons of over 100 games from 2009-11, he accumulated 1.6 dWAR, albeit with a mediocre -1.9 UZR. He has a good defensive reputation though, so maybe it's just UZR being faulty, but who knows? Either way, he hopefully will not be on the roster for very long, so it should be inconsequential. It's not like there are any other legitimate options for emergency shortstops out there.

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