Each MLB team has to face a decision that will likely make their fans angry either way. Should they give the bench jobs to the best players in Spring Training, or should they include other factors, such as if the players involved are prospects?
Let's look at the pros of players like Jorge Vazquez or Eduardo Nunez, starting on the bench in the MLB vs. starting in the minors.
Pros of Starting in the Minors:
- Helps showcase the players to other teams for a possible trade. If the players are sitting on the MLB bench, not getting enough playing time, the scouts from the other MLB teams will not be able to study them as closely.
- Helps get the players playing time to work on necessary adjustments. Perhaps a minor swing problem, or other adjustment that needs time to be practiced and observed by the coaches.
Pros of Sitting on MLB Bench:
- The players will learn from their surroundings, helping them feel more comfortable in the majors when called on to start.
- The players will help the team win games, either as pinch-hitters or pinch-runners. Why have worse players on the bench when you can have players that will help more?
- The players will get enough playing time to keep them ready for action when necessary, and if not, they will have the luxury of working with MLB staff. Who knows what Kevin Long could do with some extra time with a Jorge Vazquez, or Eduardo Nunez?There are many more pros in each case, and the cons are the pros for the other side. The Yankees will face this decision with Jorge Vazquez (vs. Eric Chavez) and Eduardo Nunez (vs. Ramiro Pena)
Vazquez has been hitting all Spring Training so far, while his competition, Chavez, has been hitting as well. Vazquez is 28, however, and at a certain point he may enter the "no prospect zone" and other teams interest will diminish.
Nunez is hitting much better than Pena this Spring Training (.333/.375/.500 vs..154/.148/.154) but is considered a prospect.
The Yankees should not be looking to trade Vazquez or Nunez, but if the right trade presents itself, the two players have their paths blocked to the MLB. Unless Teixeira or A-Rod get hurt, Vazquez will not be an MLB starter. Unless Jeter or Cano get hurt, neither will Nunez.
Best case scenario for the Yankees would be to have both players on the MLB roster, but also keep interest throughout the league.
I say if Nunez and Vazquez continue hitting in ST they should make the MLB roster. For the Yankees, the decision will be a tough one.