With Jeter sidelined after getting a cortisone shot in his left ankle Wednesday, it looks more and more as if Nunez will be at the position when the Yankees host the Red Sox April 1.
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Nunez's shaky glovework makes him a less than optimal choice. But the Yankees did start him in their final two playoff games last year. He's been working on his defense, specifically his throwing, all spring.
"I'm excited," Nunez said. "I'm not throwing the ball in the stands no more."
Nunez committed an error Wednesday in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 4-0 victory over the Red Sox when he booted a one-hopper hit by Drew Sutton. On the next pitch, he started a 6-4-3 double play.
Nunez, 25, is batting .225 after going 1-for-3 with an RBI. He has made three errors in 15 games at short. "There's a reason Joe Girardi played Nunez at shortstop the entire spring," general manager Brian Cashman said. "It was in the event we ever had any issues, we'd have somebody ready to go."
Asked if he had confidence in Nunez if Jeter can't play, Opening Day starter CC Sabathia said: "Yeah."
Former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang worked out at the team's minor-league complex and is auditioning for a minor-league contract with the team. Wang, 32, won 55 games with the Yankees from 2005-09.
"He obviously had a great time while he was here," Cashman said. "So I think there's some interest on his part."
"If he was going to have to do a minor-league deal somewhere, I think he would probably prefer it to be here."
Wang, 32, who had anterior capsule surgery on his right shoulder in 2009, appeared in 10 games for the Nationals last season, going 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA. He recently threw 12 scoreless innings for Chinese Taipei in the WBC.
Vidal Nuno pitched five shutout innings for the Yankees . . . Sabathia threw six innings against the Yankees' Triple-A team and allowed one run on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches . . . WBC MVP Robinson Cano is expected back in camp Thursday . . . The Yankees announced that they will honor the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shootings on Opening Day.