With Eduardo Nuñez out, Mark Reynolds quickly tries to get feel for second base
TORONTO -- Joe Girardi put Eduardo Nuñez in the lineup Wednesday but first needed the infielder to pass several tests during batting practice.
He did not pass any.
"No good," Girardi said as he sprinted off the field after BP.
And so Girardi delved further into his bench, sticking Mark Reynolds at second base.
Robinson Cano was forced from Tuesday's game in the first inning after getting hit on the left hand with a pitch -- he hopes to be back Friday -- Nuñez, who replaced Cano, tweaked his right knee when his cleat got caught in the turf in the eighth inning.
Nuñez said after the game he would be going for an MRI Thursday.
Before heading outside for BP, Nuñez hinted that he might not be ready, and when he tried to run that feeling was confirmed.
When he tried to run, "The pain got worse," the 26-year-old said.
Nuñez added he is concerned the MRI could show something that would keep him out "two or three weeks," or longer.
Before addressing his knee, Nuñez talked about a prank pulled by equipment manager Rob Cucuzza and a group of teammates that included Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Joba Chamberlain. As the clubhouse opened to reporters, Cucuzza rolled a wheelchair to Nuñez's locker and Chamberlain quickly, using Scotch tape, put the infielder's name tag on it. Chamberlain and Wells later put a tape outline on the infield where Nuñez collapsed the night before, hitting the turf as if he had been hit by cannon fire.
"Weird things happen to me all the time," Nuñez said. "Now it's funny because I didn't break my knee. Last night it wasn't. Now I'm laughing."
Reynolds was on the field early Wednesday, fielding grounders 41/2 hours before the game, working with first base and infield coach Mick Kelleher and coaching assistant Brett Weber, and again during BP.
Reynolds played second in the ninth inning Tuesday, his first action there since 2007 when he played two innings, the totality of his experience in the big leagues at the position.
Hughes still in rotation
After two days of not guaranteeing Phil Hughes would take his next scheduled start, Sunday against the Orioles, Joe Girardi said his plan is for him to stay in the rotation. "Right now that's what I have," Girardi said.