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You won’t believe who are DHing for baseball’s two best offenses

Apr 23, 2012, 6:22 PM EDT

Eduardo Nunez AP

The Yankees and Rangers, No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in runs per game so far this season, will meet for the first time this season tonight. So, of course, they’ve both brought out the big guns, right?

Well, certainly, the top six for each lineup is incredibly strong. The designated hitters won’t be found there, though. They’re both batting eighth tonight. And for good reason.

The Yankees have their backup shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, DHing for the first time in his career. The usual strategy has been to play him at shortstop or third in order to give Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez a half-day off as a DH. However, after Sunday’s rainout, neither veteran needs that half-day off right now. Nunez has six homers and 40 RBI in 381 career major league at-bats.

The Rangers’ designated hitter is Brandon Snyder, a former first-round pick of the Orioles who was cast off by the team over the winter. But while he couldn’t help Baltimore, the two-time defending AL champs have given him an early look against lefties, starting him twice at first base. He’s gone 3-for-9 so far. Overall, he has no homers and four RBI in 42 major league at-bats.

It’s safe to say neither player will be reminding anyone of Jose Canseco, Chili Davis, Don Baylor, Sammy Sosa or any of the other muscle-bound sluggers of DH days past.

  1. uyf1950 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Better Nunez DH then he play the field. Besides his offense has been very, very respectable so far this season.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    If this is the best they can do, why don’t they just let the pitchers hit? I would love to see CC hit.

    • uyf1950 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      Proudly, granted Nunez doesn’t or hasn’t shown a lot of power but he’s got as I said pretty good offensive numbers so far. .455 BA, .500 OBP, 1.000 OPS and 168 OPS+ and only 1 strikeout. Granted it’s based on only 26 PA but like I said better DH’ing then playing the field.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

        OK! Anyways, you knew that my comment was made in jest. So far tonight, the 2 (Jeter and Granderson) Yankees on my fantasy team have come through.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Proudly, ever since the Ching Ming Wang episode, I don’t ever care to see a Yankee pitcher in the lineup, even though it’s inevitable during interleague.

    • professor59 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Only because it would be funny to see CC run!

  3. drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    This is what happens when you have dreck like Chavez and Ibanez on the team. Though I don’t get how Nunez could be better than Chavez at DH.

    • uyf1950 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Both Chavez and Ibanez are left handed batters. And with Holland pitching for the Rangers a left handed pitcher it only makes sense that the DH be a RH batter.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

        Yes….but Nunez? Why not Martin?

      • uyf1950 - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        The answer is simple aside from Martin’s numbers so far stink. If the catcher were to get hurt and Martin had to replace him then the Yankees would lose the DH spot.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        Other than an early hot spurt to start last season, Russell Martin hasn’t been a particularly good hitter in roughly four years. It’s not like when Posada was on the team and it really hurt to have his bat out of the lineup. I’d rather just give him the full day off.

      • dondada10 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

        If you DH Martin, then Chris Stewart starts at catcher. Nunez has a better stick than Stewart.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Chris Stewart is starting at catcher tonight. But if you DH Martin and Stewart has to leave the game for any reason, then you lose the DH.

  5. proudlycanadian - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Nunez was hit less in the game and did not contribute to the Yankee 7 to 4 win.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      With tonight’s win, the Yankees remain in a tie for first place in the AL East. Derek Jeter must have been drinking from the Fountain Of Youth. He is off to a great start to the season.

  6. randygnyc - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Nunez was a non factor. His services were not needed, either.

  7. pbannard - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    By the way, can we stop casually tossing out people’s RBI totals as if they have any meaning. Everyone who writes for this site is intelligent and knowledgeable enough to realize that they are a worthless stat, but by continuing to cite them we perpetuate the myth that they have meaning. Same thing goes for pitcher wins – let’s be a good model here.

    • the SK - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      They are worth quite a lot in my fantasy leagues…

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