Shortstop is a very key position when it comes to estimating the Yankees roster for 2010. Obviously, Derek Jeter is the incumbent and will remain so for a few years yet. But Ramiro Pena is the key figure when it comes to trying to figure how well the Yankees will do well off the bench. Last season, Pena was a refreshing presence who did well at all the infield positions he was used in. During the season he was sent to Triple-A Scranton to learn the outfield. What the Yankees brass saw during that stint was obviously a disappointment because his standing seems to have slipped somewhat in their eyes.
Spring training can’t have helped because Pena has been a steady but indifferent presence offensively despite being used in more games than Jeter. The staff have also taken a lingering look at Eduardo Nunez before reassigning him to Scranton when he delivered more weakly than Pena. Walter Ibarra was also invited to Spring Training but he’s one for the distant future if he makes the grade at all.
Pena needs to put up good figures early in the season if he is to regain the momentum. He’s never going to be a power hitter but something akin to his .287 average in 2009 will see him regain some ground particularly if he can begin to work the count better and gain more walks for the team.
Jeter was heavily criticised for his defense in 2008 but bounced back to gain gold glove status in 2009 which has ended any suggestion that the team should reassign him to the outfield.
1. Derek Jeter
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Eduardo Nunez
Will Carry: Two