<
>

First Pitch: Running out of shortstops

The Yankees are waiting on Derek Jeter. If Jeter can come back healthy and play like he normally does, then their shortstop problems will be over.

But Jeter is not close to coming back. At best, it looks like early next month. Between now and then, though, Jeter has to overcome a bunch of hurdles.

In the meantime, Eduardo Nunez can't stay away from inside pitches. With Jayson Nix replacing Nunez, the next backup infielder on the Yankees roster is Francisco Cervelli.

At Triple-A, the Yankees don't have that many options on the 40-man roster. Only Corban Joseph, who really is a second and third baseman, is on the 40-man. Gil Velazquez and Addison Maruszak play short, but they are not on the 40-man, and the Yankees don't really have much wiggle room to make a move.

Nunez's style of play makes you wonder if he can last playing every day. While exciting and full of potential, he always seems to have his gear one notch higher than it should be. From his helmet flying off to foul balls off his face, Nunez is something to watch. The question is, how long can he stay on the field -- and with Jeter on the shelf, what is left behind him and Nix?

UP NOW: There is joy in the Bronx as the first-place Yankees pulled off an amazing triple play Friday. There are new juicy details on Alex Rodriguez.

ON DECK: Game time is 4:05 p.m. Phil Hughes (0-1, 6.75) will face Jason Hammel (1-1, 4.97). Kieran Darcy, Matt Ehalt and Johnette Howard will be on hand.

QUESTION: Where do you stand on Nunez as a reliable player?