Alex Cora explains why Red Sox moved on from Eduardo Nunez

Rob Bradford
July 15, 2019 - 7:34 pm

Eduardo Nunez left his mark since joining the Red Sox midway through the 2017 season.

Before injuring his knee, the infielder supplied the Sox with instant offense during their run toward the postseason two years ago, hitting .321 with a .892 OPS after being acquired from the Giants. And then he fought through an injury-plagued 2018 campaign to emerge as a key contributor in last season's postseason.

But the time had come where the Red Sox felt it was time to move on from Nunez (who is in the final season of his contract), resulting in the 32-year-old getting designated for assignment by the club.

Prior to the Red Sox' series opener against the Blue Jays, Alex Cora explained the decision.

"It wasn’t working out against lefties," said the Red Sox manager of Nunez, who was hitting .200 against southpaws. "Where we’re at roster-wise, Michael (Chavis) is going to play against lefties and righties most of the time. I feel that we need more offense against left-handed pitching. It was a tough spot for him not getting enough at-bats. Actually, he was hitting better against righties. It’s a tough decision but it’s a baseball decision. Sammy (Travis) is swinging the bat well. He’ll play most likely against lefties, first base, Michael will play second, and we’ll go from there."

Nunez never was able to find his niche on this season's roster, not only seeing his playing time dwindling with the emergence of third baseman Rafael Devers but not producing consistently when given the chance.

"He went through some mechanical adjustments towards the end of the spring," Cora explained. "Players do what they feel they’re comfortable with. We felt like he was swinging the bat well early on. He started off slow on the road trip, and then the back thing played a part of it. And then after that, he wasn’t able to get in a rhythm. It’s tough because we get Michael and he starts swinging the bat well and playing time was limited. Brock comes in and you see what he’s doing. He’s still a good player. He did a good job for us last year. He was huge for us in the playoffs, that big swing against L.A. For everything that people say about his defense, whatever, he made some nice plays against the Yankees. He’s a smart baseball player. He helped most of the guys over there, especially Xander (Bogaerts) and Raffy. That’s part of the business. It’s a tough one because he’s very likable, he meant a lot to the clubhouse and to the team, but that’s part of this. You make tough decisions and you have to move on."