Fighting to prove that he belongs is nothing new for Vidal Nuno as he shutdown the LA Angels Wednesday night in Anaheim, 9-2. Starring at Sweetwater High School in National City, California, Nuno was named Mesa League pitcher of the year in 2004. Nuno was not offered a scholarship by any NCAA Division one school because of his poor grades. Nuno left California to play at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. Nuno pitched for the Baker Wildcats in the NIAA and was named the Heart Of America Athletic Conference Pitcher of the year in 2008. Nuno was drafted in the 48th round, 1,445th overall, by the Cleveland Indians in the 2009 Major League Draft. The Indians released Nuno in 2010 and he pitched in the Independent League until the New York Yankees signed him in 2011.
Nuno stepped up at a time when many people were questioning his future in the Yankees rotation. Nuno jumped out to a quick lead as the Yankee bats spotted the 26 year old with five runs in the top of the first. Nuno took the lead and cruised for his longest outing in the Majors. Nuno was in control as he pitched 6 1/3 innings of four hit ball, allowing one earned run. Derek Jeter's second inning homerun gave Nuno a six spot as he allowed his sole run of the evening in the bottom of the frame. Nuno cooled the hot Angel bats as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols went a combined 0-6 against the Yankee starter.
Although Nuno has had his ups and downs in his extended audition in the Yankees rotation, he showed on Wednesday that he has the stuff to start in the Majors. Not a prototypical type, Nuno befuddled the LA bats with a mixture of off-speed and breaking pitches. Nuno may not be a fastball type pitcher, but those who have scouted him, admit that he has the stuff to be successful as a starter.
One major league scout recently had this to say on Nuno:
I like him. He has a good feel to what he does. His velocity is up from 87-89, to now I see him in the low-90's sometimes. He throws strikes. I would give him a shot (in the rotation).
And if Nuno continues to pitch the way he did on Wednesday night, the Yankees might just continue to give him that shot.Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees