Nunez will start at third base and bat sixth Sunday against the Blue Jays, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
The blockbuster trade of Manny Machado indirectly opened a full-time role for Nunez, who has taken over as the Orioles' primary third baseman with Tim Beckham filling Machado's old spot at shortstop. Nunez has gone 1-for-7 with a double in his first two games with the big club, so he'll likely need to find more success before building up job security at the hot corner.
Nunez was called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.
In a corresponding move, the club activated Chris Tillman (back) from the 10-day DL and designated him for assignment. Nunez has spent the past two months with Norfolk after being claimed by the Orioles in mid-May. Over that span, he's hit .289/.361/.443 with five home runs and 25 RBI. With Tim Beckham now the starting shortstop, there could be consistent at-bats available for Nunez at third base if he's able to produce.
Nunez cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
Nunez didn't made an appearance in Baltimore, and he struck out 12 times in 36 at-bats this season with the Rangers. The 24-year-old has a projectable swing -- he had 55 home runs in two-full seasons at Triple-A -- but there isn't an immediate path to consistent playing time for him with the big-league club. Nunez could see a mid-summer promotion, however, should the Orioles choose to sell off talent and commit to a rebuild.
Baltimore facilitated Nunez's addition to the 40-man roster by transferring Tim Beckham (groin) from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, but haven't cleared a spot on the active roster for the new pickup. That's expected to happen ahead of Tuesday's game against the Phillies, as Nunez has no minor-league options remaining and can refuse an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles are short on appealing options at third base and the corner outfield, both spots where Nunez could slot in and offer some intriguing power. Though he has yet to find much success across briefs stints in the big leagues the past three seasons, Nunez was a standout performer in the Pacific Coast League in 2017, smacking 32 home runs and 61 total extra-base hits across 533 plate appearances.
In order to make room for Rougned Odor (hamstring), Nunez was cast off the active roster and will be subject to waivers unless the Rangers find a trade partner for him in the coming days. Nunez appeared in 13 games for the big-league club this season, hitting just .167/.244/.278 with two extra-base hits and two RBI in 36 at-bats. The 24-year-old hasn't done much during a few brief opportunities in the majors over the past few years, but there will likely be a few teams that would take a chance on him.
|7/22/2018 vs Toronto|
|vs Happ (Career)||3||1||1||1.333||.333||.333|
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