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Nix emerging as everyday left fielder

May 13, 2011, 11:09 PM EDT

The Nationals signed Laynce Nix to a minor-league contract in February not because they envisioned him starting every day in left field but because they envisioned him serving as a fallback option in case other things didn’t go right.

Well, other things have indeed not gone right. And combined with his own strong showing at the plate, Nix suddenly finds himself as the Nationals’ starting left fielder.

Tonight, the 30-year-old started his 10th straight game in place of Michael Morse, who has both dealt with a sore knee and ineffective performance.

Jim Riggleman was careful not to declare Nix an everyday player, but it’s clear the manager plans to keep things as-is for now.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself,” Riggleman said. “Mike did what he did for six weeks in spring training, and Laynce has been hot here for the last 10 days. We’re just going to ride that out. It’s certainly not cast in stone as to who will be playing left field or whatever. We’re just going to try to put a lineup out there that gives us the best chance to win.”
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  1. P. Cole - May 14, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Nix has been a pleasant surprise but seriously, what purpose does Matt Stairs serve? On the rare occasion he gets a hit or reaches base, he can't even run. We have to use a STARTING PITCHER to pinch run for him!When Ankiel comes off the DL, he should be the 4th OF and Matt Stairs should be offered a coaching job on given his pink slip.I can live with Roger and Nix in the lineup every day.

  2. Grandstander - May 14, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Quick editorial note (since it's on the main site and not the blog):"You can't get to far ahead of yourself,tooHeartbreaker tonight, but Nix catching fire has been a pleasant surprise. Haven't looked at the game thread yet, but HOLY SMOKES was that Bernadina catch unreal!?!?!

  3. natsfan1a - May 14, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Nix' hitting has been a nice bonus, and I like the way he just puts his head down and runs after his dingers. Also, as FP once noted, he just looks mean at the plate. Kinda reminds me of that William the Conqueror dog in Patton, only he's got the bite (bat?) to back it up. grrrr…. :-)Loved The Catch and will be watching the highlight more than a few times, I expect…

  4. natsfan1a - May 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    The dog was a bull terrier, evidently. grrr…

  5. natsfan1a - May 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Um, that may not have sounded good, comparing him to a dog, but I meant it in a good way. (Time for coffee. Heh.)

  6. JD - May 14, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    I hate to be the downer here but I totally agree with Riggleman about riding the hot hand. Nix will come back down to earth; he's a free swinger and eventually pitchers will let him get himself out. I said before that Ramos will come back down to earth and he has. On the bright side Werth and LaRoche WILL heat up. This is not my crystal ball talking; it's just attention to past performances.

  7. Rabbit - May 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    The last two nights I have to keep pinching myself to try to keep it real. As tough as the losses are, we are still just under .500 and NEXT YEAR is looking so much better! Hopefully our strike out lineup will improve with Werth learning not to stand there dumbfounded.

  8. natsfan1a - May 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Yeah, I know. Guys come back to earth, and there's the caution not to get too high or too low. OTOH, there's something to be said for enjoying such highlights as we have while we have them, imho.

  9. Manassas Nats Fan - May 14, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Nix is hot now, and he is aggressive each at bat, and very few Nationals are that. When is "the slow start period" over. Ia am so tired of that excuse.

  10. UNTERP.NAT - May 14, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I know this is of the past but before the Flores injury he was the most clutch player and RBI guy even over Zimmerman (withstanding his walk offs)on the club. Of course I'm tied to the hip of Jesus so I'm very bias. Whether anyone knows it or not he would still be clutch at the ML level. Please no none spurt about what he's doing at Syracuse. Some players fall down to the competition, some players rise to the competition…

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W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
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y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
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-------------------------
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