Laynce Nix could get the start at first base Tuesday with Matt Stairs and Michael Morse ailing, manager Davey Johnson announced after Monday’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Stairs replaced Morse, who sat out today’s game with an arm contusion. Johnson said Stairs then banged up his bad knee running down the line on a foul ball into the stands, and was replaced by Nix.
So Nix was inserted into the lineup for the first time this season at first base. It was the first time in his career Nix had played the infield.
“It was pretty wild, really,” Nix said. “I am still kind of trying to figure out how that worked out, but it was fun. I am glad (Davey) Johnson put me in there.”
Nix does not think playing first base will become a common occurrence for him, but he is ready.
“I don’t know about that,” Nix said. “We will see. I felt pretty comfortable. Maybe I will be over there some.”
Johnson was impressed with Nix this week when he was taking ground balls at first base and is heavily considering him to start at first Tuesday.
“With Morse hurt, I had both (Nix) and Stairs inside take ground balls,” Johnson said. “(Nix) looked like a Gold Glover over there; he scooped one out of the dirt and he looked very comfortable over there. That is a big plus for us when we are banged up.”
“He will probably be in there tomorrow (at first base). I like the way things are going.”
The Nationals want to find a way to keep Nix in the lineup, whether it is in the outfield or first base. Even when he doesn’t get the big hit, he finds a way to make things happen. Monday, it was a bases loaded, game-tying walk against veteran Kerry Wood.
“He was throwing hard and I could tell he couldn’t find it,” Nix remembered. “He was trying hard to get it. I was going to make him throw strikes. Fortunately, he missed (and) it happened with the bases loaded. We battled a lot of at-bats today. We grinded it out. We pulled it off.”