He's only three games into his tenure as the Nationals' manager, so Davey Johnson remains firmly in the evaluation phase of his new job.
But a few days is all it's taken Johnson to realize that Washington's power-deficient lineup is better when the threat journeyman left fielder Laynce Nix creates for opposing managers. For that reason, expect to see more of the left-handed hitting Nix against left-handed pitching moving forward, Johnson said Friday.
"I plan on letting Nixie face more left-handers," Johnson said.
Nix missed the finale of a three-game series in Anaheim on Wednesday with a sore Achilles heel, a problem that he's battled throughout this season, his first in Washington.
"From what I gather, the injury is always going to bother him," Johnson said. "I'm hopeful that if he plays on it when it bothers him, it's not going to be something that can get worse. He's been a big addition to our offense (and) I'd hate to have to sit him down."
Nix hit his 12th homer of the season Tuesday night against the Angels, and is three home runs away from matching his career high in that category, established in 2009 with Cincinnati.
The reason that Nix has been viewed as platoon player through his career lies in his splits. Against right-handed pitching, Nix has batted .258 with 58 homers and 190 RBIs in 1,347 at-bats; versus left-handed pitching, his totals are much worse - .183 with two homers and 22 RBIs - in a smaller sample size. Nix has only 191 career at-bats against southpaws.