ARLINGTON -- Now we're starting to see why the Indians were keeping tabs on Jayson Nix in Spring Training. The Tribe knew there might be a scenario in which Nix was dispensable for the White Sox. And when that scenario did indeed play out late last month and Nix was designated for assignment, the Indians grabbed him on waivers. Less than two weeks later, Nix has become the Indians' starting second baseman and No. 2 hitter, and he had hit three homers in his last two games, entering Wednesday.
Nix, a 27-year-old native of nearby Dallas, said he has benefited from his first real opportunity to claim an everyday job in the Majors. "Last year, there were a couple times where I maybe played for a week straight because somebody was hurt," Nix said. "I've never had an opportunity like this. It's a long season, as everybody knows. It helps to get consistent at-bats. That makes a huge difference." In 35 games over nearly three months with the White Sox, Nix received just 87 at-bats and hit .163 with a .513 OPS. Over 11 games in less than two weeks with the Tribe, he's received 38 at-bats and hit .316 with a 1.091 OPS. On some level, manager Manny Acta is not at all surprised by the production he's received from Nix, a first-round Draft pick by the Rockies in 2001. "This guy was one of the top 50 players in the nation when he was drafted," Acta said. "A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. He's not even 30 years old. Any time you're picked in the first round or sandwich round, enough people thought you were going to be a good player."