The Tribe had inquired about Nixon early in the Hot Stove season but backed off after the signing of David Dellucci. In January, however, when it became clear only a handful of teams were still looking at Nixon and his price tag was fairly affordable, the Indians' interest resurfaced.Manager Eric Wedge expects to plug him into the No. 2 spot of the lineup on days he starts. "We just want him to be the player he's been," Wedge said. "He's a guy you know is going to go up and put up a good at-bat. He plays a very professional right field, and he's going to be smart on the bases. He's another leader by example." Nixon's early days with the Indians, however, have been spent largely behind the scenes. The back hasn't been giving him trouble, but the surgery caused numbness that ran down his left leg and into his foot. "I kind of had to reboot the nerves going down my leg," he said. "It's not just in my quad, but also all the muscles in my ankle and foot." In Nixon's mind, while he hasn't played any Grapefruit League games, he has forged a daily battle with his injury. "Every day is a little battle," he said. "I have to do little daily tests to see if I'm ready for the baseball stuff." The rehab process never gets easier for a player, but Nixon has learned how to keep it from messing with his mind. "The biggest thing is understanding the process," he said. "You're going to go through frustrating times, and you have to be patient. I just remember that God has a plan, and if I'm going to spend time on the DL, there's a purpose for it." Perhaps that purpose is a novel job idea. Player/trainer, after all, has a nice little ring to it. "I should know how to do it," Nixon said with a smile. "I've got a few rehabs under my belt."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.