Tag:Jayson Nix
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Is Lawrie on his way to Toronto?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brett LawrieThe wait for the Great Canadian Hope may not be long. Blue Jays manager John Farrell hinted the team could soon bring up Brett Lawrie to handle the Jays' third base position.

Before Friday's game against the Astros, Farrell was asked whom he considered his everyday third baseman and he mentioned three -- Jayson Nix, John McDonald and Edwin Encarnacion -- before adding "And when Brett Lawrie comes up, there's another one," according to MLB.com.

The Blue Jays acquired Lawrie in the offseason in a trade that sent pitcher Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee and he was quickly the team's top positional prospect.

A native of British Columbia, Lawrie is hitting .337 with a 1.002 OPS and a team-high nine home runs and 32 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas.

"If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to certainly force our hand. I'm not afraid to say that," Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos said.

Lawrie, 21, moved from second base to third base this season and has nine errors for the 51s. However, Lawrie's never been known for his glove, it's his bat that has made him a prized prospect. Last season, as the second-youngest regular in the league, he led the Southern League in hits (158), runs (90), triples (16) and total bases (250).

Anthopoulos said the team has been impressed with his improved plate discipline.

The danger of calling Lawrie up right now is the fear of Super Two status, but some teams have ignored that so far with the possibility of the Super Two going away in the next collective bargaining agreement.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 9:18 pm

Jays moves: Encarnacion in, Rivera out at DH

By Evan Brunell

EncarnacionThe Jays have only played 17 games but are already changing the structure of the lineup.

Even though the writing has been on the wall for a while, DH Juan Rivera has now officially lost his starting spot. Edwin Encarnacion had been DHing recently with four of his past five games at the spot and is on a tear.

"I think, more than anything, Edwin is more comfortable [as DH]," manager John Farrell told MLB.com. "I think in the current arrangement he feels very good in that role."

Encarnacion is hitting .385 as a DH, but as a third baseman has a paltry .158/.150/.158 line in 19 at-bats with four errors in five games. Despite talking up Encarnacion's improvement as a fielder in spring training, it's abundantly clear EdE belongs as a DH or first baseman. 

"He's on a pretty good run lately," Farrell said. "He's had multiple-hit games. He's swinging the bat with more authority and making more hard contact. It's more like we anticipated from Edwin coming out of Spring Training."

Fortunately for Encarnacion, he's seized an opportunity that Rivera left wide open, as the former Angel still does not have an extra-base hit and is working on a .103/.239/.103 mark in 46 PA.

"The expectation of playing every day coming out of Spring Training was there and he was our DH," Farrell noted. "Yet every player knows that there is going to be opportunity, but production and performance begin to factor in."

They certainly have for Rivera, whose shown no capability in the early going. That's unfortunate for Toronto, who was hoping to trade Rivera and break an outfield logjam. Rivera was acquired along with Mike Napoli in the Vernon Wells deal. The Jays were able to spin Napoli to Texas for reliever Frank Francisco, but may be forced to carry Rivera all season, and certainly will have to if he doesn't get hot.

"I know he's frustrated -- he has said as much," Farrell continued. "In conversations with him, and talking with him about certain things, when things don't go quite as expected, maybe the thought process gets a little bit too entailed and doesn't free him up to allow his abilities to play out, particularly at the plate, where he can."

With Rivera hitting the pine and Encarnacion now becoming the full-time DH, Jayson Nix will make third base his home. Nix hasn't shown he can hit, but has a strong glove and in the early going has a .238/.360/.429 line in 50 PA after coming over from Cleveland where he hit .234/.288/.422 in 306 PA with 13 home runs. He also showed power but a lousy batting average in his stint for the White Sox after being acquired from the Rockies. Nix better profiles as a bench player, but for now will occupy third base until Brett Lawrie is ready for the majors, if that ever occurs. Lawrie, a top hitting prospect, is transitioning from second to third in Triple-A and has struggled in the early going.

"In this situation, I think it gets the best abilities out of all," Farrell said. "I think with our current roster and alignment, this gives us our best overall fit."

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 11:07 pm

Nix may play third for Indians

Nix The Indians may be grooming Jayson Nix to play third base, but nobody knows.

"It remains to be seen," Nix said in a recent interview per MLB.com . "Nobody can say right now what the situation is going to be like next year."

Nix, claimed off waivers from the White Sox in June, finally may be living up to his first-round billing by hitting 13 home runs in 306 plate appearances. His batting average is just .234, but at age 28, you don't just ignore that kind of power outburst from a former first-round pick.

That said, Nix, needs to increase his versality beyond second base and really focus on third. Nix had just 28 games experience at the position before 2010, but was asked to appear in 40 games and did not impress. If he can change that, Nix could find himself with a starting spot since the Indians have an open spot at the hot corner. Will they fill it internally (Nix) or through a signing or trade?

If it's the latter, Nix would likely be a infield backup while the starter would be on short years so as to not block Lonnie Chisenhall.

"The game deserves your very best effort, physically, mentally and emotionally," Nix said. "When you're here, the game and everybody playing it deserves that kind of respect and effort. Playing the game right is something I take a lot of pride in. No matter the situation or the score, no matter the time of year or anything, whether it's here in the big league season or going to winter ball, the game requires that."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 21, 2010 6:52 pm

Yankees should look into getting backup infielder

Alex Rodriguez On Saturday, Derek Jeter sat out with a heel problem while Alex Rodriguez, recuperating from a sore hip, DH'ed.

That left Ramiro Pena (pictured talking to Rodriguez) at shortstop and Kevin Russo at third base.

Pena, 24, is hitting .190/.235/.206 on the season in 63 at-bats while Russo, 25, isn't much better with a .196/.260/.239 line. The Yankees, for their $206 million payroll, have gone cheap with backup bench infielders and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports feels the Yankees need to be on the hunt for better solutions.

While the squad isn't looking for help currently, Rosenthal looks ahead to September and thinks New York may need a body ready. With the AL East race as tight as it is, the Yankees may not be able to afford to rest him in September. As he's battling hip issues, he may be relegated to DH and Pena or Russo at third base for any length of time is not palatable. For Jeter's part, he's no spring chicken and is on pace for one of the poorest seasons in his career.

Rosenthal has trouble naming viable candidates, however. Omar Infante of the Braves and Macier Izturis of the Angels won't be available, while the Royals' Willie Bloomquist and Toronto's John McDonald don't represent a significant offensive upgrade. The same is true for Jayson Nix, recently designated for assignment by the White Sox. The Cubs' Ryan Theriot is a possibility if his slump continues, and Geoff Blum could be had -- except Blum has no recent extended time at short.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona, however, has said that Bloomquist is one of the best utility players in the game and Blum at the very least would be a solid option at third base.

In addition, the Milwaukee Brewers have Craig Counsell, who has the defense and the offense that could do well as a backup in New York. The Arizona Diamondbacks could dangle Augie Ojeda, although the 35-year-old is having a horrific season at the plate, albeit in just 30 at-bats.

The Yankees are expected to pursue a hitter as they near the trade deadline, but Rosenthal has it right: the team should be proactive and acquire a solid utility infielder to protect against any injury impacting the stretch drive. Sometimes, pennats are won and lost by the obsure players.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: June 17, 2010 10:39 pm

White Sox call up 3B Viciedo

The White Sox have designated utility man Jayson Nix for assignment to make room for Dayan Viciedo, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley tweets .

Viciedo, 21, defected from Cuba in 2008 and the White Sox signed the third baseman to a four-year, $10 million contract, including a $4 million signing bonus. Baseball America ranked Viciedo the White Sox's seventh-best prospect entering the 2010 season.

For Triple-A Charlotte, Viciedo was hitting .288/.328/.515 with 13 home runs and 31 RBI in 61 games.

Nix was hitting .163/.268/.245 for the White Sox in 24 games with just 49 at-bats, with a home run and five RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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