WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: Laynce Nix #19 of the Washington Nationals celebrates his two run homer with third base coach Bo Porter #16 during the second inning at Nationals Park on April 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
- Jerry "HR" Hairston - 3B
- Rick "The Arm" Ankiel - CF
- The WereWerth - RF
- Laynce "With A 'Y'" Nix - LF
- Adam "Slight Tears Don't Hurt" LaRoche - 1B
- Ian "Plus Range" Desmond - SS
- Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - C
- Alex Cora - 2B
- Jordan "DeadEyez" Zimmermann SP
Whether Laynce Nix is getting the start in left field because of his numbers against Giants' right-hander Matt Cain (7 for 13, 1 2B, 1 HR), because of the game he had Friday night against Tim Lincecum (2 for 3, 1 HR, 2 RBI's) or because Michael Morse continues to struggle at the plate only Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman knows. Nix, who has put up a .314/.333/.600 slash line with a double and three HR's in 20 games and 36 plate appearances (to Morse's .211/.253/.268 line in 23/79), was described by the Nationals' manager the other night as, "a good player" and a"great acquisition" by D.C. GM Mike Rizzo.
"As I've said many times, that was a great acquisition by [Mike Rizzo]," Riggleman continued, "We were surprised that he was still around in late January, February, whenever we signed him. He did great things on a playoff club last year, and he's been very impressive since day one of Spring Training. It's huge to get a veteran guy like a lot of the veteran guys, [Jerry] Hairston, [Alex] Cora, what they've done since [Ryan Zimmerman] has been out, what Laynce has done every time we've called on him. [Matt] Stairs has not gotten on track yet, but those type of guys, what they contribute in the dugout, in the clubhouse and on the field has been huge for us."
Hairston leads off today. Nix pushes Adam LaRoche, who's struggled offensively, out of the cleanup spot, and Cora gives Danny Espinosa a day off. The veterans have added leadership and experience to the clubhouse, today they'll be asked to perform on the field.