Monday, July 5, 2010

Jayson and Jason

In the Indians' 9-3 win over Texas Monday second baseman Jayson Nix belted two home runs and shortstop Jason Donald had a career-high four hits. What does that mean in the big picture for the Tribe? Probably not much. It's only one game. Nix is still only hitting .214 since joining the team. Donald is up to .280, but once Asdrubal Cabrera comes off the disabled list Donald will either have to find a seat on the bench, or have to accept an option to Columbus.

Nix is trying to prove to Indians officials that he could be a long term fit for the Tribe at second base. He'll probably get considerable playing time the remainder of the season, but he'll turn 28 in August, so it's not like he's a hot young prospect. The only reason the Indians have him is that the White Sox released Nix, and the Indians' claimed him off waivers.

Being a last place team doesn't have many advantages, but one of the few breaks you get from being the worst team, or close to the worst team in your league is you get first crack at players placed on waivers. The order in which teams can claim players off waivers goes in inverse order to the team's won-loss record. In other words, the worst teams in the league get first crack at those players.

That's an advantage of sorts for the Indians, who obviously could use some better players. Donald, who was acquired from Philadelphia as part of the Cliff Lee trade, and Nix are both players who were discarded by their former teams. Whether they can carve out a niche for themselves on the Indians' roster beyond this year remains to be seen. And I guess hitting two home runs or collecting four hits in a game are always better for a player trying to win a job than not hitting any home runs or getting any hits in a game.

So in that sense what Nix and Donald did Monday night are significant achievements for both of them, even if many Indians fans aren't exactly on the edge of their seats.


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