05/08/12 9:59 PM ET
Nix eager to change numbers against lefties
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He crushed the ball for a double.
But when there were opportunities for Nix to pinch-hit against Mets left-hander Tim Byrdak on Monday and Tuesday, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had Erik Kratz and Ty Wigginton hit instead. It was not a surprise, even though Nix has been the team's most productive hitter through 30 games. Nix is a .254 hitter with a .752 OPS against right-handers in his career, but just a .185 hitter with a .518 OPS against left-handers.
"You can't argue with the numbers, but I don't have a problem right now facing left-handers," Nix said. "I want to face that guy. I want that at-bat. I understand the reasoning. Charlie knows what he's doing, so I can't argue with it. I had all the confidence in the world that Kratz was going to get that run in. But do I want the at-bat? Yeah."
Nix is battling soreness in his left calf and is day to day, which was why he was not in the lineup Tuesday against Mets right-hander Miguel Batista, though the Phillies could have used him. His .578 slugging percentage is the best on the team.
It remains unlikely Nix will get a start against a left-handed starter any time soon, but Nix is hopeful he'll get a chance to face some left-handers late in games.
"It is a tough label, and you can't do anything about it if you don't get a chance to face them," Nix said.
Carlos Ruiz hit fifth for the second time in four games.
Left-hander Cliff Lee rejoins the rotation Wednesday against the Mets. He will be on a pitch count of about 75 to 80 pitches.
The Phillies bullpen had a 2.01 ERA through its first 14 appearances this season, but has a 6.92 ERA over the last 14.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.