The Indians claimed Jayson Nix off waivers from the White Sox yesterday and added him to the big league roster, optioning Jensen Lewis an Luis Valbuena to Columbus.
Nix was a 2001 1st-round pick of the Rockies, immediately making him the most successful 2001 1st-round pick to play for the Indians (our 1st rounders Alan Horne and Mike Conroy never made it to the majors).
The only good thing I can say about Nix is that he’s versatile. A poor man’s Jamey Carroll, if you will. Primarily a second baseman, he’s also played third, short and a little outfield over the past two seasons in Chicago.
He was batting .163 for the White Sox before being designated for assignment – one of the few players with a worse average than Valbuena this season. The thinking behind the move is likely that Valbuena is doing himself more harm than good in the majors. Down in the minors he can rebuild his confidence. Nix may be nothing more than a stop-gap solution until Valbuena straightens things out and gets recalled.
In an effort to find a good note on Nix, I did come across this oddity: he has just 13 career home runs, but three have come off Joe Saunders. He has no more than one homer against any other pitcher.