2012 Player Reviews

Phillies Player Review: Laynce Nix

Before the 2012 season, Ruben Amaro, Jr. signed Laynce Nix to fill the team’s need for a left-handed bat off the bench in the same vein as Ross Gload and Greg Dobbs before him. The deal was relatively cheap and also provided the roster with a player who had a superfluous “y” in their name, something the team was lacking after Jayson Werth skipped town in 2010 and left the Phillies in desperate need for a player of that ilk in 2011.

Nix also figured to help pitch in playing some time in left field, where it was wide open, and also at first base while the Phillies waited for the return of the injured Ryan Howard. On paper, it was a prudent move by the Phillies GM.

For awhile, the move seemed to translate from paper to the field, as well. Nix started off the season pretty well, hitting .326 through the first five weeks of the season with two dingers and eleven RBI in 46 total at-bats. At that time, his OPS was a very impressive .979. Things seemed to be going swimmingly for Nix. Then an event happened that would come to define his 2012 season: Nix got hurt.

On May 11, he was placed on the DL with a calf strain. By the time Nix returned to the big league roster on July 22, he was a forgotten man, a footnote on a season that seemed all but lost. Upon his return, he appeared to be a drastically different player than the one that was contributing the way he expected to at the start of the season. His first half/second half splits read like night and day:

First half: 51 PA, 7 R, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .326/.392/.587

Second half: 76 PA, 6 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, .191/.263/.294

His OPS+ went from 168 in the first half to 55 in the second half. Yikes. That’s really the story when it comes to Nix. He started off well, but an injury caused him to miss a lot of time. When he returned, he just wasn’t the same player. Had he stayed healthy, could he have produced at the rate he was for the first five weeks of the season? There’s no way of knowing. But it’s not too outlandish to suggest he could’ve maintained some semblance of positive production had he kept getting regular at-bats.

Grade: D … Had Nix been able to maintain his production from the beginning of the season, he’d easily be a candidate for an A. Had he played the entire season the way he did after returning from injury, he’d surely get an F. I arrived at a D because the scale shifts slightly more to the failing grade when considering the larger sample size of Nix’s second half performance. All in all, it seems likely that it was a one-time hurrah for Nix in a Phillies uniform. With a bloated cast of potential back-up outfielders, and the Phillies clearly looking to add a couple more, Nix seems a likely candidate to be released.

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0 Comments

  1. Jaron B

    November 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I’d go with a borderline D+/C-, maybe even a C-/C… simply because of the time he missed. I feel there’s no justification for being that harsh on a player who missed SO much time. Regardless, let’s hope for a healthier 2013 from him if he makes it onto the roster.

  2. Ken Bland

    November 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Any guy with a wife that carries the appearance that Nix’s wife does, no matter how low his slug line, how pathetic his OBP, scores a grade at a minmim of B+. Sorry to reinvent the grading system, but this is a very unique wife, er, case I mean.

    • brooks

      November 16, 2012 at 3:11 am

      Now I gotta look ; )

  3. Bob in Bucks

    November 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Nix did a nice job in the first half before his injury. After the injury he did not get much playing time. I think a C would be a more fair appraisal.

  4. BART SHART

    November 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Nix should be let go. He may be able to help a team in the American League who could also use him as a designated hitter

  5. Ken Bland

    November 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    • Lefty

      November 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      A Cowboys Cheerleader? That lowers the grade.

  6. Allen Thornberg

    November 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    One thing to remember before calling Nix’s post-injury play bad is the fact that Unca Charlie started him like, maybe, once after he returned from the DL–even though Pence and Vic were gone and there was room in the outfield–while playing Domonic the Underacheiver every freakin’ day. Nix has had historically terrible pinch-hit numbers, yet Manuel apparently saw him solely as a pinch-hitter and not as a once-or-twice-a-week starter against righties, which is what he should be. Manuel has a history of mishandling his bench, so I expect Nix (if he stays) to get the same treatment in 2013, unless Sandberg explains the concept of resting regulars to Charlie.

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