Just thought I’d pass along a few extras that didn’t make the paper from my conversation with Nick Johnson on Wednesday. He arrived in Viera early to work with new hitting coach Rick Eckstein, and said that although he’ll have to tape up his surgically-repaired right wrist most of the season, he isn’t worried it will limit him.
“It gets sore here and there, but I never lose strength,” Johnson said. “I think it’s something I’ll have to deal with the whole year. There are no limitations of letting it go. I’ll just tape my wrist up and keep plugging away. The more I swing, the stronger I’ll get.”
Manny Acta hinted yesterday that the Nationals were intrigued with the idea of playing Johnson at first and moving Adam Dunn to the outfield, to get the two left-handers in the lineup at the same time. Both players excel at drawing walks, and a 4-5-6 run of Dunn, Elijah Dukes and Johnson could wear on a lot of pitchers.
“Everybody has an opinion on the way I like to manage,” Acta said. “But I do like high on-base percentage guys, and I do like power in my lineup, which we haven’t had here since I’ve gotten over here. I love a guy like (Dunn). I’ve always been a big-time fan of his and Nick Johnson’s, because I believe in on-base percentage. You have to be on base to score runs, and the more times you’re on base, the less outs you give away. That doesn’t make me a sabermetrics (manager) or anything, like a lot of you guys think. It’s just a fact that you win ballgames by scoring more runs than the other team, and you score more runs by having people on base. Nowadays, a lot of times your batting average is overrated.”