It likely cost Nix significant playing time. He delivered Sunday in his second at-bat back from purgatory with a 12th-inning single that pushed the eventual winning run to third in the Phillies' 4-3 victory.
"He's strong," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's been around. He's a good extra player."
Before the injury, Nix showed power from the left side with a .326 batting average and eight extra-base hits in 51 plate appearances. The Phillies would have killed for that production while the season slipped away in recent weeks.
"It happens on both sides," Nix said of his unnecessary setback. "The medical side pushes it and I wanted to, too. We're OK now."
To make space, Jason Pridie was designated for assignment. Pridie had options remaining, so he could have gone to triple A without passing through waivers, but the Phillies opted for the extra space on the 40-man roster.
That roster is now at 39.
As reporters questioned Nix about his extended absence before Sunday's game, second baseman Chase Utley took offense.
"The guy is [expletive] healthy," Utley yelled. "What's the point in talking about [expletive] that happened a month ago? It makes no [expletive] sense."
Nix signed a two-year, $2.5 million deal last December.
Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies was suspended earlier in the week for what was only termed a "violation of team rules." The offending incident specifically involved a confrontation between double-A Reading's bus driver and the outfielder, according to a team source.
Gillies was emotional, the source said, because he had reinjured his troublesome hamstring just days after returning from a concussion that had sidelined him for seven weeks. Gillies berated the bus driver but did not physically hurt him.
In an e-mail to his hometown newspaper, the Kamloops Daily News in British Columbia, Gillies apologized for the incident.
"What I did was wrong," Gillies, 23, told the paper. "I let my emotions get the best of me and said some things to our bus driver that I shouldn't have."
The Phillies have not said how long Gillies' suspension will last. More worrisome is yet another injury to the speedster's legs.
Acquired in the much-maligned Cliff Lee trade, Gillies has played only 31 minor-league games over the last two seasons. He was hitting .291 with an .806 OPS in 44 games for Reading in 2012.
He was charged with cocaine possession in 2010 while rehabilitating in Clearwater, Fla., but that charge later was dropped.
All-star catcher Carlos Ruiz did not start for the first time in 17 games. He entered in the ninth inning for Erik Kratz, who was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. . . . First baseman Ryan Howard played in three consecutive games for the first time since returning from Achilles surgery. . . . The Phillies won at home for the first time since June 26.
Contact Matt Gelb
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