At Bat, Logan Struggling to Right Himself

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nook Logan was in the Washington Nationals' lineup last night, manning center field because the Detroit Tigers started lefty Mike Maroth. Logan is a former Tiger, and a former switch hitter, and he faced his old team for the first time as purely a right-handed hitter.

"I had a good relationship with all those guys," Logan said.

Logan, who was drafted by the Tigers in 2000 and made his major league debut with them in 2004, said he would treat this series as any other. But he is going through an adjustment now unlike any since he began switch hitting in the minors with the Tigers. His five plate appearances as a right-handed hitter against right-handers have resulted in four strikeouts and a walk. That included a start over the weekend against Toronto ace Roy Halladay in which he struck out three times.

"I've had some tough draws," Logan said. "I can't pick who I want to play against."

Logan went 0 for 3 last night and is now hitting .222 from the right side. He hit .189 in 39 plate appearances from the left side before giving up switch hitting June 4. He and Ryan Langerhans, who hits left-handed, now platoon in center.

Fick Hitting With a Heavy Heart

Reserve Robert Fick used a stint of regular playing time in American League parks to straighten out his swing. "I was just searching, and I finally found something," Fick said. He singled in his only at-bat in last night's 9-8 loss to Detroit, making him 4 for his last 8, lifting his average to .217.

That, though, only helps ease part of Fick's burden. His mother, Gloria, is stricken with lung cancer, and "she's only days away," Fick said yesterday.

Fick, though, said he can't attribute his slow start -- he entered last night hitting .207 -- to his mother's condition.

"When I'm up there, I'm not thinking about it," he said. "But dealing with how I started and dealing with her situation at once has been tough. . . .

"A lot of people have learned things from how my mom's handled her death. It's incredible. I'm grateful for that."

Fick has occasionally flown home to California on off days to see his mother.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company