WASHINGTON -- Mariners infielder Adam Kennedy has noticed a difference in the Nationals this year compared to last: He sees maturity on the field.

Kennedy pointed out that players such as first baseman Michael Morse and second baseman Danny Espinosa are having solid seasons, while Ian Desmond has improved defensively at shortstop.

"You see some guys maturing and playing every day," Kennedy said. "Desi is having a good year defensively. Espi, of course, being good. That helps a lot. Morse is having a great year. [The Nationals] have a good flow going."

Kennedy played for the Nationals last season, hitting .249 with three home runs and 31 RBIs in 135 games. He lost his second-base position to Espinosa after the latter was promoted to the big leagues in September.

  • 131 wins
  • 121 wins

Even though Kennedy lost his starting job, Desmond often talked about how Kennedy helped the young players.

Asked if he played a role in the success of Desmond and Espinosa, Kennedy said, "No, not at all. They are way more talented than me. They don't need a whole lot of guidance. I'm sure [infielder] Alex Cora is helping them over there this year. They are going to be fine. I watch them a lot."

Riggleman weighing DH options for AL parks

WASHINGTON -- When the Nationals go on the road to play American League teams starting Friday, manager Jim Riggleman will need to decide whom to select as his designated hitter. Riggleman indicated that Matt Stairs most likely will face right-handed pitching.

However, don't be surprised if some of Riggleman's regulars see some time at the DH spot.

"I may pick a day or two to give a position player a rest and let them DH, and have somebody else play their position, whether it's [Jayson] Werth or [Danny] Espinosa, guys who are pretty much playing every day." Riggleman said. "Sometimes, you like to let them be the DH and keep them swinging the bat, but they don't have to take on everything else."

Nix day to day with bothersome Achilles

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Laynce Nix didn't play Wednesday because of a sore right Achilles.

On Tuesday against the Mariners, Nix went 0-for-3 before leaving the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Nix said the Achilles has been bothering him the last couple of months. However, he has managed to become one of the team's best bench players, hitting .280 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs.

Nix said his Achilles started to get worse as Tuesday's game progressed. He is listed as day to day, but feels he will play Thursday afternoon.

"It's really sore right now," Nix said Wednesday afternoon. "I've been doing a few things recently to make it better. It's sort of nagging me, but I think it is something that will eventually go away. ... I'm planning on playing tomorrow."