Mills sticks with Buck in series opener vs. Nats

Mills sticks with Buck in series opener vs. Nats

WASHINGTON -- Travis Buck was in the lineup in right field on Monday instead of Brian Bogusevic. It was Buck's second start of the season.

Manager Brad Mills said Buck simply needs to get some at-bats, and it doesn't hurt he's been swinging a hot stick.

"He's a professional hitter," Mills said. "He's got a good approach. That's the best way to describe him."

Buck, who made the team out of Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, had four hits in 12 at-bats entering Monday, including a single, a double and a triple in five pinch-hit plate appearances. Mills has been impressed with Buck's all-around game, not just his bat.

Bogusevic, also a left-handed hitter, has struggled this season at the plate (4-for-29 entering Monday), but Mills isn't ready to make any wholesale changes to his lineup this early in the season.

"As a manager, I don't want to shut the door on anybody, whether it's a guy that came out of spring as an everyday player or a bench guy coming out of Spring Training," he said. "You give them the opportunity if they're able to have a really good ballgame."