I think, in general, it has been continuously easy to underestimate what the Reds see and like about Francisco. Personally, I'd have never had him in a Reds uni before THIS September, so count me among the surprised.
If they want a LH bat off the bench, one that can play some IF and OF, they've got Juan ready and willing. He could get 250-400 ab's depending on circumstance. Dusty's already dispelled, in his mind, the concern that he'd get rusty.
Further, if you look at the fact that Nix started the game today, add that to the fact that they mentioned a lot about their 'strategy' for the first week in roster discussions, it seems more likely that Nix was just a token in this plan.
Who do you think they gave up Balentien for? A full season of Nix (bla) or a full season of Juan (the future)?
I pick Juan. They seem to think he's ready to hit, and we shouldn't be surprised.
Lastly, look at the roster relief Juan provides in AAA, more PT for Frazier and Alonso.
I'd feel less secure if I was Nix.