It looks like Nick Swisher got away from the Yankees just in time. They seem to be plummeting down a dark hole at a rapid pace, and it is only Spring Training.
Injury after injury, they are not having the best of luck right now. With Curtis Granderson‘s broken bone, Mark Teixeria’s injured wrist, and Alex Rodriguez out with hip issues, it seems as though the Yankees are falling apart one accident at a time. Someone over at Yankee stadium needs to turn around twice and tip their hat to the west, or some type of crazy healing superstition to help out this poor team. Thankfully, Derek Jeter’s ankle is healing up well, along with Mariano Rivera’s knee, and CC Sabathia’s elbow. That should put a little spark back into the dragging energy of the team.
They are the Yankees though. They will bounce back, even if they have to dig their way out of this hole using nothing but their helmets as shovels. These guys are fighters. Not lazy players.
While taking that persistent mentality to Cleveland, Nick Swisher hopefully left the unlucky Yankee rabbit foot behind and can start out healthy with the Indians. Superstitions aside, I think the off-season team change for the switch hitter, will work out to be a solid move for both the Indians and Swisher himself. The Indians gained a veteran player with tremendous leadership quality. He has a calming presence, but yet at the same time can rial up the team on the field by simply playing good baseball. It may not be the Hunter Pence football-style huddle of firing up his teammates, but Swisher is certainly capable of getting guys amped for a game.
Being in New York might have held back his potential with a team full of All-Stars. And of course, that huge Yankee name is hard to live up to. Swisher was good, but now he will have the opportunity to stand out. He can take control a little more with his new team, which will push himself as well as his teammates. While proving his leadership capabilities he will ultimately be enhancing his defensive skills. With intense excitement in his eyes to play for a new team, the 32 year old is not done yet, maybe even demonstrating more power and precision at the plate this season.
Last season, Swisher had 93 RBIs and crossed home plate 75 times. He had a slash line of .272/.364/.473 which has been fairly consistent over the years with his career numbers at .256/.361/.467. Although some may think his age might start to limit him, this is evidence that he can be counted on.
He is already settling into his new uniform nicely smashing 3 home runs along with 10 RBIs in 30 plate appearances this spring. Comparing Spring Training stats, he has had more RBIs this spring since 2010, and more home runs since 2007. I have a good feeling about him.
In 2012, the Indians started out toward the top of their division and made a strong push to take the AL Central title, but could not hold it together in the second half of the season. These guys have ample potential and Swisher might just be the key man to keep them on top of their game. They will likely be a strong contender the entire season with their new addition taking the reins. He will be joining Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana, and Michael Brantley all with solid careers. And also new to the Indians, Michael Bourn, has some hustle and can give a little extra grit to the club.
Nick Swisher will become an even bigger household name in 2013, as long as having come from New York, he is not infected with the Yankee injury bug that is going around.