May
14

A tale of two Swishers

By

Oh, Nick Swisher, where have you gone?

Last night, the Yanks knocked out seven extra-base hits. They hammered a home run, two triples and four doubles against the Blue Jays pitchers, and only two of the starting nine failed to hit. A-Rod went 0-for-2 but walked three times, and Nick Swisher, once the 2009 Yankees’ most popular player, went 0-for-5.

For Swisher, Wednesday night’s 0-fer was another in a long line of disappointing May efforts. On the month, he is not doing much of anything. After an April in which he hit .312/.430/.714 with 7 HR and 19 RBI, Swisher has basically disappeared. In May, he is 3 for 30. He’s hitting .100 with a .243 OBP and a .233 slugging. He has just one double and one home run to complement his two RBI, and he has struck out 16 times this month. That isn’t what the Yankees hoped to get out of Swisher this month.

The Yankees right now have few options to pursue in dealing with Swisher. They acquired him for nothing and owe him a good deal of money over the next few seasons. They know what he can do, but they also know — as the 2008 White Sox could tell us — how bad he can be when things aren’t going his way. With Xavier Nady out, though, Swisher will get his hacks in every day.

I have my own pet theories. I think Swisher’s elbow, hurt last week on a hit-by-pitch, may be impacting his hitting more than he is letting on. I think the Yankee lineup, with Nady on the shelf, is far too depleted for Joe Girardi to bench Swisher. However, at this point, the Yanks’ right fielder is doing little to help the team.

Swisher’s numbers in May suffer from a clear sample size bias. He has just 30 ABs, and the season is still young. Still, as the injured Yankees tend to their wounds, the team needs Swisher to step up again. They can’t expect a an OPS over 1.100, but they need more than a .476 OPS mark. The team needs an impact player who can get on base and score some runs. Right now, Swisher isn’t cutting it, and it just goes to show last month’s hero can be this month’s goat.

Categories : Offense

120 Comments»

  1. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    Nick Swisher once made a grilled cheese sandwich.

  2. Mattingly's Love Child says:

    So you’re off the Swisher bangwagon?

    JK ;-)

  3. A.D. says:

    Its probably somewhat the elbow, and it its market correction, his batting avg on the season is now down in the .250s, which is more what one would expect in line with his previous good seasons.

    I don’t know for his career if he’s a real streak hitter, or generally more consistent, but he’ll turn it around.

  4. Mike Pop says:

    At least he’s seeing alot of pitches.

  5. Frank says:

    He definitely could use a day off. Unfortunately, the team is not in a position to do it although if Matsui can DH, they could start Gardner in CF, and Melky in RF.

  6. Manimal says:

    Hes been over swinging and uppercutting, a recipe for disaster. He needs to focus on contact then the homeruns will come. I’m reminded of Sir Shelly Duncan last year.

  7. Jim says:

    The RAB love affair with Nick Swisher is coming back to hurt you.

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      But at least it was a torrid love affair with lots of passion….uhhh wait, what?

      In all seriousness, for the 1st month Swisher played above all of his career levels. We all should have expected a correction. Nick Swisher, as great as he is, is not a .300 hitter. He will not be Paul O’Neil 2.0 who suddenly hits for a high average with good power when he joins the Yankees. That would be amazing if it happened that way, but I don’t think so. If he stays where he’s at now, that would be exactly the player that Yankees (and most of us) thought they were getting. If the slump continues and he bottoms out around the Mendoza line, that will be painful.

      • Chris says:

        It’s not too surprising that he would out perform his career numbers – this is his age 28 season, so that would be a typical time for a player to have a career year.

        • Mattingly's Love Child says:

          That’s true, it isn’t unreasonable for Swisher to have a career year this year. My point though was that he wasn’t going to hit .300, a career year for Swisher would probably be around .280. But I’d definitely love .300/.400/.500.

          • If Swish went .300/.400/.500, I’d shit myself out of excitement. I think he can go .265/.370/.475 this year with 25 homers.

            • Mattingly's Love Child says:

              Same here!

              • I’ll take that.

                Comparison note: Leaving out the final three seasons of his Yankee tenure when he was past his prime, the first 6 seasons of Paul O’Neill in the Bronx (ages 30-35) his average raw OPS was .921. If Swish can get to .845, I’d be pretty happy with that, especially since O’Neill was our #3 hitter and Swish is probably going to be our #5 or #6 hitter most of the time…

            • Chris says:

              An OPS over 900 is certainly not out of the question. Also, a line of .265/.370/.475 wouldn’t even be his career year, as he already hit .254/.372/.493 in 2006.

      • I just try to remind myself that we got him for Wilson Betiment, and all he has to do to make that trade be a success is be better than the spare part we traded for him.

    • A.D. says:

      Not really, when Nady got hurt any second guessing could be thrown out the window.

    • Just because he’s having a bad month so far? That’s a silly statement. The same sort of thing could be said for any player who goes into a slump.

  8. Pedro(from Brazil) says:

    We could use Swisher as DH and play Gardner center, Melky right and Damon left so he can rest his elbow (which i think is the problem with him) before Matsui come back.

  9. Frank says:

    FYI- In case anyone is interested, Swish is going to be interviewed today on ESPN radio (Tirico and Van Pelt)

  10. I’m sure his elbow is bothering him but it’s probably also a bit of regression to the mean. I’m confident he can pick it back up after a few hits start falling.

  11. JP says:

    Just a slump, that’s all. He’s not really a Jason Bay type, after all, he’s more like a Xavier Nady. ;-)

  12. thisisthedavid says:

    CHILL, EVERYONE CHILL, STOP SPREADING THE HATE. WE NEEDA BE POSITIVE. SWISH IS A BEAST. WHERE ARE THE ANTI BURNETT POST??? DUDE OWES US ALOT OF QS’S!!!!! I DONT MEAN TO GO ALL KANYE ON YALL! BUT SWISH IS HURT AND AT LEAST TAKING THE FIELD!!! WHAT ARE DJS NUMBERS ON THIS YEAR?? HUH???? HES MAKING 4X AS MUCH AS SWISH AND HASNT DONE HALF HE HAS WITH THE BAT AND DONT GET ME STARTED ON HIS FIELDING!!!!!!!! OH BUT HE GETS THE MONEY TO BE A TEAM LEADER??? A LEADER WHO HASN’T HELPED THE TEAM WITH ITS BIGGEST PR PROBLEM (AROD). AND AS SOON AS ALEX IS CAUGHT WITH STERIODS HE STARTS TALKING ABOUT AGAINST IT!!!! BUT WHEN GIAMBI WAS ON THE REBOUND FROM JUICING HES ALWAYS HUGGING THIS DUDE AND BACKING HIM IN THE MEDIA! YALL NEED TO WAKE THE FUCK UP! SERIOUSLY THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THIS TEAM HAS HAD HAS BEEN JETER THE PAST 8 YEARS. I LIKE YOUR WORK BEN BUT THIS WAS IN POOR TASTE. DELETE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!

  13. Jamal G. says:

    Holy shit, someone just called Aceves the ‘Mexican Gangster’ on WFAN just now.

    RAB Global Takeover:

    Step 1: Make up cool nicknames.
    Step 2: Spread said nicknames around the interwebs.
    Step 3: Steal Meagan Fox’s underpants!
    Step 4: You really need a Step Four after that?

  14. Chris says:

    He was hit on the elbow on 5/1. He had an 1.139 OPS in the 7 games before that and a .456 OPS after that.

    If it’s just a random slump, that’s a ridiculous coincidence.

    • Like the post said, it’s probably a combination of the elbow hurting a bit and his regression to the mean.

      • ChrisS says:

        Which is why these two sentences’ (mostly the latter) inclusion make little sense to me: The Yankees right now have few options to pursue in dealing with Swisher. They acquired him for nothing and owe him a good deal of money over the next few seasons.

  15. Reggie C. says:

    Swisher was bound to regress drastically from his POM-like April performance. Its pretty shocking to see that 18 of his 27 hits on the season have been extra base-hits. Swisher’s feast or famine results when he makes contact or bearable b/c he does walk more than the ML average. Swisher hopefully snaps out of it soon and settles into the .265-.270 BA range for the long-haul.

  16. DocBooch says:

    That first at bat last night told it all, he let a belt high fastball go by for the 1st strike then flailed at a breaking ball that was low and away.

    Ever since he got pinched on a few strikes just before he got thrown out of that game a few weeks ago his plate discipline is crap.

  17. Evan says:

    Swisher seems like the type of guy who will try out Giambi’s golden thong theory for sure.

  18. DocBooch says:

    Ok, it was one week ago. But, he only has one walk since then.

  19. JeffG says:

    Ebb and flow… is him coming back down to earth a big surprise?

    His April numbers were overly good – now his May numbers are pretty bad – thus we get his average play…

  20. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    If you were counting on Nick Swisher to be your best player throughout the entire season, you’re either 1) the Pittsbugh Pirates, 2) in deep doo-doo.

    Enough of the blasphemous Swish hate. He could hit .150 and I’ll still think he’s the greatest thing to ever happen to RF.

    Maybe he doesn’t like Sterling’s idiotic “Jolly Ol’ St. Nick” call and is going on strike until he switches.

  21. Axl says:

    It’s just how the Yankees work. Why does Wang win 19 games in back to back years recently…get injured in a freak accident…and as soon as we get 2 incredible pitchers to compliment him and his success…he becomes arguably the worst pitcher of all time. Why? How? It doesn’t make sense…but the Yankees have been the bearers of all bad luck in recent years. Whatever can go wrong WILL go wrong. From now on management should PLAN on the worst case scenarios happening…because for the past couple of years…they always have. Why? Nobody knows. There really isn’t any rational explanation. You can throw the word “coincidence” up in the air and hope it sticks to something…but this is far bigger than that. Numerous years of nonsense and strange misfortunes? That’s not a coincidence.

    As for Swisher this year…it’s sort of like how when we pitch well…we can never hit well…or when we score 7 runs…the other team scored 10+ and our pitching was horrendous. Swisher did well when others weren’t doing much…and now that others are kind of…at least…trying to turn their corners…Swisher goes in the opposite direction. I call it the “See-Saw Effect”. Usually happens when I have both the Yanks and Sox games on as well…whenever something bad happens to the Yankees in their game…almost at the exact same time something good happens for the Red Sox in theirs. It’s odd.

    No explanation though…other than we should be used to this by now. Year after year our players go through super hot streaks (not at the same time of course) and then incredibly low streaks where they are virtually useless. The only thing consistent about this team is how they continue to be inconsistent every year.

  22. mustang says:

    RAB love affair with Nick Swisher that shit end fast so much for .OPS king. On to next Billy Beane bitch.

    • mustang says:

      Swisher going bad.
      Melky and Andy going good.
      It’s the revenge of RAB’s winter predictions.

      • [ facepalm ]

        You cannot be serious, mustang.

        • mustang says:

          Lets see Melky has been destroyed here for like a year now and Andy was a broken down pitcher luck to even get a contract offer from the Yankees. It still early, but nice returns so far.

          • mustang, most of RAB supported bringing Andy back.
            And, while most of RAB predicted Swisher would be good and he’s in the midst of a cold streak, he’s still been, for the balance of the season, very good. Nobody is “jumping off the Swisher bangwagon”. Nobody who predicted that Swisher would have a good year is now retracting that prediction because he’s slumping/hurt.

            We all fully expected he’d have a cold snap. Doesn’t change or undermine the projection that he’d be good.

            Nor does Melky’s hot streak really change the prediction that he’ll end up being a 4th outfielder. It’s still only May 14th.

            • mustang says:

              “It still early, but nice returns so far.”

              I did say that. Hold on let read my comment again.

              “most of RAB supported bringing Andy back”
              And just as many wanted Sheets or Hughes to take his spot.

              Wow we forget quickly my friend.

            • thurdonpaul says:

              i like Melky, i think he can be a very good starting centerfielder, he can cover ground and he has a very good arm, i think with maturity he will get better, he seems more intense to me at the plate this year

          • mustang says:

            And looking at the pitching Stat. I see 4-2, 60 k, ERA-.78, WHIP-.96 from old friend who was losing his fast-ball and should of be been in the DL like 20 times by now.

      • Seriously? If it’s September and Melky/Andy are still doing well and Swisher is playing this poorly, then, yeah, that statement will hold water. It doesn’t when Melky is having a hot month and Swisher is having a cold one.

  23. ChrisS says:

    I think the Yankee lineup, with Nady on the shelf, is far too depleted for Joe Girardi to bench DL Swisher.

    Fixed.

  24. Tony says:

    Swisher has those career numbers for a reason. Anyone thinking he’d figured out how to make contact on a consistent basis was out of his/her mind.

  25. Trish says:

    I’ve been following Nick since he was with the A’s and yeah, expecting him to bat .300 is ludicrous. As was mentioned elsewhere you’ll never see someone get struck out so much on called Ks; he gets caught looking a LOT. He’s not a great outfielder either although he’s a very good first baseman. As far as 2008 goes he started cold and got worse as the season went on so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to the current situation. However, stuff he does off the field may also be playing into this. His partying was legend in Oakland and continued into Chicago, so I can only imagine what kind of trouble he could get up to in New York.

  26. NC Saint says:

    Hard to get worked up about a 30 AB skid, and he has the Giambi silver-slump-lining of getting walks even when he’s awful. .143 ISOD during that awful stretch is pretty nasty.

  27. kavi shah says:

    HE IS HURT!!!! O’Neil got nailed on the elbow and when into a 6 week nasty slump. Completely throws off your timing because you can’t move your lead arm with the same speed.

  28. [...] A tale of two Swishers / Around the horn: New York, New York [...]

  29. Mr.Jones says:

    I must admit thisisdavid makes a valid point. Derek Jeter’s consistent decline is the elephant in the room at this point. Anything hit up the middle to DJ is almost assuredly going into the outfield. In addition to his hitting being subpar and the fact that he is a lead off hitter with an abysmal OBP of .342.
    He hasn’t won a world series since 2000 and not coincidentally when the core Yankees like Paul O’Neil and Brosius left.
    He has no range, no power, no batting average, no on base abilities. Most overrated player in baseball history and you are complaining about Nick Swisher who has 2x the amount of home runs as Jeter does??
    Come on RAB be an individual and start discussing the real issues with this team. We pay an average player $20 million a year? You know what kind of pitching and position players you could get for that?
    I agree DJ was great in the 90s but it is 2009 and I want to win now. Live in the present, Past is prologue.

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