• What To Expect From Nick Swisher?

    Posted by on March 25th, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Many Yankees fan think they know what to expect from Nick Swisher this season based on his past statistics and/or some gut feeling – myself included. However, doesn’t it make more sense to get an opinion from someone who has seen Swisher play – and seen that often? To that end, I reached out to a couple of fellow bloggers who had more exposure to Swisher’s performance. And, here’s what they had to say…

    First up is Nico from Athletics Nation:

    Fans should not expect Nick Swisher to be as good as the 35 HR slugger he was with the A’s in 2006, nor as bad as the .219 hitter he was with the White Sox in 2008.

    What Swisher is, as far as I’m concerned, is about a .250/.350 [BA/OBP] hitter good for about 25 HRs, who can play an excellent 1B and a solid corner OF but who is really stretched if he tries to play CF.

    I’ve never thought Swisher was a premier talent, but he can be a productive player and in the clubhouse he is certainly a lively and fun presence whose energy seems to work well for most teammates.

    And, next is Jim from Sox Machine:

    The Swisher era still confuses me.

    For one, he blamed his woes partially on batting leadoff, which he’d never done before. But… he was awesome in his first two weeks leading off, and then again in June, well after Ozzie dropped him down in the order. Even if hitting first truly freaked him out, there’s no reason for the second two-month crash.

    And while he hit a lot of line drives right at people in the first half, after the break, he had huge problems taking the bat off his shoulder. At one point in September, he struck out looking in three consecutive at-bats. Against J.P. Howell in the ALDS, he worked a 3-0 count, then proceeded to watch three strikes to end the inning. So while sabermetricians will look at his line-drive rate and stamp him “unlucky,” it ain’t that easy.

    There’s a good chance he’s a useful player. He can play the corner spots just fine, and while he’s a below-average center fielder, he can be out there for a week and you might not notice. He has range at first, but falls on his ass a lot in unsuccessful scoop attempts.

    But his personality is probably what packed his bags. Armchair psychologist: He’s manic, and wants to say awesome things (he was pumped to bat first at the start of the season) while having an awesome time. When things aren’t awesome, he’ll still act like it (he smiles and nods after called strikes) until it becomes awesome again. Losing playing time to Dewayne Wise and Ken Griffey Jr. finally smashed the facade. If Teixeira and Nady take his ABs, it’ll be interested to see if he’s adjusted, or if he’ll pout again. He’s saying 2008 humbled him, but that’s just the awesome thing to say right now.

    Very interesting stuff here, huh? My thanks to Nico and Jim for this insight.

    Will Swisher be a productive player or a pouter for the Yankees? It seems he’s capable of being one or the other. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

    Comments on What To Expect From Nick Swisher?

    1. March 25th, 2009 | 7:56 am

      He’s manic, and wants to say awesome things (he was pumped to bat first at the start of the season) while having an awesome time. When things aren’t awesome, he’ll still act like it (he smiles and nods after called strikes) until it becomes awesome again
      ===================

      Nick Swisher = Captain Awesome.

    2. MJ
      March 25th, 2009 | 8:36 am

      I’ll take the words of the Sox blogger with a grain of salt since it’s hard to judge a player who is playing on a team where he is not wanted.

      By the way, I’m getting the distinct feeling that Swisher ’09 is turning into Hughes ’08 on this blog.

    3. YankCrank
      March 25th, 2009 | 9:16 am

      What kind of year to expect from Swisher? I think a bunch of readers have stated they expect a bounce-back to career average which is pretty much what the A’s blogger said. It makes sense, considering nobody ever reasonably says that they expect a down year or a year with abnormal production. If Swish got 500+ at bats and did his usual .250 BA, 800 OPS and 25 dingers i’d be very happy. That’s essentially Giambi’s production minus a couple home runs but with far better defense.

      As for the Sox blogger, I see his points. Swisher just didn’t fit in with the Sox and by the year was over, he was benched and the manager was publicly bashing him. That blogger, like most Sox fans, expected a hell-of-a-lot out of Swish considering all the top prospects they gave up to get him. Do some players not fit into a certain system? Yeah, I mean..ask players from the Diamondbacks and Mariners what they think of Randy Johnson then ask a Yankee fan. I imagine you’d get two completely different opinions.

    4. March 25th, 2009 | 9:27 am

      MJ wrote:

      By the way, I’m getting the distinct feeling that Swisher ‘09 is turning into Hughes ‘08 on this blog.

      In the sense that MJ will whine every time I don’t genuflect over one of his favorite Yankees, yeah, sure, it’s the same thing. ;-)

      J/K MJ.

    5. Corey
      March 25th, 2009 | 9:31 am

      swish should really give andy samberg a call

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awesometown)

    6. MJ
      March 25th, 2009 | 9:34 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      MJ wrote:
      By the way, I’m getting the distinct feeling that Swisher ‘09 is turning into Hughes ‘08 on this blog.
      In the sense that MJ will whine every time I don’t genuflect over one of his favorite Yankees, yeah, sure, it’s the same thing.
      J/K MJ.

      Swisher is by no means one of my favorite Yankees so I don’t give a crap if you bash him as irrationally as you do all the other guys on your hit list. I’m making an observation is all.

    7. March 25th, 2009 | 9:58 am

      Well, since you “irrationally” hate Nady so much, I thought that made you a Swisher fan by default. ;-)

    8. YankCrank
      March 25th, 2009 | 10:14 am

      Speaking of players who are known as whiners and babies, our very own JoPo (my fav. Yankee) so i’m not bashing him) publicly whined like a baby until he was the full-time starter in 2000. Some players just don’t like taking a back seat to others.
      I imagine when Swish went through some struggles as a lead off hitter and CF (which he none of), was benched, saw a rookie and a 90-year-old outfielder take his at bats and saw his manager blast him to the papers, he wasn’t going to be too happy.

    9. butchie22
      March 25th, 2009 | 10:32 am

      Steve, thanks for posting this stuff. You can’t imagine how many Yankee fans thought Arod was totally awesome until he came here and the results have been mixed. Swisher is an OK player, but is really not a great player. The BS about him not being wanted in Pale Hose Country is complete bunk. Chicago is tougher to play in than Oakland is and what happened? And NYC is tougher than Chicago, so what complaints now? Swish is personality wise like a Giambi JR,but not production wise! I don’t expect much from him, reading the Chitown papers and radio. He faltered in a higher pressure environment and that worries me. BUT if the As blogger is right about him being somewhat decent,he will be an excellent guy to have off the bench or maybe even play every other day BUT I’m not holding my breath……….

    10. MJ
      March 25th, 2009 | 10:39 am

      1) You can’t imagine how many Yankee fans thought Arod was totally awesome until he came here and the results have been mixed.

      2) The BS about him not being wanted in Pale Hose Country is complete bunk. Chicago is tougher to play in than Oakland is and what happened? And NYC is tougher than Chicago, so what complaints now?
      ———
      1) Um, two MVP’s in five seasons and the best player on the team BY FAR in all five equals mixed results? Butchie, seriously?

      2) There’s no such thing as “tough place to play.” This is a media/fan fabrication in order to fluff ourselves up into thinking that we’re better than other cities. Swisher didn’t have a bad season in 2008 because Chicago was a harder place to play than Oakland. That’s just patently ridiculous.

    11. YankCrank
      March 25th, 2009 | 10:54 am

      The BS about him not being wanted in Pale Hose Country is complete bunk. Chicago is tougher to play in than Oakland is and what happened? And NYC is tougher than Chicago, so what complaints now?
      —–

      Butchie, come on. Tougher to play? What about the city of Chicago is tougher than Oakland? 15 more beat writers? How about the fact Swish helped the A’s to the 2006 ALCS and played in “tough” high leverage playoff games?

      Also, how can you drag A-Rod into this argument? This is just an example of all the negative crap that rains on A-Rod when all he does is far exceed the output of any other player in a Yankee uniform; in all five years he’s been here. His “mixed results” are two MVPs in five years…how can we complain about that?

    12. YankCrank
      March 25th, 2009 | 11:18 am

      Dayn Perry of FoxSports chimed in today on what the Yanks need to do to win this year:

      Yankees — The Yanks need health from A.J. Burnett, a quick return from Alex Rodriguez, as many ABs as possible for Nick Swisher (he should be the starting right fielder), a rebound season from Robinson Cano, and met expectations from CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.

    13. butchie22
      March 25th, 2009 | 1:45 pm

      MJ wrote:

      1) You can’t imagine how many Yankee fans thought Arod was totally awesome until he came here and the results have been mixed.
      2) The BS about him not being wanted in Pale Hose Country is complete bunk. Chicago is tougher to play in than Oakland is and what happened? And NYC is tougher than Chicago, so what complaints now?
      ———
      1) Um, two MVP’s in five seasons and the best player on the team BY FAR in all five equals mixed results? Butchie, seriously?
      2) There’s no such thing as “tough place to play.” This is a media/fan fabrication in order to fluff ourselves up into thinking that we’re better than other cities. Swisher didn’t have a bad season in 2008 because Chicago was a harder place to play than Oakland. That’s just patently ridiculous.

      1 MJ , do you remember how many Yankee fans booed this guy and for how long? You might be kidding me now. I have admitted that Arod has been very productive and he had such a stellar 2007 he helped the team make it in to October. BUt how is he in the clutch? The perception is that he hasn’t been that great relative to other players.Correct? My point is that while,I value Arods production, his contributions have ultimately have been seens by some fans as part of the problem, not the solutions. ONce agin, reference the fans who couldn’t stop booing Aroid AT HOME! I wasn’t one of them ,but I’m satrating to tire of his off the field issues and the like…..
      2 MJ, your assertion that there is no harder place to play is patently ridiculous! You are kidding right? Just ask the casualities of all the people who couldn’t make it in NYC for example like Contreras,Brown, Vazquez,Pavano etc so on. It’s musch tougher to play in a market where people cheer and jeer at a moment’s notice and are actually passionate about the game. IN NYC, you have a gazillion reporters asking questions all the time and extremely unhomerish radio whereas in a smaller market the press is sometimes two guys! If you really believe what you said, then I have a bridge for sale in the Brooklyn as well! That was a bunch of balderdash! You must have never heard a baseball game called in a Midwestern city or a Western city, they are so homerish and not critical on the team in the same way they are here. Here in NYC, the play by play people are expected to be critical and upfront, so you think that someone like Milton Bradley could make it here without attacking a newspaper or radio guy?? There is a certain breed of player that thrives under the spotlight in NYC and there are some that shrivel……..

    14. butchie22
      March 25th, 2009 | 1:55 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Dayn Perry of FoxSports chimed in today on what the Yanks need to do to win this year:
      Yankees — The Yanks need health from A.J. Burnett, a quick return from Alex Rodriguez, as many ABs as possible for Nick Swisher (he should be the starting right fielder), a rebound season from Robinson Cano, and met expectations from CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.

      Crank, these are really no-brainers as far as I’m concerned. No I’m not a Swish fan BUT they will try to fit him in somehow.If Nady doesn’t cut it, that have a go to guy in Swish. Burnit? It’s up to him. He has tons of ability and hopefully he can stay healthy, but judging from his past that remains a question mark.I’m bearish on Cano, he seems to need an attack dog to wake him up.They even tried to get Bowa back to be said attack dog.Hopefully CC and Teix will be up for the jobs required of them…….

    15. YankeesBrokeMyHeart
      March 26th, 2009 | 12:01 am

      Hi all, new to the blog, and it’s a godsend, so many others are just handjobs for Cashman and Jeter and the rest.

      I live in Sox country and can tell you that Swisher was a total malcontent. Guillen basically had no choice but to shut him down because he was so miserable, and then Swisher disrespected Ozzie to the press. Not cool. Really a bad signing, coulda had Edmonds for some depth.

    16. May 20th, 2009 | 10:02 am

      [...] if that happens, will Swisher pout the way that he did in Chicago last [...]

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