Via mlb.com -
In his final swing of batting practice, Nick Swisher hit a popup into the roof of the batting cage. After dejectedly tossing away his bat, he went to gather the loose balls strewn over the field. Then he got ready to rest for the second straight day.
Swisher, who had started 41 of the Yankees’ first 44 games, sat out Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays. Chris Dickerson started in his place in right field.
For manager Joe Girardi, Swisher’s struggles — especially from the left side of the plate — triggered the decision to give the right fielder an extended rest.
“His left-handed swing has been a struggle,” Girardi said of the switch-hitter. “I figured it would be a good time to give him a couple of days to just take a deep breath. He’s important to us.”
Swisher is hitting .214 with a .330 on-base percentage and two home runs in 176 plate appearances. As a left-handed batter, those numbers drop to .170 with a .305 OBP, though both homers have come from that side of the plate.
“I don’t know, I’m not really a numbers guy,” Swisher said. “I don’t really check it out. Obviously, left-handed I don’t know if I’m doing that well. But hey, so what? I know I can hit left-handed, I’ve done it, I’ve proved it year in and year out. So I’m not really worried about it.”
For his career, Swisher is a .251 hitter with a .356 OBP, but his power has been glaringly absent this season. The owner of a lifetime .462 slugging percentage, he has posted a .303 mark this season.
With Swisher, I always think back to those reports when he was with the A’s – about him spending $1,000 on vodka at a club in New York in 2006. The dude is a party animal. I wonder if this has anything to do with his performance this year? Then again, he was just fine in 2009 and 2010. So, it would seem strange if it’s suddenly an issue now.