Despite being in first place, the Yankees have dealt with subpar performances by some players in their lineup, most notably Nick Swisher. Swisher is off to a dreadful start batting .208 with 2 home runs and 19 RBIs through 48 games. Those numbers projected over the entire season would give him 7 home runs and 64 RBIs.
Swisher’s downfall began last post season as he batted .091 with 1 home run and 1 RBI. Swisher’s poor play was a major reason why the Yankees were knocked out of the ALCS by Texas. It was very shocking to see him play so poor considering having one of his best seasons batting .288 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs.
I understand Swisher is popular with the fans and the team, but the Yankees will only tolerate his poor play for so long. They can’t afford to get no production from their starting right fielder and will not be patient. We have seen the Yankees in the past banish an ineffective starter, so it would shock no one to see it happen to Swisher.
If Swisher continues his poor play, the Yankees will consider looking for a replacement in the trade market. A name to look out for is right fielder Jason Kubel of Minnesota. Kubel’s name was discussed this week on WFAN between Mike Francesa and MLB Networks Peter Gammons.
Minnesota is off to a horrendous 16-32 start and are in last place in the AL Central, 14.5 games behind first place Cleveland. Minnesota is known for their second half comebacks, but they might have put themselves too far behind the eight ball this season.
Kubel is a quality left handed bat and would be a perfect fit in Yankee Stadium, similar to Curtis Granderson. Kubel is one of the few Twins who is having a good season, batting .313 with 5 home runs and 25 RBIs. Kubel is also a free agent at the end of the season and it will be difficult for Minnesota to give him big money after the huge contract they gave to Joe Mauer. This will only increase the chance of Minnesota trading him. Additionally, we all know money is no issue for the Yankees and they can afford anyone. Kubel is only 29 and could be someone the Yankees want playing right field for the next couple of years. Nick Swisher better watch out.
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