Every team has that one player on it that players either love to play alongside or despise playing against. The Yankees have one on their team and his name is Nick Swisher. Love him or hate him, one thing is clear and that’s Swisher love for being a Yankee. If it’s in right field or at first base, since being inserted into the second spot in the lineup Swisher’s bat has come alive at a critical time for the Yankees.
Swisher continued his hot and timely hitting last night with an RBI-single that contributed to a 2-1 Yankees victory over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays. He’s clearly been the Yankees hottest hitter during the month of August. Since being moved into the No. 2 spot in the lineup on August 8th, Swisher is batting .342 with six home runs and 20 RBI.
If timing is everything then this hot streak from Swisher couldn’t have come at a more appropiate point in the 2012 season. The Yankees are in the midst of a stretch run that has them playing 22 straight games against division opponents. What makes things even more complicated is the rash of injuries that’s troubled them this year seems as if it won’t clear up anytime soon. First baseman Mark Teixeira and his team-leading 81 RBI is currently sidelined with another ailment. Swisher’s bat and glove have proven to be invaluable to the team this year.
Swisher is one of those players who can be looked at as someone who leaves it all out on the field. His facial expressions at the plate can be a range of emotions to look at yet shows how passionate he is about the game.
The Yankees have needed Swisher’s production this year to offset the injury hits to their team depth. He’s going to get the chance to see where his value truly lies after the season when he becomes a free agent. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson will be up for new contracts within the next couple of years and the Yankees are going to have to choose between bringing Swisher back in 2013 for a price that’s logical for both sides or parting ways with him and moving on.
Swisher’s skill set will be tough for the Yankees to discount when making their decision. He hits for power, plays a solid right field, and steps in admirably at first base when called on. He also seems to just be the kind of fun-loving and free-spirited ballplayer that even a business-minded team such as the Yankees needs to have in their clubhouse. If it was up to me, I’d find a way to make sure he’s in the 2013 Opening Day lineup.
In the meantime, the Yankees are in a dogfight to hold onto first place in their division and Swisher’s continued production will be needed.