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Swisher beginning to look like his old self

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 06, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Mark Teixeira kept hitting go-ahead home runs, Derek Jeter kept pulling closer to the 3,000-hit milestone and CC Sabathia twice reasserted himself as one of the game’s most reliable No. 1 starters. A lot of Yankees played well during the team’s nine-game road trip along the West Coast, and that’s part of what made the trip so successful.

But individually, it seems no one needed that success more than Nick Swisher.

When this trip started, Swisher was a legitimate concern. He had been essentially benched during the previous home stand, and he was hitless in his previous four starts. Then he had a hit in eight of nine games during the road trip. He also drew his share of walks and hit three home runs, more than doubling his season total.

“I haven’t even thought about it, which is crazy,” Swisher said. “I’m so much better when I don’t try. I think sometimes when you do try too much, things go south. For myself, I’ve just been working on that mental side of the game and just really trying to fight and scratch and claw my way out of there.”

There’s always a temptation to replace any player who struggles for an extended period of time, but the best-case scenario always involves really good players remembering how to be really good again.

“He’s swung the bat great,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s swinging like he did last year. You’re seeing the ball jump off his bat. You’re seeing him go the other way. You’re seeing him pull balls. You’re seeing him hit the ball all over the place and he looks like he did before.”

Associated Press photo

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52 Responses to “Swisher beginning to look like his old self”

  1. Joe from Long Island June 6th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Jorge, are you listening?

  2. West Coast Yankee Fan June 6th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Pat M. June 6th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    WCYF….I think the issue with Robertson, whom I’ve always liked, is when he comes in during an inning…..And the same goes for Joba, as both guys I think are better when they begin an inning as opposed to taking the ball from Giradi…..I’ll be prepared to be shown something that will attempt to disprove my comment…..However from watching the first near 60 games my take is the pen has been very good but yet can implode and will do more so now that it’s just Robertson and Joba brunting the increasing load.

    *******************

    That seems to be true; it’s harder to come in during an inning than to start one. I’m sure it has to do with men being on base and all that comes with that.

    To me workload is the obvious concern in the future with Soriano not being in the mix. Assuming Mo can only go one, you need your starters to go at least six although both Joba and Robertson can go two occasionally. That’s not going to happen all the time – we need Ayala or Noesi or someone to fill that first middle reliever well.

  3. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    If Girardi wants to bring Robertson into in an inning, he should always do it 1 batter before he inevitably does. Robertson’s walk rate means he needs wiggle room incase he walks a batter inbetween 2 strike outs. He could succeed as a closer because he’d often come into innings clean, though he’d probably end up throwing a lot of pitches so I don’t know if he could be like Mo, who’d sometimes get 4 or 5 games in a week with little rest.

  4. SoS June 6th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Jerkface,
    Option #2 would be to have Robertson wear blinders and have the catcher tell him that the bases are loaded.

  5. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Funny.

  6. RS June 6th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I just wish we’d see more of Noesi. I know he’s a starting pitcher so we can’t use him like we use Robertson to come into the middle of jams, but can we at least try to build an Aceves-type role for him?

    I think Noesi has more talent and much higher upside as a reliever than Ayala, Logan, and Pendleton. Yet we see the former two in higher leverage situations. I think if the Yankees only plan to use Noesi once every 10 days in a blowout (or the last man in an extra-inning game), they might as well leave him in Scranton to further develop as a starter. Instead, I want to see more of what he can offer to the bullpen. His high strikeout rate and low walk rate are intriguing enough, and then you factor in the velocity increase from pitching in short spurts, and you might have something special on your hands.

  7. SoS June 6th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Back up Catchers that have hit better than Cervelli.

    Flaherty
    Mohler
    Molina
    Nieves
    Green
    Girardi
    Pornstache
    Bat boy

    Why is he still taking up a roster spot?

  8. RS June 6th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I actually think Robertson has pitched better coming into jams than he does with the bases empty. When he has room to breathe, I think he tries to be too fine with his pitches. With the bases loaded, he’s forced to throw strikes and his stuff is good enough that he can get away with pounding the middle of the plate.

  9. Rich in NJ June 6th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    From the prior thread:

    Pat

    It’s not that comfortable with Logan, it’s that I think trading for what are primarily LOOGYs usually means drastically overpaying for a reliever that is usually up and down.

    I think Roberston can handle LHB.

  10. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I actually think Robertson has pitched better coming into jams than he does with the bases empty.

    With men on he doesnt give up a lot of hits, but he walks more. With the bases empty he gives up more hits and walks slightly less. The good thing about bringing him in with the bases empty is that if he gives up hits its suddenly a men on situation :)

  11. Tom in N.J. June 6th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Brett Anderson leaves A’s to have elbow examined

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports......-examined/

  12. blake June 6th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Pat M,

    Biggest concern for me with the pen right now is that Joba and Rob are going to get worn down. Girardi is having to lean on them pretty heavy with Soriano out.

  13. SoS June 6th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Rivera needs 26 more saves to be the all time leader. That makes it 42 (his number) to tie it.

    OVER/UNDER 42?

    I say over.

  14. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    the way this year is going I’d take the over.

  15. RS June 6th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I’ll take the over as well, hoping that all these 1-run losses will turn into 1-run victories soon

  16. Rich in NJ June 6th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    As for the pen, let Noesi prove that he can’t handle a bigger role.`

  17. Vineyard Yankee June 6th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    With the 51st pick in the draft tonite is that due to signing Soriano ? We forfeited our 1st round pick to the Rays and now pick 51st ?

  18. UnKnown June 6th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    If Anderson is done that will do it for the A’s this year. I don’t really see them winning that division even if the elbow thing doesn’t turn out to be a huge problem.
    I suppose when really getting a great look at all of the teams in the West, I would have to go with the Rangers to win that division. Not as much pitching as some other squads but man they can hit.

  19. Melk Man June 6th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    “As for the pen, let Noesi prove that he can’t handle a bigger role.`”

    Can’t risk blowing games in the process though. At least we know Ayala can be solid and steady in a 6th inning/mild leverage role.

  20. SoS June 6th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Trade deadline comes and we can only pull the trigger on one deal. Which deal would you go for?

    DH
    RF
    BULLPEN
    STARTER
    BUC

    I go DH. Assuming Montero stays down till September. Added bonus if he can also play the outfield.

  21. Vineyard Yankee June 6th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Starter. You can never have enough pitching.

  22. Rich in NJ June 6th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    “Can’t risk blowing games in the process though. At least we know Ayala can be solid and steady in a 6th inning/mild leverage role.”

    Based on his career, there is no reason to expect Ayala to be solid.

    You can risk losing one game with a young pitcher. There is no other way to develop young pitchers.

  23. tyanksfan36 June 6th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Vineyard Yankee says:

    June 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    With the 51st pick in the draft tonite is that due to signing Soriano ? We forfeited our 1st round pick to the Rays and now pick 51st ?

    I believe we get the 51st pick because of Javier Vazquez. Kinda like when we lost Pettitte they gave us a compensation pick.

  24. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    As for the pen, let Noesi prove that he can’t handle a bigger role.`

    I think with his assortment of pitches and command he could be a lot like Aceves circa 2009.

  25. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Yankees lost their 1st pick due to Soriano but got a compensation pick for Vazquez.

  26. Tom in N.J. June 6th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I’m all for giving Noesi an expanded roll.

  27. joeman June 6th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    could Big Z be option at this point ? just asking

  28. RS June 6th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I think Zambrano is too big of a risk. You might take the volatile attitude if he was a lights-out ace but he’s not, and the Cubs are only going to sell him as a high-end starter.

  29. Vineyard Yankee June 6th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks all. So actually our first pick the Rays have for our signing Soriano and the 51st pick we have is from the Marlins for them signing Vazquez.

  30. Erin June 6th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    pcaldera Since May 14, Yankee relievers are 1.49 ERA in 54.1 innings. Since May 17, Yankee starters are 11-3, with a 2.94 ERA.

  31. joeman June 6th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    # RS June 6th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I think Zambrano is too big of a risk. You might take the volatile attitude if he was a lights-out ace but he’s not, and the Cubs are only going to sell him as a high-end starter.
    ————————————–
    30 years old

    pitched 11 seasons..121 & 76 only had two losing seasons with a NL type 3.52 era….on the fence about him though

  32. blake June 6th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Yes so we should be thankful to Javy for agreeing to decline arbitration or we wouldn’t pick until even later.

  33. Rich in NJ June 6th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    There is no way I would take on Zambrano’s contract without a 75% offset, which won’t happen. The Yankees aren’t desperate for pitching, to the contrary, it’s a strength.

  34. SoS June 6th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I would sign Zambrano if he would agree to have a pay per view cage match fight vs. Soriano. His sparring partner would be none other than Cervelli(we would have Pena as an emergency catcher if need be). I think the Yankees should look into it. With the PPV money it would offset whats owed to him. My monies on Z by tap out (front 2 hand choke).

  35. RhapsodyInBlue June 6th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Zambrano could bunk with Soriano.

  36. blake June 6th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I don’t think the Yanks should make a pitching move unless the guy is a true upgrade…..

  37. Erin June 6th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    BryanHoch Andy Pettitte on 1050 ESPN right now … sounds very happy in retirement. Not sure if he wants to play in Old-Timers Day game yet.

  38. Erin June 6th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    RhapsodyInBlue June 6th, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    Zambrano could bunk with Soriano.

    *********************

    Now that would be an interesting combo. :lol:

  39. Tom in N.J. June 6th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Hughes coming back could be a bigger shot-in-the-arm than anything they’d get via trade.

  40. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    The weakest point in the rotation right now is Ivan Nova, and he has upside potential. There is no evident weak link that makes upgrading necessary. They should only make a move if they get a very good pitcher currently performing (costly) or someone that will be around next year with good potential (reclamation case like liriano or danks)

  41. Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Tom is right, Hughes might be better than any trade because we know he can perform (first half last year, portions of the second half, postseason vs twins) and he doesnt have a cost associated with bringing him in. That frees up assets to either help the yankees or be traded for even more help.

    Another quality reliever to handle the 6th/7th would be good.

  42. Tom in N.J. June 6th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Good read on Danks from fangraphs:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....tching-on/

  43. austinmac June 6th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I agree that I don’t want to see prospects go for players who aren’t clear upgrades. Zambrano, Cuddyer and the like have as good a chance to be worse than what they already have as they be have to be better. They are too expensive to be spare parts.

  44. Yankee Trader June 6th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    If the Yankees want to go inhouse for a reliever, add Whelan to the 40 man and bring him up. Then promote Tim Noton to AAA. Both are pitching extremely well and can get lefties out.

    If looking for a left handed reliever on a team that’s struggling, then,I’d like Sean Marshall of the Cubs, who would probably not be available.

    If you want a starter, would the Cubs deal Matt Garza, whose already proved he can pitch in AL East?

  45. RadioKev June 6th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The combo of that headline and that photo is brilliant.

  46. hardwired7 June 6th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    SoS June 6th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Back up Catchers that have hit better than Cervelli.


    Nieves

    __________________

    I have to call shenanigans on this one. Nieves w/the Yanks:

    .141/.164/.197

    about as bad as it gets.

  47. RadioKev June 6th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I really don’t think this Yankee team needs many upgrades at all. They have the pieces they need in the line up. The rotation so far has been fine, and should be better with Hughes in the mix, and we’ve got more arms and Jesus Montero in the minor leagues.

    Off the top of my head I can’t think of any viable option that would be worth a trade. Another lefty in the pen, I suppose.

  48. blake June 6th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Is the sandwich round tonight as well?

  49. Nilsson June 6th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Sometimes I wonder how Cervelli would have turned out had he not missed normal development time at AA and AAA.

  50. Niblick June 6th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Ramiro Pena has a better OPS in Scranton this year than Montero.

  51. Yankee Trader June 6th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Blake-

    I would think theyll have the sandwich picks tonight. I believe the entire draft lasts thru this Wednesday after the last pick #1530.

  52. joeman June 6th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    # Jerkface June 6th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Tom is right, Hughes might be better than any trade because we know he can perform (first half last year, portions of the second half, postseason vs twins) and he doesnt have a cost associated with bringing him in. That frees up assets to either help the yankees or be traded for even more help.

    Another quality reliever to handle the 6th/7th would be good.
    ———————————
    got one Nova

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