Ever since Nick Swisher joined the Yankees in 2009 following his ugly season in the South Side of Chicago in 2008, he's been a rock in all phases of the game. His durability has been huge for the Yankees as he's played 150 games three straight seasons for the Bombers, as well as his go-lucky personality to help keep everyone in the clubhouse loose. Swisher's contract is up at the conclusion of the 2012 season, and in all honesty, I think it'd be a mistake if this was his last season.
Last season with the Yankees, Swisher hit .260/.374/.449 (Average/On-Base/Slugging) while hitting 23 homers and driving in 85 runs. It wasn't as good as his 2010 All-Star season in which he hit .288/.359/.511 with 29 homers and 89 RBI, but considering his .374 OBP in 2011 was best on the Yankees, I'd say it's a mighty fine year. Defensively, Swisher was at his best in 2011. He had a career best 8.0 UZR, while compiling nine outfield assists. He may not look real pretty out there defensively, but in 2011 Swisher got the job done.
Now, unfortunately Swisher in the postseason is a different animal. In his career Swisher is a .169/.295/.323 hitter with four home runs and six RBI in 38 career playoff games. Last season he hit .211/.250/.368 in the five game ALDS against Detroit. Now, I know what you're thinking, the postseason is everything in New York and if you can't hit in the postseason you'll eventually be run out of town no matter what you do in the regular season. To me, that's ridiculous. Remember, prior to the 2010 postseason Robinson Cano was awful, hitting .211/.276/.358 with two homers and 14 RBI in 28 games from the 2005 playoffs through the 2009 World Series. As you know, he turned it around. And don't forget, you have to get to the postseason first, and Swisher has been very solid in the regular season. If you want a replacement, fine, but don't sit here and tell me that the replacement will magically hit better than Swisher in the playoffs. For all we know, the new guy can go 0-for-4 every game with 4 K's. It's such a small sample for Swisher in the postseason that we shouldn't jump to conclusions just yet.Anyway, I believe Swisher has a shot to get back to the All-Star level he reached in 2010. Like I said, this is the last year of his deal and there is a chance it could be his last year, although I'm not in favor of him leaving. At 31 years of age, Swisher still has a few peak seasons left to land him a big contract if he produces solid numbers in 2012.
--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer
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