Thursday, February 19, 2009

Swisher vs. Nady: The Battle Continues

Since the Yankees are still holding onto both Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady, a big question to be answered in spring training is who will win the right field starting role. I've heard different ideas including a regular rotation of outfielders to keep everyone fresh, but if it comes down to it, Girardi will need to decide which of these players will play right, and which will play off the bench. Both of these players are every day players, and both are very talented. Let's see how their numbers match up.

Last season Nady hit career highs in several different offensive categories. He had a .305 average with 25 homeruns, and 97 RBI's splitting time between the Pirates and the Yankees. Swisher on the other had hit career lows in nearly all categories batting .219 with 24 homeruns and 69 RBI's. Nady strikes out a lot, and doesn't draw many walks while Swisher strikes out a lot, AND takes a lot of walks. Swisher is a career .244 hitter who averages about 25 homeruns a season. Nady has been consistantly growing as a player despite switching teams 4 times in the last 8 years. Last season was his first in the American league though not his first in New York as he had a stint with the Mets before being traded to the Pirates. Nady who is in his last year of arbitration, and will be a free agent after this season has all the reason in the world to mash the ball. Swisher, who has a few years under contract, is looking to bounce back from a dissapointing season. So who wins? If I had to guess, Nady will be our opening day right fielder, unless injuries say otherwise. Swisher will find playing time since injuries are pretty much a guarantee each year, and he can play both corner outfield spots as well as first base.

The most compelling idea I've heard with a rotating outfield I think came from Peter Abraham, but cannot really remember. The idea was to have a rotation between Matsui, Damon, Nady, and Swisher where one of them rests, while the others play. That way, each of them plays three days, and rests one day. When Matsui rests, one of them will get the benefit of DH'ing for a day as well. I think this sort of thing could work, but I doubt Girardi would adopt it. After all, if one of them gets hot you're not going to bench them for a game for the sake of a rotation.


Unknown said...

Seriously, why has Swisher not volunteered to play center field? I know he prefers not to play there, but he's certainly capable and I'm sure playing center is more fun than sitting the bench. Plus, the lineup is SO much better with both Swisher and Nady than it is with Nady and Melky or Gardner. So, WTF?

Fernando Alejandro said...

I agree that the lineup is better with both of them in it, but he's not very good at centerfield. He's a big guy, and not particularly fast, so I'm not really sure why the White Sox had him play there in the first place. Defensively, we'd be way better off with Gardner of Melky playing.

Raven King said...

Ozzie put Swisher in CF instead of first base because they already had Paul Konerko.
And what bothers me is even if Swisher plays CF:
Nady + Swisher < Nady + Abreu
This team needs more power in the outfield.

Unknown said...

Raven King,

The problem is, Abreu fields his position about as well as that fat lady in Walmart with the motorized wheelchair/shopping cart.

Anonymous said...

From what I read yesterday, they're taking my advice and nailing Matsui's glove to the wall. That's A Good Thing.
I would like to see Gardner spend a lot of time down where he could get AB's every day, rather than sitting on the bench to scare Melky.
That would leave Damon and da Melk for CF, and Nady, Swisher and Damon for the corners.
And a bat on the bench. Bats on the bench are another Good Thing.

Hey! 2 weeks into Spring Training, and nobody's out til July with a pulled hammy from running to sign some kid's ball, nobody's arm has fallen off!
Thing's is lookin' good!


Raven King said...

I'm afraid Swisher is not very impressive in the outfield.
I'd love to have someone like Sizemore there.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Joe, yeah, the thought of Matsui being in the outfield is a little scary. This is his walk year, so we'll see how he does.

And I agree about Gardner. He may be better served hitting regularly than sitting on the bench and squeezing out 50 at bats all season.