Swisher Has To Lead With His Bat Not Just His Mouth This Season

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Ohio native Nick Swisher is the highest paid Indians player in the history of the organization. There is no disputing the attributes that the Veteran Swisher has brought to the Cleveland Indians. It is true that the he is a huge part of this team’s very healthy and loose clubhouse and that correlates because the Tribe clubhouse has a great deal to do with the winning identity that they created last season. Swisher is a vital part of this team and despite that fact that his numbers were down in 2013, batting .246 and only driving in 63 runs, the Indians rallied there way to the post-season.

So far in 2014, Nick has somehow found a way to look even worse at the plate than he did last season. He looks to be out of shape and very lost at the plate. There have been at bats in which he appears to not even have a chance, swinging at pitches out if the strike zone while falling off balanced all over the batter’s box. Opposing pitchers are catching on and throwing Swisher off-speed pitches down in the zone, which he seems completely baffled by. So far Swisher is batting .164 with 14 strikeouts in 61 at-bats. He has 10 hits so far and 7 RBI’s.

It is the RBI’s that matter when it comes to Swisher. He has to be a guy that drives in 80 runs for this team. He had 80 plus RBI’s in the 4 previous seasons prior to arriving in Cleveland and he has hit 90 plus RBI’s twice in his career. He can hit .250 all year as long as he drives in runs and goes deep 20 times. That is what Chris Antonetti signed him to do and even though his lower than normal hitting numbers were overshadowed by the teams success in 2013, it won’t happen the same way again this year. I believe Swisher will come around and be the hitter that we thought he was but as of right now he is doing this lineup a disservice at the plate. So far, what we have seen in a just over a year of baseball is just flashes of what we expected. The 2014 season could be another memorable one for the Indians but Swisher’s biggest contribution cannot just be his leadership again, this year he needs to get it done with his bat as well.

By: Brad Ward

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