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View Full Version : Nick Swisher: Behind the Music


Save McCuddy's
05-22-2008, 07:39 AM
Forgive me if I've missed a thread that handles this issue. I've searched, but other than the report card thread and several game thread rants I haven't found a substantive discussion on what is wrong with Swisher at the plate.

I am willing to grant him some slack for the challenges he faced early on playing center and leading off.

I also am not jumping down his throat for hitting .213 -- a month or two of hitting .290 will get him back to his career average.

But, Where is the power? 4 Hr's in 157 Ab's? This is disturbing. I had counted on his power numbers meeting or exceeding his Oakland days, but this is beginning to look like a 12 - 15 HR season. .250 with 12-15 is only acceptable out of a gold glove shortstop, catcher or a part-time player. At this point, I am not attributing the power shortage to a slump -- slow starts in BA are part of the game, but the home runs will usually be there despite an average swoon. Watching the games, I haven't seen anything from him that suggests he ever hit 35 Hr's before or ever will again.

What gives? Any theories out there?

turners56
05-22-2008, 08:31 AM
He's not hitting well in the first place. Plus, the whole batting lead-off thing didn't help his power production.

Craig Grebeck
05-22-2008, 08:45 AM
He has a .250 BABIP. It will come up -- he's been unlucky.

stacksedwards
05-22-2008, 09:45 AM
his music is the top gun song. o wait

TomBradley72
05-22-2008, 09:57 AM
I think asking him to lead off AND play CF has ****ed him up. He's a corner OF (ideally LF) and a 5/6 hitter in the line up. CF is much more physically demanding than the corners. With the make up of this team...I think he'll hit better if he's in a super sub role than trying to be an everyday CF.

Craig Grebeck
05-22-2008, 10:46 AM
I think asking him to lead off AND play CF has ****ed him up. He's a corner OF (ideally LF) and a 5/6 hitter in the line up. CF is much more physically demanding than the corners. With the make up of this team...I think he'll hit better if he's in a super sub role than trying to be an everyday CF.
Why on earth would you have him as a super-sub? There's no logical explanation for giving up your top 3 prospects in return for a sub. He has hit his entire career -- he's a solid ballplayer who (due to a poor/unlucky BABIP) has had a tough start to the season.

dickallen15
05-22-2008, 10:49 AM
Considering his home run totals have gone from 35 in 2006 to 22 in 2007 to 4 a little more than a quarter of the way through the season, in a bandbox, if he were on any team other than the White Sox, I'm sure what the conclusion as to why would be on this board.

kjhanson
05-22-2008, 10:56 AM
Considering his home run totals have gone from 35 in 2006 to 22 in 2007 to 4 a little more than a quarter of the way through the season, in a bandbox, if he were on any team other than the White Sox, I'm sure what the conclusion as to why would be on this board.

He had 61 extra base hits in 2006 and 59 in 2007.

VeeckAsInWreck
05-22-2008, 11:08 AM
Swish will be fine. Playing a position he is not used to may have some effect on him but he'll adjust.

Gammons Peter
05-22-2008, 11:53 AM
Swish looks thin like Victor Martinez, maybe they are on the same diet...

TomBradley72
05-22-2008, 12:05 PM
Why on earth would you have him as a super-sub? There's no logical explanation for giving up your top 3 prospects in return for a sub. He has hit his entire career -- he's a solid ballplayer who (due to a poor/unlucky BABIP) has had a tough start to the season.

I didn't make the trade. He's a career .250 hitter(who draws a decent # of walks) who IS NOT a CF. Attributing his poor performance to being unlucky is bull****. I'd rather have him playing 4-5X/week with a blend of all three OF positions, 1B and DH then playing a mediocre CF every day. He stills ends up playing 130 games...so it's not like he's riding the bench.

I just don't think a career .250 hitter playing out of position in CF is the best way to utilize what Swisher brings to the table.

Madscout
05-22-2008, 12:12 PM
I just don't think a career .250 hitter playing out of position in CF is the best way to utilize what Swisher brings to the table.
The sox have the power to change that next year, with one of our three main sluggers going out the door, we can make room for a CF through a trade, or use the talented defensivly sound CF we already have. Either way, with a move like that, we are younger, and we have an upswing in players who have not developed to their full potential.

SoxyStu
05-22-2008, 12:19 PM
He has a .250 BABIP. It will come up -- he's been unlucky.

How does his unlucky batting average of balls in play have anything to do with lack of homeruns? Can our opponents place a fielder in the stands to steal homeruns this year and he is unluckily hitting directly to that fielder?

He's been struggling and doing some on-the-fly learning.

Craig Grebeck
05-22-2008, 01:02 PM
I didn't make the trade. He's a career .250 hitter(who draws a decent # of walks) who IS NOT a CF. Attributing his poor performance to being unlucky is bull****. I'd rather have him playing 4-5X/week with a blend of all three OF positions, 1B and DH then playing a mediocre CF every day. He stills ends up playing 130 games...so it's not like he's riding the bench.

I just don't think a career .250 hitter playing out of position in CF is the best way to utilize what Swisher brings to the table.

I don't understand why you are so focused on dragging Swisher through the mud every chance you get. You mention his .250 BA but fail to acknowledge his 125/127 OPS+ the last two years -- or the fact that his OBP the last two seasons were .372/.381.

I'd also like to see one bit of evidence that says he is not a CF.

SaltyPretzel
05-22-2008, 01:49 PM
I'd also like to see one bit of evidence that says he is not a CF.

I guess you didn't watch the game last night. :smile:

TomBradley72
05-22-2008, 02:53 PM
I don't understand why you are so focused on dragging Swisher through the mud every chance you get. You mention his .250 BA but fail to acknowledge his 125/127 OPS+ the last two years -- or the fact that his OBP the last two seasons were .372/.381.

I'd also like to see one bit of evidence that says he is not a CF.

How is advocating for him to play in 130+ games "dragging him through the mud"? He has never been a regular CF in his career, many experts/commentators have stated he's playing out of position there (Steve Stone in particlular) and watching him play the position this year shows me that he COULD be an average CF...but not more than that.

In addition we are a somewhat older team (Thome, Dye, Konerko) who's middle of the order sluggers could use a weekly day off. Swish is the ideal guy to sub for them because he plays the corners very well, plays 1B well, and is a switch hitter which means he can help against tough lefties (Thome) or tough righties (Dye and Konerko).

Both Quentin(incredible start) and Anderson(.306 over the past 30 days, outstanding defense) have performed better than expected....so we have a crowded outfield situation. A nice problem to have. Putting all these variables together, IMO, the "super sub" role for him is the best option for the team. I may be wrong, but I'm not dragging him through the mud or ignoring his historic performance levels.

ChiTownTrojan
05-22-2008, 03:17 PM
How is advocating for him to play in 130+ games "dragging him through the mud"? He has never been a regular CF in his career, many experts/commentators have stated he's playing out of position there (Steve Stone in particlular) and watching him play the position this year shows me that he COULD be an average CF...but not more than that.

In addition we are a somewhat older team (Thome, Dye, Konerko) who's middle of the order sluggers could use a weekly day off. Swish is the ideal guy to sub for them because he plays the corners very well, plays 1B well, and is a switch hitter which means he can help against tough lefties (Thome) or tough righties (Dye and Konerko).

Both Quentin(incredible start) and Anderson(.306 over the past 30 days, outstanding defense) have performed better than expected....so we have a crowded outfield situation. A nice problem to have. Putting all these variables together, IMO, the "super sub" role for him is the best option for the team. I may be wrong, but I'm not dragging him through the mud or ignoring his historic performance levels.

If playing "out of position" in CF has messed Swisher up at the plate, then moving him to a super-sub role where he can't get comfortable anywhere is not going to help him. I agree that in theory he is the ideal candidate for such a job. He moved around a lot in Oakland, and that's what I envisioned him doing once he got here too. I just don't think it's the best way to get him to start hitting, which is what we really need out of him.

TomBradley72
05-22-2008, 03:32 PM
If playing "out of position" in CF has messed Swisher up at the plate, then moving him to a super-sub role where he can't get comfortable anywhere is not going to help him. I agree that in theory he is the ideal candidate for such a job. He moved around a lot in Oakland, and that's what I envisioned him doing once he got here too. I just don't think it's the best way to get him to start hitting, which is what we really need out of him.

I think you might be right...but it depends on what is more disruptive for Swish...rotating among positions he's played well and regularly in his career (corner OF and 1B) or playing every day in CF. I don't know the answer.

TDog
05-22-2008, 04:29 PM
He's not hitting well in the first place. Plus, the whole batting lead-off thing didn't help his power production.

Hitting first in the order for a time had absolutely nothing to do with nick Swisher's power production.

Craig Grebeck
05-22-2008, 04:51 PM
How is advocating for him to play in 130+ games "dragging him through the mud"? He has never been a regular CF in his career, many experts/commentators have stated he's playing out of position there (Steve Stone in particlular) and watching him play the position this year shows me that he COULD be an average CF...but not more than that.

In addition we are a somewhat older team (Thome, Dye, Konerko) who's middle of the order sluggers could use a weekly day off. Swish is the ideal guy to sub for them because he plays the corners very well, plays 1B well, and is a switch hitter which means he can help against tough lefties (Thome) or tough righties (Dye and Konerko).

Both Quentin(incredible start) and Anderson(.306 over the past 30 days, outstanding defense) have performed better than expected....so we have a crowded outfield situation. A nice problem to have. Putting all these variables together, IMO, the "super sub" role for him is the best option for the team. I may be wrong, but I'm not dragging him through the mud or ignoring his historic performance levels.
As previously mentioned, I don't buy the line of thinking that the best way for someone to improve their batting line is playing inconsistently. He has all the talent in the world and is better suited for a starting position.

ChiSoxFan7
05-22-2008, 04:56 PM
Hitting first in the order for a time had absolutely nothing to do with nick Swisher's power production.

I'm not a baseball connoisseur , i don't claim to be, but i thought that the leadoff spotmeans that you take alot more pitches, and have to approach batting differently then a 5/6 hitter (where i think swish should be).


But why do you think it doesnt b/c you probably know more about baseball than i do... so do elaborate.

Eddo144
05-22-2008, 05:56 PM
Hitting first in the order for a time had absolutely nothing to do with nick Swisher's power production.
I tend to disagree. It looked like his first priority when leading off was to see a lot of pitches and just get on base, not to drive the ball.

Now, whether that was the correct approach for him to take, I don't know.

TDog
05-22-2008, 06:08 PM
I'm not a baseball connoisseur , i don't claim to be, but i thought that the leadoff spotmeans that you take alot more pitches, and have to approach batting differently then a 5/6 hitter (where i think swish should be).


But why do you think it doesnt b/c you probably know more about baseball than i do... so do elaborate.

Nick Swisher's approach to hitting involves taking a lot of pitches. His focus on getting on base led to Guillen putting him at the top of the order. He didn't change his approach when Guillen put him at the top of the order.

Frankly, I think Swisher might be taking too many pitches that he could hit. Not being Swisher, I will never know that for sure. But working the count doesn't mean gearing up to swing after you get two called strikes if you don't get walked first. It means getting hitters' counts. Swisher's first home run of the season led off the April 6 13-2 win against the Tigers and Verlander. Swisher took the first pitch for a ball and homered on the second pitch. Swisher is a much better hitter hitting 2-0 than 2-2. In fact, this season, when he puts the ball in play on a 2-0 pitch, he is hitting .375. When he puts the ball in play on a 2-2 pitch, he is hitting .138. Factoring in at bats where he takes the count full after going 2-2, he is hitting .122.

This has nothing to do with Swisher leading off the game. This is the way he has been hitting.

Regardless, the leadoff man leads off the game, but especially in the American League where you have good hitters throughout the lineup (and when Swisher was leading off games for the Sox, the top of the Sox order wasn't hitting as well as the bottom of the order), the first hitter in the order often comes up with runners on base Swisher also leads off innings sometimes when he hits down in the order.

I know others around here believe Swisher should be hitting 5 or 6. But that is a position in the batting order where he would need to change his approach to hitting. When he was playing for the A's, though, he didn't change his approach when he was batting in the RBI positions in the order.

Save McCuddy's
05-22-2008, 09:04 PM
Nick Swisher's approach to hitting involves taking a lot of pitches. His focus on getting on base led to Guillen putting him at the top of the order. He didn't change his approach when Guillen put him at the top of the order.

Frankly, I think Swisher might be taking too many pitches that he could hit. Not being Swisher, I will never know that for sure. But working the count doesn't mean gearing up to swing after you get two called strikes if you don't get walked first. It means getting hitters' counts. Swisher's first home run of the season led off the April 6 13-2 win against the Tigers and Verlander. Swisher took the first pitch for a ball and homered on the second pitch. Swisher is a much better hitter hitting 2-0 than 2-2. In fact, this season, when he puts the ball in play on a 2-0 pitch, he is hitting .375. When he puts the ball in play on a 2-2 pitch, he is hitting .138. Factoring in at bats where he takes the count full after going 2-2, he is hitting .122.

This has nothing to do with Swisher leading off the game. This is the way he has been hitting.

Regardless, the leadoff man leads off the game, but especially in the American League where you have good hitters throughout the lineup (and when Swisher was leading off games for the Sox, the top of the Sox order wasn't hitting as well as the bottom of the order), the first hitter in the order often comes up with runners on base Swisher also leads off innings sometimes when he hits down in the order.

I know others around here believe Swisher should be hitting 5 or 6. But that is a position in the batting order where he would need to change his approach to hitting. When he was playing for the A's, though, he didn't change his approach when he was batting in the RBI positions in the order.

Regardless what his approach to hitting is or has been, I have seen nothing in his swing or approach that lead me to believe he'll ever hit 35 home runs in a season again.

Why is that? How can that be?