CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Nick Swisher did something Saturday night that clearly was a sight for sore eyes for Indians fans.
Swisher’s power to this point isn’t as strong as it was advertised, as after the homer vs the A’s in the win in Oakland, the former Yankee has just 13 homers.
This after the last four seasons he hit 29, 29, 23 and last season 24 for the Yankees.
In his Indians career to date, his shoulder that has been bothering him all season seems to have sapped a lot of his power.
Many fans have already said that Swisher isn’t what the Indians paid for, and manager Terry Francona’s plan of just putting Swisher in the four spot and leaving him there has quickly faded.
Swisher has been moved up to the two-spot in the order, and so far Francona has put Asdrubal Cabrera as well as catcher Carlos Santana in the four hole.
Doing that has weakened the rest of the lineup, and it’s going to up to Francona, along with GM Chris Antonetti to fill that four spot more in the offeseason when players are up for grabs.
The problem for Antonetti and Francona is the list of current power hitters on the market isn’t as strong as one would think.
Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran are maybe the four best players offensively on the list.
That means it could be up to Antonetti and Francona to try to pull strings on a deal for a power-hitter of some sort, possibly using Chris Perez and Cabrera as the bait to do it.
The lack of power from Swisher is alarming to the point where the 2013 seasons lineup has not gone nearly as planned.
Sure the team had to finally cut ties with Mark Reynolds after he could not recapture that April magic, but no one could have predicted the lack of offense from Swisher.
When the Indians inked Swisher this offseason, they looked at it as the perfect situation for him to come in, and be the fourth hitter in Francona’s lineup for at least the next 2-3 seasons.
Instead, he won’t make it out of one season as his four hitter.
The Tribe will instead do what they have tried to do best – make a critical adjustment.
They will have to, by hook or by crook, go out and try to find a player that can come in and be an effective four hitter that can not only drive in runs, but keep an offense moving.
It’s going to be easier said than done, as it will take the Indians front office pulling a rabbit out of a hat to get the job done.
The team was sold a bill of goods with Swisher, and maybe with an offseason to get the shoulder back to form, his power will come back.
That’s a longshot at well, as Swisher will be 33 this November, and his power will probably never be like it was when he hit 35 homers back in 2006 when with Oakland.
This season Francona has done a fantastic job playing around with the lineup enough to make sure Swisher’s off stretches don’t bury the offense too much.
This offseason, they will look for a clean-up hitter that can mash homers. They thought they were getting that with Swisher.
To this point, it doesn’t look like it will happen.
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