With the Cleveland Indians entering Thursday night with a 33-33 record, things haven’t been entirely positive for the franchise this season. That is especially true for starting first baseman Nick Swisher, who has struggled mightily this season, but on Thursday, the veteran was activated from the disabled list after more than two weeks away.
Swisher activated. Giambi to DL with left knee inflammation. More on http://t.co/FX4gK4TLHZ soon.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 12, 2014
Prior to Swisher suffering a hyper-extended knee, the 33-year-old was scuffling to a .211/.312/.319 slash line with only 3 home runs in 218 plate appearances this season. That type of futility is something incredibly unique for Swisher, who has always been known for his consistency, and it is a far cry from what Cleveland expected from a player with a career .457 slugging percentage in nearly 6,000 career plate appearances.
As noted above by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Indians were able to clear a roster spot by sending veteran Jason Giambi to the disabled list, and regardless of Swisher’s struggles, that is a significant upgrade. It will be interesting to see what Cleveland elects to do with a relative surplus of corner infield options (including Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall), but it’s likely tied to Swisher’s performance upon his return.
It is a safe bet on Nick Swisher to vastly improve from his early struggles, and for the Cleveland Indians to reach their long-term goal of reaching the 2014 MLB Playoffs, the club will need a big-time effort from a player making $14 million per season.