Nick Swisher’s (brutal) season comes to an end

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Swisher Best 140711

Is age catching up to Nick Swisher? The Tribe first baseman was evaluated on Tuesday and was found to have medial meniscus wear in both of his knees. Less than 24 hours later, Swisher will undergo arthroscopic debridement surgery to repair the chronic pain. He will subsequently miss eight-to-ten weeks for recovery, effectively ending his 2014 season with the team.

Swisher was placed on the 15-day Disabled List with knee soreness on August 10. He was also on the DL with similar discomfort from May 27-June 11 of this very year.  Prior to today’s season-ending surgery, Nick hit .208 (75-360 in 97 games) in with 20 doubles,  eight home runs and 42 runs batted in. In the field, Swisher was charged with nine errors on the season. According to Baseball-Reference’s calculations on runs saved, he was the second-worst fielding first baseman (to amass at least 50 games played) in all of baseball1.

The 33-year old is due $15 million in 2015 and 2016, respectively, with a $14 million vesting option in 2017.

  1. Only Houston’s Jon Singleton has ‘saved’ fewer runs []

  • matt underwood

    why to we ask Dolan to spend money if this is what they are going to spend it on? Shaponetti deserves to be fired for the Bourn and Swish signings. just brutal. teams like cleveland can’t afford to make $15m mistakes (x2)

  • Andrew

    In the Indians’ defense, most people thought the Bourn and Swisher signings were huge wins for the Tribe at the time.

  • mgbode

    I also have the same condition. While I play basketball 2-3 times a week, I obviously don’t need to be performing at a professional level. It’s a weird injury where there are days you feel near normal and other days where it swells and you feel completely restricted.

    Given the team’s likely status in the Wild Card race, it is a smart move to make sure Swisher is ready for next year and will allow the team to see more young players try to stake their claim for the 2015 season.

  • cmm13


  • cmm13

    Uh, Austin rec league isn’t considered “pro level”?

  • mgbode

    Austin BBall Rec Leagues are full of ex-Longhorns (some basketball but mostly football players). I cannot make it in those. Heck, some of those teams would likely give the Toros a run for their money.

    So, Church guys and engineer guys that get together randomly for pickup ball is more my speed 🙂

  • CB Everett

    Yeah unfortunately they’re just stupid when they do choose to spend big boy dollars.

  • cmm13

    Church v. Engineer basketball sounds like a lost Simpson’s episode.

  • Andrew

    The famous mgbode is a fellow Austinite?

  • Garry_Owen

    And when the Indians say “the first baseman was evaluated yesterday,” what we should understand is that “Zach Walters has been evaluated over the last couple of weeks.” The conclusion is the same: time for Swisher to have surgery.

  • mgbode

    an upcoming one hopefully 🙂

  • mgbode

    yessir (though not so sure on the famous part). there are lots of us current-Texans on these pages.

  • mgbode

    or we want to evaluate Zach Walters through the rest of the season

  • Garry_Owen

    Or both.

  • Andrew

    Technically I’m not an Austinite, I live in the Sports Capital of Texas. But I only moved here from Cleveland this year. Pretty cool to hear about current Texans on WFNY. Do you know good places to watch Browns games, or do you have The Ticket?

  • mgbode

    TCA Backers have a couple locations in town. I generally don’t go though because of Sunday family obligations.


    No, I have the NFL Replay for which I wakeup at 5am on Monday mornings to watch the all-22 film on a game that I usually already know we lost. Not that I have a problem or anything.


    and, had to look up that Round Rock has taken that moniker. sort of funny, but, hey, they have the Express, which put on a great show on and around the field. I’m way on the other side of town near Driftwood.

  • markn95

    I’m never the first one to defend Shaponetti, but Swisher falling apart less than two years into his contract was completely unforeseeable when he was signed–hindsight be damned. At the time, he was coming off something like 6-7 consecutive seasons of hitting .280 with 20+ home runs etc. No history of significant injuries, and he was considered a decent athlete capable of playing multiple positions relatively well. I think there may have been an outlier of a season where he stunk it up for the White Sox, but otherwise, he was consistently solid. And he was only in his very early-30’s. The only concern at the time that I can think of was that his production would drop being taken out of the Yankees lineup, where he hit behind several All-Stars.

    The only saving grace to this news is that it’s almost impossible he will stay healthy enough in 2016 for his option to vest in 2017. The same can be said of Bourn as well. We “only” have to suffer through two more years of these guys killing our payroll. It’s not like we have Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols for the rest of the decade and beyond. Most of our younger talent are signed to deals that don’t start paying serious money until 2017 and beyond (e.g., Kipnis). And Kluber isn’t even arbitration eligible until after next year, so Swish and Bourn won’t prevent us from keeping our young talent.

  • woofersus

    It’s easy to say that now that we have some young guys pushing for their spots, but at the time we had unfillable holes in left field and at 3rd base. Remember the parade of Damon, Duncan, Kotchman, LaPorta, Lillibridge, Cunningham, etc.? Big FA contracts are the penalty you pay for poor drafting, which is where the real criticism should be directed. (although it looks like they’ve been better at it in recent years – it takes time for that to affect the ML club)

    They paid market price for Swisher and Bourn, and if you look at who else was on the market at the time and what they cost, it doesn’t seem they did quite so bad. We could have BJ Upton’s contract, or Josh Hamilton’s, or one of the guys who were already 33-34 years old at the time. Swisher having a terrible year isn’t a good thing, but I think I’d stop short of saying those signings area fireable offense.

  • nj0

    We don’t make the playoffs last year without Swish or Bourn. And the whole point is to win, right?

    On top of that, the book isn’t closed on either of those two yet. There’s no reason both can’t bounce back.

  • mgbode

    yeah, I would expect around a 110 OPS+ line from Swisher next year, which is where his value lies.

    Bourn is trickier. He actually has hit right where I would have expected this season. The issue has obviously been his injuries have hurt his speed (in the OF and on the basepaths). I have no idea if that is coming back at all or not.

  • left out

    travis hafner. but not nearly as good.