Unread for 5/27
I’m in a 12 team 5×5 league, OBP instead of AVG and I think I am ready to finally give up on Nick Swisher. Swisher has always had great on base skills and good power, but my patience is running thin. He has long been designated to a Monday/Thursday hitter, 5th outfielder, bench player. I hastily added Jay Bruce last night after hearing about his expected call up, dropping only a middler reliever for him. Now I feel like I should go another step and cut Swisher for some of the talent available as FAs, such as Victorino (could use SBs), Jose Guillen, Jack Cust, and Ibanez. I realize that Swisher is a streaky hitter and I usually frown upon giving up too early on good hitters. What do you guys think?
Chris in Maine
I know what you mean. I am also a frustrated Swisher owner – in two leagues. The White Sox hitter-friendly home stadium – U.S. Cellular Field – seems like a perfect fit for Swisher, but the problem might be that owners viewed Swish’s 35 home runs in 2006 a bit too optimistically. He sandwiched that 35-home run season between 21- and 22-homer campaigns, so those seasons might be more in line with his power potential. He has drawn 33 walks thus far, but his on-base percentage is still a lowly .335, thanks in no part to his .205 batting average. I usually preach patience with players, but at some point, owners also have to know when to cut their losses. It might be in your best interest to leave Swish on the waiver wire.
If you need steals, then snatch up Victorino. He has swiped seven bags since May 7, including two in the past three days. He is 14-for-35 (.400) in his past eight games, including 10 runs in that timeframe. This is where he becomes so valuable. The Phillies could end up scoring more runs than any other team, and even if they don’t, they will still cross the plate boatloads of times. Victorino, batting second, will be a good bet to score 90-plus runs with Utley, Howard and Pat the Bat hitting behind him. Don’t forget that he did go deep 12 times last season in 456 at-bats, so he does offer some power value.
I think he’s a wiser choice – especially if you need steals – than Guillen, Cust or Ibanez.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com