From Pete Caldera:
Not a big revelation, but if the season started today, Joe Girardi said that Xavier Nady would be his starting right fielder. Nick Swisher’s versatility works against him somewhat, but Nady has more in the bank with Girardi based on last season. Today, Wang stays back to pitch a minor league game, with Jorge Posada catching and Matsui DHing. We are off to Clearwater.
Caldera references a point that I have brought up on various occasions this offseason. Although Swisher is likely the better player, Joe Girardi probably views Swisher’s versatility as being more valuable off the bench. Personally, I would prefer that the better player win the job, but I can see the team looking at last season’s numbers and waiting until Swisher shows that he has turned it around before handing him a starting job. I am sure that both players will see plenty of time in the everyday lineup, as Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon both need to be treated gingerly to make sure they remain healthy.
Just as an aside, neither has done much in Spring Training to win the job:
Swisher – .265/.409/.324
Nady – .244/.262/.488
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