On Sunday, Nick Swisher exited the Yankee game against the Tigers after tweaking his hamstring on a swing. He stayed in to take a walk, but was removed by Joe Girardi and Steve Donahue after reaching first base, still in apparent discomfort. Now, via Bryan Hoch (h/t RAB, we hear that Swisher is going to miss a week’s worth of games. Hock also added that Brett Gardner is on track to rejoin the team on Thursday. Regarding Swisher, though, the Yankees need to just DL him if he’s going to miss that much time.
First of all, not DLing him just hurts the team. Even if they do get Gardner back on time, the team is still going to be playing with 24 players. Second of all, it hurts Swisher. Like Mike said in the RAB piece, minor hammy injuries can become major hammy injuries quickly. Just put Nick on the DL. If they do, there are a few ways they can go.
The only outfielders on the 40 man roster right now are Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa. Both are playing at AA Trenton and it’s probably better for them to be getting every day at bats than to be warming the ML bench and getting playing time once or twice a week. Of course, they both have the advantage of NOT being Raul Ibanez when it comes to fielding and Almonte is a switch hitter. There’s also Brandon Laird, who’s played some corner outfield. However, his defense would probably be pretty bad and his bat (.702 OPS in AAA as I write this), isn’t exactly begging for a call up. If the Yankees wanted to get a little more “cutesy” with the roster and keep using Eduardo Nunez in the OF as they did last night, they could call up Ramiro Pena to take Nunez’s role while Nunez plays extra outfielder.
Off the 40 man, there are Dewayne Wise and Chris Dickerson. They’re probably more suited for the bench role. It wouldn’t be all that hard for the Yankees to make an addition to the 40-man. Cesar Cabral, Joba Chamberlain, and Michael Pineda are all still on the 15-day DL and could all be transferred to the 60 day DL. By consensus and numbers, Wise has a good defensive reputation. The same goes for Chris Dickerson, and he has a career .355 OBP vs. righties.
How would you play it if you were in charge? If I were running things, I’d DL Swisher, move one of the injured guys to the 60 day, and call up Dewayne Wise. There probably isn’t a ton of upside there, but he’s been raking at AAA thus far and could at least play good defense in Swisher’s absence.
EDIT: As pointed out in the comments, both Almonte and Dickerson are on the MiL DL (7-day), so that eliminates those options.
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