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Articles Tagged Nick Swisher 

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June 20, 2014 6:00 am

What You Need to Know: Wheeler Hooks the Fish

3

Chris Mosch and Daniel Rathman

The young Met bests a young Marlin with his first career shutout, Nick Swisher hits a walkoff grand slam, plus more from Thursday and what to watch this wekeend.

The Thursday Takeaway
Earlier this week, Ben Lindbergh made an appearance on Jonah Keri’s podcast, where the two raved about Thursday’s matchup between a pair of promising young National League East hurlers: Zack Wheeler and Andrew Heaney. Rarely does a Thursday night matchup between the Mets and Marlins prompt Keri to declare it a must-watch that had him as excited for a pitching matchup as he’s been in quite awhile, but the two youngsters each turned in performances that justified the hype.

In his major-league debut, Heaney came out firing from the get-go, dialing up seven of his first 15 fastballs at 94 MPH or higher. Unfortunately for the ninth-overall pick of the 2012 draft, David Wright crushed one of those 94 MPH heaters to center field and off the Marlins Park home run sculpture for a solo blast.


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March 13, 2014 6:00 am

Five to Watch: American League Hitters

5

Wilson Karaman

Junior-circuit bats to keep an eye on during the second half of spring training.

Ah, spring training. That glorious time of year when we do things like get excited about Lonnie Chisenhall’s on-base percentage (he’s going to break out this year, I thought last year). But while paying attention to storylines related to health and position battles is important, it’s also important to use this time to start looking toward April.

The first couple of months of the regular season are an important time for building your second-half strategy. By now, most fantasy teams are being drafted, and once you’ve had a chance to evaluate how your draft went and determine what you expect the strengths and weaknesses of your squad will be, the next step in the dance is figuring out ways you might be able to leverage those strengths to address your weaknesses during the season. I like to use April and May as an open audition to figure out which players will make the most sense to try to acquire come summertime, and to that end, spring training can be a good time to start building a list of players to monitor. Here are five hitters that I’d just as soon hold off on drafting for the time being, but who may be worth a closer look out of the gate for targeted help as the season rolls on.

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November 27, 2013 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Cleveland Indians

13

Craig Goldstein and Bret Sayre

Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, and Danny Salazar headline a roster whose complementary players could be appealing in deeper formats.

Coming off their first playoff appearance since blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2007 ALCS, the Indians will look to get back to the Promised Land (if you can call a one-game playoff the Promised Land). And they’ll have to do it with two of their three best pitchers from last season, Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir, potentially departing. The lineup remains intact, though they have added underrated outfielder David Murphy so that they don’t have to give nearly 500 plate appearances to Drew Stubbs again.

Yes, the Indians are a better franchise now than they were 25 years ago when they had Ricky Vaughn and Jake Taylor in uniform, but that element that causes us not to take them seriously as a World Series contender still exists. They have a couple of strong, underrated players about to enter their primes in Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana, but they’ll need others to step up and join them on that stage to make a deep playoff push. With the Tigers improving their roster (and flexibility) by trading for Ian Kinsler and the Royals possibly on the rise, the Indians will have their hands full in the AL Central.

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August 23, 2013 6:42 am

Pebble Hunting: Free Agent Alternate History

5

Sam Miller

Why timing is everything when it comes to buying big free agents.

You know what they say: The key to comedy is timing. Consider the following three jokes:

Joke 1. In December 2011, three men were wandering through the countryside in search of a place to sleep for the night. They came upon a large farm. The farmer said they were welcome to spend the night, so long as they didn’t touch his beautiful daughter. To make a long story short, one of them—the Angels—snuck out and signed Josh Hamilton for five years and $125 million, Hamilton went on to hit 43 home runs (including four in one game!) and drive in 128 for his new team, and he received multiple MVP votes after the season. The last four years didn’t work out as well after that, but that’s how these things go. The Angels, thanks to Hamilton’s contributions, made the postseason in 2012 for the first time in three years. The farmer's wife made pancakes for them all the next morning and the three men went on their way.

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May 15, 2013 5:00 am

Painting the Black: The Cleveland Show

3

R.J. Anderson

How the Indians have approached first place.

For all the lecturing about the early-season struggles of the Blue Jays and Angels—and how there are no shortcuts on the road to contention—the Indians accelerated their timetable after an offseason overhaul. 

General manager Chris Antonetti's to-do-list started with a managerial vacancy. So Antonetti hired a two-time World Series-winning manager. Then he added some new assets by signing two of the best free-agent hitters available and trading for a former top-five draft pick with top-of-the-rotation potential. While Cleveland fans enjoyed an uncharacteristically festive winter, their smiles turned into expletive-filled rants quickly. Four weeks into the season the Indians were in the familiar position of looking up in the standings at less-talented teams. The low point came on April 28 when the Indians lost 9-0 to the Royals in the first game of a doubleheader; a loss that pushed the Indians to 8-13 on the season, and extended their losing streak to three games.

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December 26, 2012 5:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Stocking Stuffers and Holiday Turkeys

6

R.J. Anderson and Colin Wyers

Looking at the biggest outfield transactions over our break.

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If an expansion team with a Yankees budget wanted to build a team out of this year's free agents, what would it look like?

You can’t build a team around free agents, say the people who don’t think you can build a team around free agents. To them, the only way to build a team is through the draft, waiver claims and occasional trades. To paraphrase the great movie Waterboy (which is such a great movie that you can watch it for free on YouTube), “Free agents are the devil!” Well, maybe so if you’re living in the real world, but this is Baseball Prospectus where we can do anything we want provided it fits on a spreadsheet and won’t wake our parents upstairs.

Another thing some people like to say is that baseball teams aren’t just names on paper. They’re real people. Well, not here they aren’t, mister! Here players are one-dimensional entities devoid of emotion and everything else that won’t show up on our computer machines. In that spirit, I’m not only going to build a baseball team exclusively out of free agents, but I’m going to do it only on (virtual) paper. Eat that, straw men I just created!

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November 5, 2012 12:00 am

Painting the Black: The 50 Best Free Agents

42

R.J. Anderson

The names baseball will be obsessing over for the next three months.

With free agency beginning at just after midnight Eastern early Saturday, it’s time to look at this year’s class. Along with Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and others, we put together a list of the top 50 free agents available this winter. Some analysis and predictions are also included. You can quibble with the rankings (especially after a certain point) and many of the predictions, but this is meant to serve as a primer for the free-agent period.

1. Zack Greinke (Angels): Greinke may not consistently perform like an ace but he is a durable no. 2 starter with a deep arsenal, and an understanding of how to use it. After trading three top prospects at the deadline for Greinke and then having his club miss the postseason, Jerry Dipoto is in an unenviable position. Dipoto cannot recoup draft picks, which provides further incentive to re-sign Greinke. It seems Dipoto is heading down that path if recent payroll shearing is any indication.

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A look at the methods and origins of the Yankees' and Tigers' success

Kevin Goldstein has moved on to a greener pasture, but we’re bringing back one of his postseason staples to illustrate how the four League Championship Series squads were built.

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October 15, 2012 8:37 am

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game Two Recap: Tigers 3, Yankees 0

14

Ben Lindbergh

The Yankees offense is waiting for the fever to break, while Detroit is halfway to the World Series.

The tableau in the Yankees’ clubhouse after ALCS Game Two was telling: in a room packed with high-profile players, the greatest gaggle of reporters was gathered around the team’s hitting coach, Kevin Long. They had just filed in from the interview room, where Girardi had said, “We have to make adjustments.” Now they wanted to know what those adjustments would be. Standing just in front of Derek Jeter’s loudly vacant locker, Long fielded questions about why the Yankees haven’t hit over the first two games of this series or the last four games of the ALDS, and what they planned to do about it. At times, the exchange grew testy.

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The tater trots for August 27 (and the full weekend).

Oof. Four days can feel like an eternity sometimes.

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October 5, 2010 11:00 am

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Twins vs. Yankees

19

Jay Jaffe

The Twins and Yankees meet yet again in the first round of the postseason but Minnesota has home field advantage this time.

As they did last year as well as 2003 and 2004, the Twins run squarely into the Yankee juggernaut in the first round. Unlike those other three meetings, they have home field advantage this time around, as they won the AL Central going away thanks to a league-best 48-26 second-half record. The defending world champion Yankees, who held the majors' best record for most of the season, were forced to settle for the wild card due to a sluggish 13-17 showing against a very tough schedule in September and October. Despite the relative temperatures of the two clubs, it's important to remember that late-season records aren't predictive of October success—or failure.

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