First baseman Nick Swisher will not take part in the Cleveland Indians first day of spring training workouts on Friday. He chose to leave the facility to take care of family business.
Swisher has departed for Columbus, Ohio in order to attend the funeral of his beloved mother and will not be back with the team until late Saturday night at the very earliest. However, if Swisher does decide to stay longer to help his family the Indians would clearly have no problem with that, as he is able to take all the time he needs.
The 32-year-old Swisher has already made quite the impact in spring training before the workouts even began. He made sure to thank the groundskeepers for making sure the fields are in great shape and even bought a portable stereo system to liven things up in the clubhouse. His teammates are also warming up to him quickly and find him to be a “genuine” person.
Swisher signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Indians this off-season to play right field. However, he has agreed to move into the infield and play first base after the team recently signed outfielder Michael Bourn. Swisher prefers the outfield but has enough experience playing first base where he should feel comfortable.
In 307 games at first, Swisher has a .994 fielding percentage with 2,024 putouts, 136 assists, 14 errors and 188 turned double plays. The eight-year veteran had an above-average season at the plate with the New York Yankees in which he batted .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI in 537 plate appearances.