Charged for the Playoffs: Nick Swisher

NEW YORK - JUNE 29: Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees celebrates his solo home run against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Yankees haven't been playing great baseball of late, getting swept by the White Sox and dropping their most recent series with the Blue Jays, likely thanks to the fact that it seems like a new injury pops up each week. While the offense has suffered to the point that batting Steve Pearce cleanup is a thing that actually happened, a few bats have gotten hot at the right time to carry the team as they've managed to keep their heads above water. With his future uncertain as he heads toward free agency, Nick Swisher has really done his part in helping the Yankees maintain their 3 game lead in the AL East.

In his last seven games, Swisher has hit two home runs to go along with a .333/.438/.630 triple slash that includes five walks in addition to seven RBI. During the three game set in Cleveland, Swisher managed to miss out on what could have likely been three additional homers if the games had been played in Yankee Stadium. Almost doesn't count in this game, but it goes a long way toward showing how hot Swisher has been at the plate during the recent stretch.

After being moved to second in the lineup, he seemed to really flourish in combination with Derek Jeter's seemingly equal hot hitting. There isn't much of anything to prove that you should put a lot of stock in batting order, but the 1-2 punch at the top of the Yankee lineup has certainly paid off to this point. With the bottom of the lineup looking rather rough these days, that combination may very well be the difference between first and second place going into a crucial series with the Baltimore Orioles.

As of today, Swisher has accumulated the second most fWAR on the team behind only Robinson Cano, thanks to some underrated defense and a 127 wRC+ to date. It's hard to say if Swisher will be in pinstripes at the beginning of next season, thanks to rumors of wanting Jayson Werth money and the Yankees' desire for a lower payroll, but if he isn't, it will be extremely difficult for them to replace the kind of production Swisher has given them during his time in New York.

Perhaps the biggest criticism of Swisher and the most frequently cited drawback of re-upping with him for the future has been his lack of production in the postseason. It's impossible to guess what will happen if the Yankees are lucky enough to make it to the playoffs again, but if he's still hitting in October the way he is now, it's hard to imagine anyone having an issue with a few more years of Swish if the price is right.

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