Nick Swisher believes Yankees have the pitching to win
Nick Swisher’s crystal ball tells him that the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox should be as strong as ever this year, and it should come as no surprise that the effervescent outfielder believes his team has the advantage.
Swisher made an appearance in New York on Tuesday to receive his Thurman Munson Award at the Grand Hyatt and said he is ready to shake off the winter and get back on the field in Florida.
“I feel good and just can’t wait for Spring Training to get going, man,” Swisher said. “This is that time when you start to get that itch. Everything feels great and I’m ready to go.”
Coming off his first All-Star campaign, Swisher has a lot to glow about. He said he loved laying low with his new wife, actress Joanna Garcia, and also cheered from afar when the Yankees moved to sign Rafael Soriano as their eighth-inning setup man for Mariano Rivera.
“From a guy that’s been in the box against him, I think he just takes a whole inning off of the game,” Swisher said. “Anytime he’s in the game, with him and Mo in the ‘pen, it turns it into a seven-inning game.
?”Not only that, on top of the great pitchers I think we have in the ‘pen, we’re shortening the game to five or six innings. For us, we’ve got to feel good about that. If people say we don’t have the pitching, I don’t believe that. We’re going to find a way to win.”
He said that the Yankees would have loved to welcome Cliff Lee on board, but that they’ve moved on from that. Swisher also said he’ll understand if Andy Pettitte decides to “ride off into the sunset” and retire, and said the Yankees can find pitching from within. One name he mentioned was Ivan Nova, whom he referred to as “Super Nova.”
“We’re going to fill in those pieces,” Swisher said. “That’s what Spring Training is for. I’m sure we’ll find some people to go in there. That’s what Spring Training is for. Each guy has got to battle for his spot. I’m excited to see what is going to happen.”
Personally, Swisher said he took a month off after the season to “let those bruises and bangs heal up” and said that he has continued the same exercise program that paid dividends last winter, with only minor changes.
“I’m on a different eating regimen now, which I don’t like as much, but it’s fun,” Swisher said. “The offseason is a good time for me. I get to spend time with my wife, I get to relax and not think about the stuff that you worry about during the season.
?”That first time you step on the field in Spring Training, you know it’s going to be a long season. We’re excited for that – last year obviously we didn’t get where we wanted to, but that World Series is right there within our grasp.”