Cleveland Indians: Nick Swisher Likely To Miss Opening Day

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Nick Swisher “a bit of a stretch to be ready” according to Francona

The thought of starting on the disabled list for Nick Swisher is a disappointing one, but the Cleveland Indians admit that Opening Day was an artificial deadline, and that Swisher wasn’t going to go unless he was 100 percent. Unfortunately, the calendar was shorter than his rise to that point.

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After having double knee surgery in August, he’s been working feverishly to get back onto the field for the Tribe. But that is the main reason he’s likely to start on the DL. Manager Terry Francona wants him to be ready to play four or five days in the field a week. GM Chris Antonetti echoed those sentiments.

"“There are two components,” said Antonetti. “There are the at bats to get him ready, but there is also building volume because he has yet to play nine innings in the field. Let alone being able to play four out of five days in a row in the field. h/t Paul Hoynes, Northeast Ohio Media Group"

Every player needs a certain amount of innings, at-bats, etc. to be ready for Opening Day. Getting the late start before he could start a running program has set Swish back, and there’s still a little ways to go before he’s ready.

Last season, he spent most of his time at first base, but with the progression of Carlos Santana, he will see more time in right field and some at DH.

Swisher has approached every day as if he would be ready, and in his mind isn’t ruling himself out. After running without knee braces the other day, he said he “felt good”. As far as Francona’s comments about him not being ready for the opener?

"“I’ve got to talk to Tito about that. I just do what I’m told around here.”"

With all the injury news around Indians camp, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Brandon Moss (hip) and Ryan Raburn (knee) appear to be on schedule and will be ready for the season opener. The loss of Gavin Floyd was disappointing, but the Tribe knew they had pitching depth entering the season. They may just have to dip into it a bit sooner than expected.

The options for Swisher could be he either stays back for extended Spring Training, or they send him to rehab with one of their minor league teams. extended would make more sense, as it will allow him to progress at his own pace, without putting forth any more strain on his knees than necessary.

Francona believes that Swisher needs to get in “baseball shape”, but isn’t far off because of all the running he has had to do during the rehab.

Next: Fantasy Report: Indians' Sleepers and Prospects

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