Nick Swisher is not going to be ready for Opening Day. It's been more than seven months since we underwent operations on his knees last August, but the recovery has been slower than hoped for, and he only played in his first game (a minor league intrasquad game) yesterday. With Opening Day only 13 days away, Swisher doesn't have enough time to get up to speed.
Said Indians GM Chris 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... It takes time to build that volume."
Swisher still has two guaranteed years left on the $56-million deal he signed with the team prior to 2013. A strong finish to that season gave Swisher respectable numbers at that plate, but he was dreadful in 2014, both offensively and defensively. He's 34 years old now, and I don't think we're going to see even average production from him at the plate over the next two years.
I prefer he be healthy enough to try and prove me wrong, but if other guys on the roster are healthy, I don't view Swisher's absence as much of a loss. I don't think the Tribe's best starting lineup features the version of Swisher that exists in 2015.