Alex Rodriguez Injury Paves Way For Nick Swisher Return

This article was originally published on Outside Pitch MLB

The New York Yankees had salt added to their wound on Sunday afternoon.

Not only did Michael Pineda have another poor star which resulted in an 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, but designated hitter Alex Rodriguez left the game due to injury. After hitting a run batted in double off of the left field wall, Rodriguez exited the contest due to stiffness in his oblique. In the post game press conference, manager Joe Girardi said that the DH will be receiving an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Even if his oblique is okay, it is expected that the 40-year old will spend some time on the bench. And if it wasn’t for the injury, a benching may have been in store for Rodriguez anyway; in 15 games this season, he is slashing just .145/.242/.273 with two home runs, six RBI, eight total hits and 19 strikeouts.

While one would expect a player at such an old age to have those kind of numbers, Rodriguez shocked the baseball world last season – and because of that, he was expected to be a contributor in the middle of the Bronx Bombers’ lineup.

Fortunately for the Yankees, their backup plan is waiting in the wings down in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Despite appearing to have nothing left in the tank with both the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves, first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Nick Swisher has taken a swig from the fountain of youth during his time in Triple-A.

Although he was never guaranteed an opportunity to wear pinstripes again, Swisher is doing everything he can to do so. In eight games, he’s hitting .333 with two home runs, five RBI,  a slugging percentage of .567, and an OPS of .949. In addition, he has shown an overall spring in his step; and whether that’s because he rejoined an organization where he found the most success in his career or because he’s just having fun, it’s a great sign.

The aforementioned injury may be a blessing in disguise in many different ways for the Yankees.

For Rodriguez, he has a chance to rest and bring his mind to ease while trying to regain his way in the batters box.

For the Yankees, it’s a chance to see what Swisher has left while also giving a shot of energy to an anemic lineup.

And for Swisher, it’s a chance for him to get his way back into pinstripes – something that he said would “bring a tear” to his eye.

Dan Federico is a Writer for The Bronx Chronicle, Outside Pitch MLB, About.com and Elite Sports NY. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter or contact him via email here