The forecast for Nick Swisher, by Swisher's own reckoning a day after he strained his left hamstring, is a few days of "chill." He will not go on the disabled list, and he could return more quickly than even his manager expects.
Joe Girardi said Monday: "He'll probably miss a week. We'll shoot for next Tuesday." But a little while later, Swisher said he is aiming to be back earlier, perhaps for the series in Kansas City starting Thursday.
"Me and Skip, we've got to get together and get a game plan. From the way I feel right now, I wouldn't say it would be a week," said the rightfielder, who was replaced in the starting lineup Monday night by Raul Ibañez with Eduardo Nuñez playing left.
Swisher, second in the league with 23 RBIs entering Monday night, said he tried to hide the tweak he felt during an at-bat Sunday. "I'm never going to be one of those guys who's going to take himself out of a game," he said.
He will take it easy for a couple of days and then reassess. He was relieved that an MRI showed nothing more than the remnant of a similar injury in 2007, suffered when he rounded third against the Orioles (he injured his ankle on the same play). Back then, he missed only six games and resisted going on the DL. "That's not my category, guys," he said.
Brett Gardner (right elbow) is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday. "As long as I don't have any setbacks and I keep making progress, it could be Thursday or Saturday or Monday or who knows,'' he said. "But as long as I keep going in the right direction, I'll be happy." . . . Girardi on the Rays' signing of Hideki Matsui to a minor-league contract: "They're getting a true professional, a wonderful teammate."