SAN DIEGO — Nick Swisher has called it quits — at least for this season.
The veteran outfielder/first baseman, who had been with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since the Yankees signed him in mid-April, announced Saturday afternoon that he is leaving the team.
“After the birth of my second child, I’ve decided to take a step back and spend the rest of this season full-time with my wife and two daughters,” Swisher wrote on his Facebook page. “Make no mistake, I am not hanging it up. I love this game with the same amount of passion that I had as a rookie 12 years ago.”
But his love of the game was not enough to gain him another opportunity with the Yankees. The 35-year-old Swisher, after a fast start, produced a .255/.297/.377 slash line, seven homers and 25 RBIs in 55 games. A lack of production, and what more than a few opposing team scouts said was limited — at best — mobility on two surgically repaired knees, caused him to be continually bypassed when the Yankees’ injuries mounted at first base.
“I don’t think we would have signed him if we didn’t want to take a look at him,” Joe Girardi said Saturday. “We just felt some guys were ahead of him at the time, so he was never called. I respect what he did. He had another baby, so go and enjoy that.”
Swisher indicated he is not bitter toward the Yankees and reiterated that his career isn’t over.
“I want to thank the Yankees for giving me the opportunity to return to the organization that I love so much and wish them nothing but success for the rest of 2016,” he wrote on Facebook. “Despite not being at the ballpark every day, I will continue to train on a daily basis and evaluate my options for next season at the appropriate time.”
Hicks to bench
Aaron Hicks, whom the Yankees traded for specifically to help them against lefthanders, did not start Saturday night against Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz. Hicks brought a .195/.258/.299 slash line into Saturday, including .219/.280/.344 against lefthanders.
“He’s kind of going through a tough time,” Girardi said. “I wouldn’t assume it’s always going to be like this. I thought I’d give him a day here.”
Rob Refsnyder started in right and batted seventh.
Mullee to DL
Conor Mullee, who left Friday night’s game in the sixth inning with numbness in his right hand, was placed on the disabled list Saturday. Chad Green, slated to start Sunday afternoon’s game, was activated.
“Just some freak, weird thing,” Mullee said after Friday night’s game. “My hand just felt numb.”
Green, 25, will be making his second start with the Yankees this season. His first start, May 16, did not go well as he allowed six runs (four earned) and eight hits in four innings of a 12-2 loss at Arizona. He’s been lights-out in Triple-A, going 6-6 with a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts.
“I think any time guys get called up at an early age, the first time they’re nervous,” Girardi said. “The second time, they’re less. That’s just the way it goes. He’s been throwing well.”