Nick Swisher is a fixture in right field (and in a pinch, at first base) for the Yankees, but recall that he was not named a starter when he arrived in February, 2009. He was competing with Xavier Nady in spring camp and Joe Girard named Nady the starting right fielder to start the season.
Swisher was going to be Mr. Versatile, which was better than the part time status he was reduced to with the White Sox the year before, but it was not what Swisher wanted.
Fate intervened on his behalf. Nady played only seven games before losing his season with a second Tommy John surgery. Swisher was inserted and responded with 29 home runs and 82 runs batted in for the World Series champs.
But Swisher hit only .249 and that did not meet his expectation, even though history never suggested much more for the career .253 hitter.
Until this year.
Swisher still has good power numbers--24 homers and 78 RBIs--but he's hitting .298, which has elevated his game to All-Star status.
Nady's career has taken a downward turn. He is with the Cubs, where he has played in 91 games with five homers and 26 RBIs. He's hitting .256.