(Are there any pictures of this guy NOT smiling? Courtesy of The AP)
On May 26 Nick Swisher was at his lowest statistical point of the season. He had just gone 0-3 against the Blue Jays and his tripleslash for the season was .204/.321/.289. The .321 OBP wasn't horrible considering how low the BA was, but a .289 SLG is unfathomably bad. I don't want to say that I could do that, because it's a well known fact to anybody who reads this blog on a regular basis that I was a horrendous player in my Little League days, but I think I could have closed my eyes on every swing, run into a few misplaced pitches here and there, and put up a .289 SLG. The worst part about this was the fact that it was the 2nd game after Joe gave Swish 2 days off to get his shit together and the 2nd of the 2 games after the mini-vacation that Swish didn't collect a hit. He was lost at the plate, sinking in the batting order, and the unintelligent portions of the Yankee fanbase had already written him off for this season and exercised their right to not pick up his option for 2012.
Since then, however, we've seen signs that the Swish we've come to know and love over the last 2 seasons is re-emerging from his 2-month slumber. Since that fateful May 25 game, Swish has 10 hits in his last 33 at-bats, 6 of them for extra bases (3 2B, 3 HR), 4 runs scored, 7 RBI, and 9 walks to just 5 K. His tripleslash has risen to .222/.345/.357, his OPS has crept above .700 for the first time since April 5, and his wOBA is back up above .300 at .315. It's still a bit early to call him officially "back," but that undeniable positivity that I talked about when he came back from his benching on May 24 appears to have gotten Swish back on the right track.
My favorite stat out of all that is the 9-5 BB-K ratio. We saw a lot of swinging and missing from Swish in May, even while he maintained a solid BB rate, so it's good to see him get back to seeing the ball, squaring up on it, and putting good swings on hittable pitches, all while not sacrificing his trademark patience and good eye at the plate. If he can keep doing that and putting himself in good hitters' counts, this recent resurgence should continue. And with the continued inconsistency of the heart of the order, that would be a welcome sight for Yankee fans.