Although the always-energetic Nick Swisher never made it back to the majors after signing a minors pact with the Yankees in 2016, he’ll end up contributing to the team in a different way. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com writes in the second half of a piece for MLB.com. “Swish” will now serve as a special advisor to GM Brian Cashman. Though the terms of that job are typically pretty broad, Cashman envisions Swisher spending a lot of his time with minor leaguers in the organization. “He had a huge impact on that crew in Scranton when he was playing with [Aaron] Judge, [Greg] Bird, [Gary] Sanchez and all those guys,” said Cashman. “He brought the joy of playing the game on a daily basis, and it was infectious throughout that locker room. The opportunity to bring him into the fold and sprinkle him throughout our farm system was attractive.” On the field, Swisher was a .249/.351/.447 lifetime hitter; his playing career came to an abrupt end after a pair of rough seasons spent with the Indians and Braves from 2014-2015.
Other items out of the AL East…
- Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez is being met with a lot of excitement from his new teammates, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. In particular, Denard Span says that, “you’d rather have him on your team than playing against him. Because he’s a headache when you’re playing against him.” There are a lot of reasons for that, Topkin writes. Gomez likes to “mix it up” with bat flips and sometimes even instigates brawls. He’s also the type to play hard in every moment of every game, according to new teammate Kevin Kiermaier. “He’s a guy who just loves baseball,” says Kiermaier. “Every time he takes the field, it doesn’t matter if you’re up eight runs or down eight, he’s going to go and play with that intensity.” One of the most interesting points Topkin makes about Gomez is that he can be a little bit misunderstood. Although he appears animated and aggressive, Rays reliever Sergio Romo describes him as someone who “always means well” and that some of the things he’s done have simply taken the wrong way on occasion. Gomez is set to replace the recently-traded Steven Souza Jr. in the Rays’ outfield this season.
- Looking for a bit of insight into how players are cut from major league spring training camp? Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun helps shed some light on the subject by way of some words from Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Notably, Showalter is committed to spending time meeting with players prior to cuts. “I’m not going to rush through anything,” he said. “I want to hear from them as much as I want to tell them [some things], because I don’t want a month or two or three months to pass, and all of a sudden our success depends on them being able to come up and do something and we didn’t have those proper conversations.” Showalter also believes player feedback is an equally important part of those conversations.