December 17, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
30°F
 

Indians: Even rainout doesn’t stop Nick Swisher’s joy

CHICAGO — Three weeks into the season and Indians outfielder Nick Swisher can’t contain his excitement over his new team.

The veteran will have to wait another day to help Cleveland try to extend its three-game winning streak after rain postponed Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

The game was called three hours and 35 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. Starters Zach McAllister of Cleveland and Jose Quintana will be pushed back to pitch this afternoon.

Swisher, who signed with Cleveland in the offseason after four seasons with the New York Yankees, is excited about how the Indians are jelling.

“It’s just a great group of guys around here,” he said. “It’s a good core of new guys that we have. And we are bringing over 15 new faces, obviously, you’re going to go one way or the other. One way meaning everyone is going to latch on together and take off, or guys are going to kind of do their own thing.

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“The great chemistry and the bonding that we have done through spring and even with the ‘Harlem Shake,’ as cheesy as that was, it was just a team-building exercise. Now we’re all trying to get to the point where we’re all trying to gain loyalty together and trust.”

Swisher is already a big fan of his new manager, Terry Francona. He was happy to hear that Francona will use him as a designated hitter to get him some added rest.

“I have never had that ever in my life,” said Swisher, who is hitting .288 with two home runs and a .405 on base percentage. “To have a manager really looking out for you like that just makes coming to the ballpark awesome every single day. And not only that: it makes you want to run through a brick wall every time you get the opportunity because you got a guy like that backing you.

“It’s my 10th year in the league, so I am happy. It took me 10 years to get this so now that I do have it I guess I can appreciate it that much more. I’ll take that.”

The outfielder is in the first season of a four-year, $56 million contract.

“I knew a lot of things going on behind the scenes during the free agency process and everything that was told to me has happened,” Swisher said. “It makes you really want to believe in a front office because what they tell you is exactly what they’re doing.”

The Indians expect to get some added depth at catcher soon. Lou Marson joined the team Tuesday. Francona did not say if he would be activated from the disabled list before the game. He was out with a strained neck. He hit .226 in 70 games last season.

Tuesday’s game was the third postponement for the Indians and Swisher doesn’t expect any wear and tear when the doubleheaders add up.

“No. We get paid to play this game,” he said. “This is what we all love to do here. Hey, a doubleheader at the ballpark, what’s better than that?”