Nick Swisher, as any Yankee follower would tell you, has a history of under-performing in the postseason.
Regardless, with three consecutive eighty-plus RBI seasons under his belt, it is by no means a stretch to say that the Yankees, at least as far as regular season performance is concerned, have seen Swisher over-deliver in terms of what their expectations were of him coming into the 2009 season.
Remember, Swisher was the insurance policy in the event the team couldn't sign Mark Teixeira, and it was only due to a season-ending injury to Xavier Nady in 2009 that Swisher assumed everyday responsibilities in right field. Kudos to him for running with things, and kudos to the Yankees for seeing things in Swisher that led them to believe he could contribute.
The regular season, though, is only half of what goes into the evaluation of a Yankee player's performance. The Yankees are built to win championships, or at least pursue them feverishly, and as Alex Rodriguez would surely agree, Yankee legacies are built on postseason performance.
As good as Swisher has been during the regular season for three years running, he has simply failed in the postseason far more often than not. Through five complete postseason series with the Yankees, and including this year's ALDS through Game 3, Swisher is hitting .179 with an on-base percentage of .275.
While his slugging percentage is a relatively healthy .409, the fact remains that his numbers in this category are inflated by a good series versus Minnesota in the 2010 ALDS and his one extra base hit through the first three games of the current ALDS.
In straightforward terms, removing all the numbers from the equation, the Yankee lineup has suffered in the postseason with Swisher in the middle of it.
Whether the Yankees continue on past Detroit this year or not, the Yankees will more than likely address this issue in the offseason. They simply have to, if only due to the fact that they don't have the ability to address many other problems in the lineup due to contract obligations.
As a result, here are some of the possibilities open to the Yankees