Swisher to join Yanks' Triple-A club Thursday

April 13th, 2016

TORONTO -- Nick Swisher believes that he still has enough in the tank to help a contending team. He will get a chance to prove it beginning on Thursday, when the veteran is set to make his debut for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Swisher, a member of the Yankees' 2009 World Series-winning roster, finalized his Minor League contract on Wednesday and is expected to be in the lineup at PNC Field, where the RailRiders will host Triple-A Syracuse at 6:35 p.m. ET.

"It's something I've missed for a long time that I want back," Swisher told the New York Daily News. "Those Yankee pinstripes run deep. Once you're a part of it and you don't have it, you miss it. I'm one of those lucky guys that gets an opportunity to come back and try to prove myself again."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he expects Swisher to move between first base, the outfield and designated hitter. Swisher, 35, was released in March by the Braves, who assumed the majority of the remaining $15 million on his contract.

"The idea is to see what he has left," Girardi said. "As I've said before, he was a good player here. He's had a couple of frustrating years, years that have been plagued with some injuries. But I think we're curious to see what he's got left and the depth that he could provide, possibly."

Swisher will be able to opt out of his Minor League deal if he is not promoted to the Majors by June 15. He took batting practice and worked out for team officials this past weekend at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla.

"When I saw him in Spring Training, I didn't see anything that was really out of the ordinary to where he didn't look healthy to me," Girardi said. "It's probably just a little bit of a layoff and he wanted to get some workouts in."

Dustin Ackley is on the roster as Mark Teixeira's backup at first base. The Yankees planned to have Greg Bird as their Triple-A first baseman, but Bird was lost to a season-ending right shoulder injury, prompting New York to sign Chris Parmelee to a Minor League deal in February.

Since undergoing surgery on both knees in August 2014, Swisher has seen a decline in his mobility. A 2010 All-Star, Swisher played for New York from 2009-12, batting .268/.367/.483 with 105 home runs and 349 RBIs in 598 games.

After the 2012 season, Swisher signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Indians. He has hit .204/.291/.326 since the start of the 2014 season, and Atlanta tried unsuccessfully to trade him this spring. Swisher is a career .249 hitter over 12 seasons with the Athletics, White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Braves.