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Swisher's struggles don't concern Francona

CLEVELAND -- The last thing Indians manager Terry Francona is going to do is make too much of a slump roughly two weeks into the season. That is especially true when it comes to a veteran player such as Nick Swisher.

Heading into Friday's game with the Blue Jays, Swisher was hitting just .164 (10-for-61) with two home runs, one double and seven RBIs in 15 games. The switch-hitter had 14 strikeouts compared to eight walks to go along with a .261 on-base percentage and .279 slugging percentage.

"For whatever reason, some players get off to a cold start," Francona said. "It always happens, and you dont have a remedy, or a pill to take. You have to ride it out and work hard. The good part is, you look at the back of their baseball card.

"I'm telling you, they're going to get to their level, the guys that are struggling. As hard as it is now, when they get hot, they're going to get real hot."

For his career, Swisher has turned in a .255/.358/.462 slash line over 1,354 games, with at least 20 home runs in nine consecutive seasons. He had a prolonged cold spell to open last season, when he hit .229 over the first 65 games. When the season ended, Swisher turned in a .246/.341/.423 line with 22 homers, 27 doubles, 63 RBIs and 77 walks in 145 games.

Francona said he has been pleased to this point that Swisher has not let the early struggles affect his attitude.

"I just think Swish wants so bad for us to be good," Francona said. "That's probably the biggest [thing]. Even [on Thursday], he was having a pretty tough day at the plate and, when we were showing signs of getting that tying run on or trying to get the tying run to the plate, he was about as loud as anybody.

"He wants to win. I've never seen Swish, on a personal bad day, not be excited when we win. And I mean that about as complimentary as you can say it."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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