CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher believes that a handful of days off did wonders for his sore left shoulder. His state of mind was helped by the fact that the Indians' offense went on a tear when he was forced out of the lineup last week.
"It was nice to be able to get everybody rockin' and rolling through those few days," Swisher said, "so I could afford to take those days off. In situations like that, you can be pressing to get back in the lineup if things aren't going right. But at that time, the guys were doing their thing. It was nice just to be able to fully relax and not even think about pinch-hitting or anything."
Swisher was held out of the lineup with the soreness in the shoulder -- moving back and forth between first base and right field is believed to be partially responsible -- for the first time on Tuesday. He returned on Saturday following a period of four days (three games) off. In those three games, Cleveland outscored its opponents, 27-8.
On Monday, when the Indians began a four-game series with the A's, Swisher's shoulder was feeling greatly improved.
"It's awesome, bro," he said. "It's feeling great."
Through 25 games, Swisher has hit .253 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. The shoulder issue affected his swing, especially during his 1-for-5 showing against the Royals on April 29, one day after he had nine at-bats in a doubleheader in Kansas City.
"That last game in Kansas City," he said, "I [told manager Terry Francona], 'I don't know what to tell you, man. My goal was to play 162 games this year.' But he said, 'We've got some guys that can get in there and get it done.' ... That's a great feeling to have, when a manager says, 'You've got to do what you've got to do to get ready.' I was able to take those couple of days off."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.