Heavy bat lights fire under Swisher

Heavy bat lights fire under Swisher

ST. PETERSBURG -- It wasn't exactly Roy Hobbs digging in with his Wonderboy bat, but Nick Swisher figured out a little trick that helped him belt his first home run of the season in the Yankees' 7-3 victory over the Rays on Sunday.

Noticing that he seemed to be in front of everything his first three at-bats against Rays pitching, Swisher shunned his regular 31-ounce bat in favor of some heavier lumber, pulling a 34-ouncer out of the bat rack.

Swisher said that it was the first time in his career he had ever used a bat of that weight, but after helping him line up a 78-mph Andy Sonnanstine slider and belt it into the right-field seats, it might become a regular addition to his tool chest.

"It just kind of slowed me down that extra tick," Swisher said. "When you've got a guy like Sonnanstine who really moves the ball, nothing he throws is straight.

"I hadn't hit a ball fair all day, and the last at-bat I was just trying to be as smooth as I could. Maybe I should do that a little more often."

Swisher said that he has been using the heavier bat during batting practice, having "stolen the idea" from Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.

"Those guys swing heavy bats during BP and all offseason," Swisher said. "I do that as well during the offseason, but I've never done it during the season. It's kind of nice.

"When you swing a heavy bat, you swing it so much, when you get that lighter bat in your hand you get a feeling of dominance. It feels like a toothpick."