TORONTO -- You couldn't really blame Nick Swisher for forgetting the count during his final at-bat on Friday night. After all, it can be tough to keep track after seeing so many pitches in the course of a single game.
When Jason Frasor missed with a 3-2 fastball leading off the ninth. Swisher was preparing to get right back in the box before home-plate umpire Bill Hohn pointed him toward first base. The payoff pitch was the eighth Swisher had seen in the at-bat on a night when he worked three 3-2 counts and saw a remarkable 30 pitches in all at the plate.
Swisher battled Toronto starter Brett Cecil in an 11-pitch at-bat in the first inning before grounding out to third. He walked his second time up on a 3-2 pitch and grounded into a double play on a 2-2 delivery in the sixth off Cecil. Cecil and Frasor combined to throw only 121 pitches on the night, and nearly one-quarter of those were to the Yankees' right fielder.
Swisher led the Yankees with 97 walks last season, and although he is earning free passes less frequently this season, he is putting the ball in play with authority more often. According to Fangraphs, Swisher is making contact 81 percent of the time he swings the bat, the highest mark of his career. His .372 batting average on balls in play is second on the team only to Robinson Cano, and it's possible it's not a fluke. A robust 26.1 percent of balls Swisher puts in play are line drives, easily the highest mark of his career.
"I saw from Day 1 in Spring Training, [Swisher's] contact was hard and consistent," manager Joe Girardi said on Friday. "And it hasn't stopped. I don't think Swish has ever been one to lack confidence, but the numbers are really showing."
Posada to resume catching activities
TORONTO -- Manager Joe Girardi is hopeful that Jorge Posada can begin working behind the plate in the next week.
Girardi has yet to talk extensively about a timetable with Posada and trainer Gene Monahan, but the plan remains to work Posada back into catching shape soon.
"It's not like starting over, but it's getting back there," Girardi said, mentioning that Posada would have to catch a few bullpen sessions, throw to the bases and do some blocking exercises before returning behind the plate in a game. "My concern is how he responds to that. You probably want to see a couple days and see how he responds."
Posada has not started behind the plate since he suffered that hairline fracture in his right foot on May 16 against the Twins. He is making his fourth consecutive start at designated hitter on Saturday since his quicker-than-expected return from the disabled list. Girardi admitted that, if the Yankees didn't need his bat so much, Posada may have gone on a rehab assignment to get in his catching work.
"You'd see how his foot would really react in certain situations," Girardi said of the hypothetical rehab. "We needed the bat, and he was able to come back sooner than we thought. It's worked out well; we just have to work him back to being a catcher."
Francisco Cervelli has played very well in Posada's absence, with Chad Moeller serving as the primary backup until Posada works back into game shape.
Marcus Thames was a late scratch in left field on Saturday with a stiff neck. Kevin Russo took his place, batting ninth. ... As promised on Friday, Curtis Granderson got the day off in center. ... Andy Pettitte entered Saturday's start hoping to improve his record in day games this season to 7-1. ... The roof at Rogers Centre was open on Saturday. Joe Girardi said that he enjoys the fresh air, but worries about the shadows. "Shadows can be tough [at Rogers Centre]," the manager said.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.