A swingman is an athlete capable of playing multiple positions in their sport.
In basketball, the term “swingman” (a.k.a. “wing” or “guard-forward”) denotes a player who can play both the shooting guard (2) and small forward (3) positions, and in essence swing between the positions.
In ice hockey, a swingman is a player that could play both defenseman and forward, such as Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, and Brendan Smith of the New York Rangers .
In baseball, a swingman is a pitcher who can work either as a reliever or as a starter. As baseball is a sport with set rotations and bullpen pitchers, swingmen are rarely used. They are most commonly seen in postseason baseball. When a team is in need of a win, a starting pitcher can come back in for relief in any game after a day of them having pitched. For example, the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series and in order to do so, their ace starting pitcher Chris Sale, who had just pitched 2 days before, came into the game in the 8th and 9th inning as a closer in order to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers and win the World Series therefore titling him a swingman for that series. If the pitcher is usually a long reliever, he is called a "spot starter".
The term is also used in Australian rules football, typically to describe a player who can play both in attack and in defence, usually as a key position player. Examples include Harry Taylor, Ryan Schoenmakers, Ben Reid and Jarryd Roughead.
- S. Trnini and D. Dizdar, System of the Performance Evaluation Criteria Weighted per Positions in the Basketball Game, 2000
- Boston Globe