Indians manager Terry Francona said he met with Swisher on Saturday morning and again Saturday night to discuss the situation and the decision.
"We talked for a long time. It was actually really, really good," Francona said on Sunday morning. "I told him, I said, 'Man, this is not an indictment on you or your work ethic.' I got a chance to watch him work all spring and how diligent he was. And I think he was surprised when he came back that it was harder than he expected. And he understood.
"When you get a guy not emotional -- like after a game -- he was like, 'I know this has been hard for me, and [I'm] trying to figure out how to make it work.' So, we came to the conclusion that this would be in his best interest and so, when he can come back, he can try to be the player that he wants to be."
The move to place Swisher on the 15-day disabled list cleared a roster spot for the Indians to promote their top prospect, shortstop Francisco Lindor, from Triple-A Columbus.
The 34-year-old Swisher, who underwent surgery on both knees on Aug. 20 last season, received a medical injection in his left knee prior to taking two games off on Wednesday and Thursday. Swisher played on Friday in Detroit, but the swelling and dicomfort in the knee persisted, according to Francona.
Since initially coming off the DL on May 5, Swisher hit .198 with two home runs, eight RBIs and a .558 OPS through 101 at-bats in 30 games for Cleveland. Prior to landing on the DL again, Swisher posted a .097 (3-for-31) in his past 10 games. In his previous 12 games, Swisher showed some promise, hitting at a .275 clip with an .856 OPS in 40 at-bats.
"We want to do what's best for him. He understood," Francona said. "I was really impressed with how open he was with me, and it helped me. Hopefully, in the long run, this will help everybody."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.