Speed Plot – May 12th, 2006

Daily Best

Nick Swisher and Troy Glaus – Both players hit homeruns in consecutive at-bats and now sit tied for second in the AL with 12 homeruns. On the year, Swisher has a higher average, a higher walk-rate, and a higher slugging percentage making him one of the most valuable hitters so far.

Jake Peavy – In a season where offense is through the roof, Peavy’s 13 strikeout performance last night rivals Javier Vazquez‘s perfecto-bid for most exciting pitching performance of the year. Over seven innings he faced 24 batters. Only four reached base and only eight managed to put the ball in play.

Daily Worst

Marlon Byrd – A night with four strikeouts is always impressive, even if it takes six at-bats to do it. Byrd was a hotshot prospect for the Phillies a couple years ago, but he hasn’t figured out major league pitching yet, as evidence by his .378 career slugging percentage

The Nationals’ Bullpen – After the Nationals’ offense scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning, John Rauch, Felix Rodriguez, and Joey Eischen managed to give up four runs and the game while recording only one out.

The 5 Players I Feel Like Writing About

Bronson Arroyo – Arroyo deserves a full column at some point, but I can’t help but mentioning last night’s performance: 8 IP, no runs, 8 strikeouts, and no walks. He would have had his major league-leading sixth win if David Weathers hadn’t blow the ninth-inning lead.

Corey Koskie – Koskie hit a homerun last night, bringing his season line to .295/.362/.516. His on-base percentage is actually just lower than his career line, but he’s slugging at a career best pace. After a few years out of favor with the Twins and Blue Jays, the Brewers seem to have made a great pickup on the cheap.

Jeff Kent – Kent’s 38 years old and it’s starting to show. Not only has his batting average plummeted to .222, but his isolated power has been cut in half since his prime. The Dodgers were counting on another solid season from Kent in order to contend, but it looks like neither will happen.

Mark Loretta – After an awful start to the season, I began to wonder if Kevin Towers knew something about Loretta that the rest of us didn’t. Over his last seven games, however, he has 17 hits to bring his season average up to .280. His batting average on balls in play is still way below his career mark, giving hope for even more improvement.

Matt Lecroy – After Brian Schneider gave up six stolen bases to the Reds the night before, Lecroy managed to hold them to five last night. If Schneider, a decent defensive catcher, struggled to control the Red’s running game, is it really a smart move to let Lecroy, who is not a decent defensive catcher, take a shot at it?

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Sky Kalkman is a writer for Fan Graphs. You can email him at skyking162@gmail.com or visit his baseball blog. Sky's favorite color is orange.

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