Nick Swisher (OF - Yankees) - Swisher broke-out on Thursday with a 2-for-4 performance including 4 RBI's and a walk. I'm hoping we look back on this day as the day he turned his season around. I've written about Swisher in previous weeks, hoping that he doesn't revert back to his 2008 season. Still, his AB/HR rate this year of 69.5 is way out of whack. Historically, his worst rate (not including the 71 PA in his first season) was 24.5 in 2007. Before 2011, his career rate was 19.6. The power will come back (especially in Yankee Stadium) and you'll want to be there when it does. After putting some good swings on the ball on Thursday, I wouldn't be shocked to see some power emerge when the Yankees return home for the series against the Mets.
Fausto Carmona (SP - Indians) - Carmona has nightmares about the White Sox. In two starts against them this year, he has allowed 18 ER in just 8.0 IP. For perspective, he has allowed just 34 ER the entire season, so these two starts make up more than half of his ER allowed. His ERA is now 4.76 with a WHIP of 1.23, but if you remove his two starts against the White Sox, he has a 2.56 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Carmona is still 6-for-10 in total in QS this season, but I'd be careful about starting him next time he has to face the White Sox. The Indians have the White Sox on their schedule for four more series this year.
Gordon Beckham (2B - White Sox) - Manager Ozzie Guillen cited his concern over Gordon Beckham's huge strikeout totals and decided to sit him on Thursday. Beckham already has 37 K's and just 7 BB's in 158 PA for a 23% K rate. That's quite a jump from his first season of 15.1% and even last year's rate of 18.5%. He had his struggles in the first half of last year, but eventually came around and posted solid numbers. Using OPS as one metric, his first half last year was .581 and his second half was .877. He's still only 24 years old and is learning on the job, so an extended benching would not only be unfair but also very unlikely. We might be looking at another 1st half / 2nd half split in 2011. And, at a weak position, still has decent value as a buy-low candidate.
JP Arencibia (C - Blue Jays) - Arencibia hasn't done much in terms of average, but 7 HR's as a catcher in just 115 AB yields an AB/HR of 16.4. You won't find many catchers with a better power rate than that. With his 7th HR last night, he inches his OPS just over .800, which is mostly slugging since his OBP is just .305. Arencibia is just 25 years old and is the future behind the plate for the Blue Jays. He has already shown he can hit for power on the big league level after hitting 32 HR in the Minor Leagues in 2010, 21 in 2009, and 27 in 2008. If you're looking for power and don't have one of the top catchers, Arencibia may be your answer. Just be prepared for the downward force on your average.
Gavin Floyd (SP - White Sox) - Floyd bounced back from his previous outing with a quality start on Thursday. He posted 7.0 IP and allowed just 1 ER, 5 H, and 1 BB while striking out 3. Floyd has been all over the place in 2011, but is 5-for-9 in QS and has a decent 7.6 K/9 rate (in line with his previous two years). Despite 4 non-Qs in the mix, Floyd is still sporting a 3.88 ERA and an excellent 1.14 WHIP while earning 5 W's. It shocks me to see ESPN's ownership at less than 50% with those kind of numbers. I understand the inconsistency scares people, but he should still be owned in more mixed leagues than 44%.
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