By Jason Wojciechowski on June 30, 2005 at 8:26 PM
Oakland won again yesterday, their sixth straight victory, with Joe Blanton pitching yet another strong game (eight innings, two runs, one walk, five strikeouts, thirteen ground-ball outs). Blanton's five strikeouts are most impressive because earlier in the season, it would take him two or three games strung together to ring up five batters. Nobody's ever going to go nuts over his strikeout rate as it stands, but at least it's one that, when combined with a low walk rate and a great home-run rate, can mix together to make a successful pitcher.
Nick Swisher also homered again, and the AP wrap-up mentioned that he's "quickly becoming a contender for AL rookie of the year honors." Well, maybe so, but not justifiably. Baseball Prospectus has a separate VORP list just for rookies which shows that Swisher is 19th among AL position-playing rookies in VORP. That doesn't even include the 17 AL rookie pitchers who have accumulated more VORP than Swisher thus far. Purely by VORP, the AL rookie of the year has been Chris Young, the tall righty for Texas. Swisher, in fact, trails two of his own teammates for the honor: the aformentioned Smokin' Joe Blanton and new first baseman Dan Johnson. Keiichi Yabu is not far behind.
Stats pages have been updated. Keith Ginter just continues to suck.