3 up, 3 down

The Kickoff

May 23, 2006|By SHEIL KAPADIA

Up

Eric Byrnes, outfielder, Diamondbacks -- After hitting .226 last year, he has been one of this season's surprises. Byrnes is hitting .331 and went 11-for-25 last week to go along with three homers, five doubles and eight runs scored.

Jason Bay, outfielder, Pirates -- He drove in 110 runs in 2005 and has picked up the pace in May. Bay has 18 RBIs this month, including 11 last week to go along with three home runs.

Scott Kazmir, starter, Devil Rays -- The 22-year-old lefty is pitching as well as anyone in the league. In May, Kazmir is 4-0 and has allowed two earned runs in 27 2/3 innings. His 67 strikeouts are good enough for second in the AL behind Johan Santana.

Down

Alex Rodriguez, third baseman, Yankees -- The reigning American League Most Valuable Player went 7-for-29 (.241) with one RBI and no home runs last week. He is not among the top 15 AL players in homers or RBIs. Not exactly what fantasy owners expected from their top pick.

Vernon Wells, outfielder, Blue Jays -- In April, he hit .396 with nine homers and 25 RBIs. This month, Wells is hitting .250 with one home run and nine RBIs. Last week, he went 4-for-23. Wells is still batting .452 against lefties.

Greg Maddux, starter, Cubs -- After a hot April, Chicago's veteran pitcher has cooled off in May. Maddux is 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA this month and has allowed at least five earned runs in three of his four starts.

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