C. J. Cron (1B - COL) - Cron has cooled off a bit from a crazy August (387/463/828), but he did homer again in Philly on Friday night to give him 15 in the 2nd half and 27 for the year. He is benefiting tremendously from Coors Field, with an OPS split of close to .350 between home and away, but aside from a few more flyballs this is pretty much how Cron hits. He is continuing to show the reduced chase rate he had in a handful of games last season, and that's pushed his walk rate up over 5% from his previous career high, which when coupled with the added BABIP from Coors has him posting an OBP 52 points over his career average. This was all pretty easily forecastable (except maybe the continued low chase rate from last year's 13 games), and we all should be watching closely to see if he re-signs with the Rockies. If he does, he's absolutely going to sit somewhere between 10-12 for me in the 1B rankings for 2022.
Adrian Houser (SP - MIL) - Houser followed up his complete-game shutout from last week with another 6 innings without allowing an earned run on Friday, but it was much more of a struggle than the previous outing. Houser walked 5 and allowed a pair of unearned runs as the Indians stole 6 bases on he and Omar Narvaez. Houser missed quite a few bats on Friday (13 on 103 pitches), but in general has one of the lower swinging strike rates among SPs. When combined with his poor (and getting poorer each year) control, he is much more flammable than many seem to think. The GB rate is phenomenal and is enough to maintain my interest on its own, but a BB rate near 4 is very problematic, particularly when he isn't very good at keeping runners from taking off (and his catcher has a rather poor arm). He's firmly in streamer territory for me, but there's potential here for more...that was just career start number 52 at the big league level.
Josh Bell (1B - WAS) - Bell homered again (his 26th) and walked twice in the 4-3 loss to the Pirates on Friday, and after a fairly miserable first half of the season, Bell has heated up since the break with 14 HR in just 179 AB. You can always tell when Bell is going well by his BB:K ratio, and since August 1 he has 21 BB against only 18 K, cutting his K% by 1/3 in the second half of the season from the first. His second half performance thus far looks a lot like his 2019 season, so here's hoping he's back...the exit velo is a career best, and the chase rate has dropped back down to his typically discerning level. I like him in all formats at this point, and I expect I'll be higher on him than most come spring once again.
Jose Barrero (SS - CIN) - Jose Barrero singled and doubled in the 4-2 win over St. Louis on Friday, and with Kyle Farmer on the paternity list, he may very well be in the lineup again on Saturday. Miles Mikolas doesn't miss many bats, especially with the lower velocity that he's showing in his return from the IL so far this season, and that's Barrero's major weakness. He had 19 HR and 16 SB with a .303 AVG in 85 games at AA and AAA this year, showing off his power and speed potential at just 23 years of age. He's priced at the minimum ($2000) for the evening slate on Saturday, and if he's in the lineup I'm likely using him for the massive cost savings.
German Marquez (SP - COL) - Marquez bounced back well from a few poor outings, shutting out the Phillies for 6 innings on 6 hits with 1 walk and 6 K's. Marquez hasn't quite been his best self this season, showing worse control than he has since rookie ball and losing close to 1 mph from his fastball, but he's still a very solid arm that remains firmly inside the top 50 SP for me. Sometimes we have a tendency to gloss over things like matchups/scheduling when looking at how players have performed. For example, Marquez against SF this season: 14 1/3 IP, 23 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 10 BB, 19 K, 0-4. If you just pitched him against everyone but SF this season, you have a pitcher that's 12-6 with a 2.89 ERA, 2.67 BB/9, a WHIP of 1.11, and 8.74 K/9. As of now, Marquez is slated to miss the Giants for their last series with Colorado, but that's something I'd watch closely.....he clearly matches up poorly with them. Otherwise, he's in my lineup without fear.
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