Justin Verlander- P- HOU- Great Player- Despite yesterday's results, Verlander still qualifies as a great player. Sure, he gave up 7 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits in 3.2 IP. However, Verlander didn't walk anyone and threw 59 of 81 pitches for strikes. His FIP for the game was 1.50. It was a matter of bad luck getting bunched up all at once. There is no reason to consider this more than a one-off aberration.
Freddie Freeman- 1B- LAD-Stats- Freeman went 3-for=5 with a double yesterday and is now slashing .292/.376/.448 with 5 homers in 287 PAs. The power drought may be a result of trying to beat the shift and maintain his average. Freeman's Pull% and Cent% have both gone down while his Oppo% has increased from 25.7% to 34.5%. At least one of his hits last night went to the opposite field. The rest of the season may become an evolution for how to handle Freeman. If the shift becomes less effective, it could get deployed less. That could enable Freeman to see his power numbers surge. His Statcast numbers are very similar to 2021, as are his FB% numbers. It seems like the results of adjustments and counter adjustments.
Liover Peguero- SS- PIT- Rookie- Peguero had a solid MLB debut, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He jumped straight from AA, where he was slashing .292/.315/.469 with 5 homers and 14 steals in 236 PAs. Last season at High A Greensboro, Peguero hit 14 homers in 417 PAs and stole 28 bases. He has the speed and power tools and his batting is developing. Peguero and Nick Gonzales are the Pittsburgh keystone combo of the future. Peguero is a little ahead of Gonzales and has gotten a chance to play a little due to injury. He may not stick around for long, but in keeper leagues, this is an opportunity to grab a solid prospect.
Lorenzo Cain- OF- MIL- Old Player- The 36-year-old Cain was DFA'd by the Brewers. It seems probable that his career is at an end. In his prime during the middle-to-end years of the last decade, Cain was a reliable source for average and double digits of steals and homers. Even in 2021 he slugged 8 homers and stole 13 bases in 286 PAs with the Brewers. This year, Cain's decline was rapid. He was slashing .179/.231/.234 with 1 homer and 2 steals in 156 PAs. Cain had a career-high 59.1% GB%. He did make it to 10 years of service time and was a very exciting and productive fantasy player for several years.
Robinson Chirinos- C- BAL- Hot- Chirinos increased his career stolen base total by 25% yesterday when he swiped 2nd base in the 5th inning. He is now the proud owner of 5 career steals. Chirinos also went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. He is due for some positive regression to the mean, with a .227 BABIP well below his career .277 mark. With a 10.9% BB%, Chirinos could be a sleeper to help teams in leagues that count OBP. Last season, in limited playing time with the Cubs, he posted a .324 OBP, not bad for a catcher. His OBP ranged from .338 to .360 between 2017 and 2019.
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