C. J. Cron- 1B- COL- Hot- Cron kept up his hot start, going 2-for-4 with his 3rd homer of the year. He also rapped a double and 5 of his 7 hits in 2023 have been for extra bases. In the category of "things you see with small sample sizes" Cron has an OPS of 2.328. After 3 games he's already almost 10% of the way to his 31 projected homers. This has all happened at Petco Park, not Coors Field. Last year, Cron didn't hit a homer in San Diego. This looks like something that will be looked at as an anomaly after there have been more games in the season.
Joey Votto- 1B- CIN- Injury Update- Votto began his minor league rehab at AAA Louisville yesterday by launching a 448 ft. homer on the first pitch he saw. If he can manage to come back healthy Votto could provide 20+ homers. Health and the other pieces of his performance are big question marks for the 39-year-old. Votto did slug 36 homers in 2021 so he could be a sleeper (that's hard to type, but is where he is at this point in his storied career.)
Joey Wiemer- OF- MIL- Rookie- Wiemer was called up from AAA Nashville after Luis Urias was placed on the IL. Wiemer doubled on the first MLB pitch he saw in his debut yesterday and ended up 1-for-2 for the game. In 2022, between AA Biloxi and AAA Nashville he slugged 21 homers and swiped 31 bases. In 174 PAs with Nashville Wiemer slashed .287/.368/.520 and had a 19.5% K%. He played CF yesterday and will see some time there when Garrett Mitchell rests and also in RF when Brian Anderson mans the hot corner for Milwaukee.
Justin Steele- P- CHC- Hot-Steele tossed 6 shutout IP in his 2023 debut. He allowed 3 hits and walked only 1 while striking out 8. He had a very favorable matchup in weather that was likely to inhibit offense. Still , it was a solid performance. The control (not just the lone walk but 57 strikes in 84 pitches) was a very good sign. In 2022, Steele had a 3.78 BB/9, which was an improvement over the 4.26 he posted in 57 MLB IPs in 2021.He had a 3.78 ERA and 3.48 xFIP last year. He was undervalued in most leagues and may be available for a waiver pickup.
Felix Bautista- RP- BAL- Cold- Bautista wasn't charged with any runs in 4.2 IP of Grapefruit League play. That has not been the case of either of his regular season appearances. Bautista picked up the save on opening day, but allowed 2 runs, one of them earned in his 9th inning appearance. Yesterday he allowed a walk off homer to blow the save and the game. The two runs were unearned since there was an error and Bautista did retire 2 batters. Bautista has lost a couple of mph off his fastball and splitter. His fastball is still at 97.4 while the splitter has dropped from 88.4 to 85.9. It's still early, but Bautista is going to need to improve his performance or the Orioles may look to replace him as closer, at least temporarily.
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