Good times are here again. Dallas Keuchel is dealing. The offense is mashing home runs left and right. Houston is on a three-game winning streak. Life is great.
This is a perfect time to dole out weekly awards, then. This is easily the most enjoyable trip through the last week I've taken this year.
A reminder: these awards are completely arbitrary. I don't base them on any one stat or any one thing. I look at the entire body of work (for those seven days) and make a judgment call. Usually, it's wrong.
The most low-profile struggler in this lineup might be Houston's backstop. Nagging injuries have stolen time from him, but there's no question Castro hasn't lived up to his "breakout" 2013 campaign.
But, in the past week, he did much better. He hit .375/.444/.688 with a home run in four games and 18 plate appearances. That's a marked improvement to his sub-.220 batting average before that. It's also helpful that he's drawing a walk or two in addition to producing some power.
Castro is currently projected to hit 17 homers this season, one less than in 2013. His walk rate, though, is three percent lower than it was last season and his batting average on balls in play is 50 points lower than 2013. His line drive rate has only fallen two percent, so it's not a lack of hard-hit balls.
Maybe Castro has more luck. Maybe he's just in for a down season. Either way, it was nice to see more life from his bat in the past week.
Trogdor is a man. Then he is a dragon man. Then he is a dragon.
In between, he hit .348/.375/.565 with a home run in 24 plate appearances last week. The power hasn't shown up in a huge way (despite Trogdor having five homers on the season), but that's largely because he hasn't made enough contact to open the season.
If Carter can put bat on ball more often, he'll continue to be a homeless man's version of Adam Dunn. He'll also infuriate everyone who hates strikeouts and wants to see Jon Singleton in the majors right now.
Sixty percent. The center fielder in Houston reached base sixty percent of the time he came to bat last week.
As in .607 on-base percentage, over 28 plate appearances.
Dexter Fowler had a pretty incredible week. He walked eight times, picked up nine hits and had a double and a home run sprinkled in. He struck out just four times and scored seven runs.
After a scorching first series and a cold rest-of-April, Fowler is finally back to his normal levels. The Fowler you see before you is the one he's been in the last few years. He's getting on base at a high clip, showing a little power and stealing a few bases. He's also showcasing below-average defense.
All that tracks with his reputation when he was traded to Houston from Colorado. Except, he wasn't supposed to be the same player. When the trade happened, everyone translated his stats away from Coors Field and concluded he'd be a .250 hitter at best. That his home/road splits were scary enough to doom the trade.
What we've seen instead is that home/road splits may not be the best judge of whether a player will hit in a new environment. Also, maybe getting on base a crazy amount of time and possessing speed to beat out the occasional ground ball will play no matter the field.
There's a lot of season left. Fowler still could regress badly after an insanely hot May. We don't expect he'll get on base at a .600 clip forever. But, for now, he's been very good and exactly what Houston needed at the top of the lineup.