News: 2 days agoBerrios threw around 45 pitches over three simulated innings on Friday and reached 95-96 mph with his fastball in the first inning, MLB.com reports.
Spin: Berrios spent the pandemic shutdown throwing a bullpen session every Tuesday and faced hitters on Fridays, the report adds. It sounds like Berrios is in top shape and should be ready for the start of the season. A short season could benefit Berrios, as he's made two consecutive All-Star teams, but faded in the second half the past two years. Berrios had a 3.00 ERA before last year's All-Star break, and 4.64 ERA in the second half.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: On the surface, it looks like Berrios faded after the break for the second season in a row. However, his peripherals and expected ERAs suggest otherwise. Berrios fanned more hitters in the second half, but he allowed more runners on base due to inflated BABIP and walk rates, perhaps from working from the stretch more often following the "lucky" hits. Berrios' first-half ERA was 3.00, compared to 4.64 in the second half. However, his FIP hardly budged from the first half to the second half (from 3.85 to 3.86). Meanwhile, his xFIP was actually better after the break, 4.39 compared to 4.22. Berrios doesn't fan enough hitters to be an ace, but he's durable, so he'll get volume from a lofty innings total. He should continue to improve as he matures, just not into elite territory.