The name most Rockies fans hope to see in the lineup in the first game against the Houston Astros for game one of a two-game series is an obvious one.

Nolan Arenado, winner of the last three Silver Slugger Award for best offensive third baseman in the National League, has been missing from the lineup for the past two games due to shoulder soreness.

The name in which they should probably be checking will definitely be missing. Let me explain.

Two interleague games against Houston gives Colorado the opportunity to use a designated hitter and improve an offense that was unable to score more the five runs at home during their recent seven-game homestand.

The missing name in the lineup tonight is another talented hitter in the race for his first Silver Slugger: starting pitcher German Márquez.

According to FanGraphs, Márquez has generated 0.7 WAR as a hitter during his twenty-three games played this season. He trails only Max Scherzer with 0.8 WAR, whose one stolen base has helped inflate this metric.

Consider that Márquez has achieved this value in only 44 plate appearances. Over the course of 500 plate appearances, that would be roughly equivalent to 7.7 WAR, an offensive figure not even Arenado has achieved in his career.

Since WAR is calculated based upon other players at a given position, this doesn’t mean Márquez is as talented at the plate as Arenado.

It does mean that the margin of offensive production when compared with his peers has been better for Márquez as a pitcher than Arenado as a third baseman.

Márquez spoke to BSN Denver about his skills in the batter’s box this season and the pride in which he takes during his plate appearances.

“I love to compete. That’s part of my DNA and things are going my way when I make contact, which I’m making tons of contact lately and finding holes too.”

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