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Friday, June 02, 2017

Yonder Alonso finds power stroke with Oakland Athletics, hopes to land in All-Star Game

Alonso had to overhaul his swing if he wanted to stay in the game. He talked to everyone from Carlos Beltran to Rougned Odor to Pujols to Adrian Beltre to Bryce Harper to Eric Hosmer, discussing their individual hitting approach and trying to design a swing that could work for him.

He incorporated video work along with his offseason batting cage efforts, analyzing different swings frame by frame.

“I wanted him to do this for years,” Machado says. “We would argue back and forth on what ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 11:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, yonder alonso

Khris Davis Me in Real Life | MLB.com

In his own words.

My name is Khris Davis. I’m an outfielder for the Oakland A’s, and for me, it all starts with my parents. They are my role models, and they taught me that hard work pays off. They also showed me that happiness is important and is worth pursuing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 11:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-2-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 2, 1917:

Hank Gowdy, catcher and hero of the 1914 world’s series, [yesterday] gained the distinction of being the first ball player to relinquish voluntarily the luxurious life of a big league ball player to carry a rifle as a private in the Army. Gowdy [yesterday] left for his home in Columbus, O., to enlist.
...
His teammates were infested with the military fever by his decisive step and a day off, and Stallings fears others will follow suit.

Gowdy spent time on ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 02, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i


Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: “Sources: Struggling reliever Sam Dyson will be designated for assignment by

According to Rosenthal, the Rangers are looking to trade him.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 08:40 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, sam dyson

Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak is only 19, but he’s already shown a power swing

“He has shown true gap power to right-center and left-center, and at 19 years old he is still getting there,” Malloy said. “I don’t see why he can’t be a 15-20 home-run guy at the next level.”

One scout who has seen Moniak with Lakewood agreed.

“The ball jumps off his bat, and I think he is going to be a very good hitter, and the power will come,” the scout said. “When you look at it, he is such a young kid, and it’s hard to play in that league, playing against some 23-, 24-year-olds.”

“I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey moniak, phillies, prospects

Brinson smashes two homers for Sky Sox | MiLB.com News

“So far this year, he’s done everything the organization has asked of him,” Colorado Springs’ hitting coach Al LeBoeuf said. “He’s got all the tools that you’d want and the most important one is his mind. His mind is progressing every day and getting in the right place to allow his athletic ability to take over.”

“I think the mental side of my approach has been a work in progress throughout my career,” Brinson added. “These past few years, I think I’ve got a lot better at taking it one at-bat ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, lewis brinson

Different Mr. Met has quiet day at Citi Field | Newsday

This might be the dumbest baseball story this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mascots, mets

Batted-ball data visualization using an alternative to a heatmap – fivetwentyone

This is some cool work. (Yes, data analysis can be cool.)

Data visualization research suggests that spatial separation and length are the most effective ways of showing quantitative comparisons, and in particular that color is better for categorical variables than quantitative variables. My goal here is to explore an alternative to a heatmap that uses a line graph instead of color to show the quantitative dependance of batting average on launch speed. One complication with that is that the way ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Prospect Heat Check: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is going to be a star just like his dad

If you want prospect talk, Jeff Passan has prospect talk.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Braves Matt Kemp off to hot slugging start | MLB.com

In 2017, Kemp’s xwOBA is .399, and his actual wOBA is .416, and now you can see what we’re talking about. At .399, his combination of batted ball contact and strikeouts and walks has very truly been a big step up over last year, one of the 25 best in baseball, ahead of stars like Buster Posey or Francisco Lindor. But instead of underperforming as he had in the [ast two years, Kemp has overperformed this year by 17 points. You can see that in his .398 BABIP, which is 100 points higher than last ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, matt kemp

Thursday, June 01, 2017

We asked our staff for their favorite baseball broadcasters. Here are their answers

Ian Casselberry: I really like Ron Darling’s work. Maybe we favor play-by-play guys because they do most of the talking and set the tone for a broadcast, and because it’s really difficult to overcome an annoying or poor one. But Darling benefits from a strong play-by-play man setting him up in Gary Cohen, and he’s taken the opportunity to develop into a broadcaster capable of providing insightful analysis, being entertaining at slow points in the action, and also calling a game if needed. ...Read More...


What if The King Wanted to be The Kid?

Still not as good as Jordan…..

What if a nine-year old LeBron James, inspired by Ken Griffey Jr.’s 45-homer monster season in 1993, had picked up a bat and glove? Instead of setting his ultra-competitive mind to chasing the ghost who played in Chicago (Michael Jordan), he could have set it to the one who played in San Francisco (Willie Mays), Atlanta (Hank Aaron), Seattle (Griffey) or Pittsburgh (Barry Bonds).
Given that James has been in the NBA for 14 years, and we were watching his high ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lebron james

101-year-old diehard Mets fan attends her first game in person

On Thursday, June 1, 2017, Rudal “Rudy” Ahlen, who turns 102 on July 29 and has been a Mets fan since Day One in 1962 after nearly a half-century as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, was treated to a game and a meet-and-greet with some players after the organization read a Newsday story about her watching Opening Day at the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack, where she lives and shouts at the screen when they lose.

Howie Menckel Posted: June 01, 2017 at 09:42 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

MLB officially has too many damn home runs

Please remove 3.

p.s. I am not a crackpot.

Bote Man Posted: June 01, 2017 at 08:22 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, home runs, juiced ball

Kyle Schwarber Is Not Bad at Baseball | FanGraphs Baseball

Monstrous production of 2015?

Schwarber’s has recorded a .343 xwOBA for the season. That’s a good bit above average and would produce about a 110 or 115 wRC+ after park adjustment. It remains to be seen whether Schwarber returns to the monstrous production of 2015. He’s going to walk a ton, though, which should keep his on-base percentage afloat. He might always strike out a lot, too, which will limit his upside some. Even if he hits the rest of the season just like he has so far, that’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 06:40 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Heyman | Hot Seat Isn’t Hot But Here Are 14 Names To Consider

AL Notes and NL Notes.

1. John Farrell, Red Sox.

There have been a few bad signs, most notably when star Dustin Pedroia yelled over to his friend Manny Machado that “it wasn’t me, it was them,” seeming to pin the team’s beanball silliness on nondescript reliever Matt Barnes and someone above Barnes (presumably Farrell). Even Red Sox people admit that didn’t look good at all. It also wasn’t great when Farrell had an argument in the dugout in Oakland with Drew Pomeranz. And ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 06:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers

Heyman | Boras Goes To Bat For Arrieta After Up-And-Down Start

Boras is consistent. If one of his clients was in an accident and lost a leg, Boras would be claiming the weight loss would help him hop faster down the line.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 12:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, scott boras

Astronomical – Joe Blogs – Medium

The Poz on the Astros, Kyle Schwarber, and Mr. Met.

A few years ago, when Theo Epstein was first talking about how to make the Cubs winners, he kept going back to a singular philosophy: You need to control the strike zone both on offense and on defense. He thought of the strike zone the way football coaches think about the line of scrimmage.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 12:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, kyle schwarber

Here’s why the Atlanta Braves won’t trade Matt Kemp | Mark Bradley blog

Matt Kemp is teasing the Braves. What happens when he comes to camp next year with 20-30 extra pounds?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 12:06 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, matt kemp


What The Mets Really Need To Apologize For

I can’t disagree.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Felix Hernandez scheduled to begin rehab assignment soon | The Seattle Times

Hernandez, who hasn’t pitched in more than a month, will likely throw a few innings in a simulated game on Friday or Saturday. If that goes well, Hernandez will make at least one minor-league rehab start, although Servais said “most likely two will be the right amount.”

That means Hernandez is about two weeks away from returning to the Mariners’ rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners


New York State of Mind

I’m not a big fan of having the most current article at the site root and not providing an alternative link. Hopefully if you decide to click the link, you’ll get to the right article.

The driver walked down the steps, and Mr. Durso got behind the wheel.

Thankfully, by now, a New York cop was quickly approaching the bus. Faster than you can say “WTF,” he got on the bus, looked around, said “WTF” – and realized we truly were the Chicago Cubs. He got Peter out of the driver’s seat, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, don zimmer

Manny Machado: How Gleyber Torres should handle pressure call-up | New York Post

“What’s the old expression Billy [Martin] used to say? ‘Try as you may, you can’t screw up the really good ones,’ ” said Showalter, who got to know Martin during his final term as Yankees manager in 1988. “They will always seek to their level. Manny could play anywhere. Of course it was, you know, if you want to go to the big leagues, you’ve got to learn how to play third base. ‘OK, I’ll do that.’ ”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gleyber torres, yankees

#LaunchMo

Does this mean he’s actually good because of a mechanical change or is it small sample size theater?

The added loft to his swing is allowing him to drive the ball to and over the fence. Morrison’s average launch angle from 2015 through 2016 was between 10.7 and 12.1% with his average batted ball distance between 172 and 175 feet. So far in 2017, his average launch angle is 15.1% and his average batted ball distance is up 50 feet from last season to 215 feet. His 18 Barrels leads the club and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: logan morrison, rays

Royals’ Ned Yost struggles to find playing time for Jorge Soler | The Kansas City Star

On Wednesday, it was more apparent than ever. The Royals were facing a left-handed starter in Detroit’s Matthew Boyd. Yost opted for the right-handed hitting Bonifacio in right field and Salvador Perez at designated hitter, offering a start to backup catcher Drew Butera. Yost said he wanted to give Perez a half-day off. Alex Gordon, a struggling left-handed hitter, started in left field.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jorge bonifacio, jorge soler, royals


Phillies have discussed sending Maikel Franco to Triple A

Maikel Franco, who opened the season hitting fourth in the Phillies’ lineup, could be sent to Triple A if he doesn’t break out of his slump.

“We’ve talked about it,” manager Pete Mackanin said before Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins. “That’s about all I’ll say. It’s been discussed.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

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