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Friday, March 18, 2016

Giants notes: Jarrett Parker homers, Gorkys Hernandez throws out a friend as outfield competition heats up - Giants Extra

The Giants have a lot of outfielders hitting well this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2016 at 07:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Royals coach Kuntz wins over players | royals.com

If you hang around a Royals Spring Training practice for even a few moments, you’ll hear the familiar and booming voice of first-base coach Rusty Kuntz.

“Player!” is Kuntz’s signature bark at his troops, an endearing shout that has become the equivalent of his “Hello.”
Royals players view the term as a compliment about their skills, as in “He’s a player!” but few know the origin of Kuntz’s “Player!”
“I was with Houston, my second or third year coaching,” Kuntz recalled. “All the players would ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2016 at 07:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, rusty kuntz

The Baseballist: Top 10 Most Accomplished Active Managers - BaseballAmerica.com

But how do they manage expectations?

With so many accomplished managers vacating the dugout in recent seasons—including three of the best ever—and with teams seemingly favoring younger, less experienced applicants when making manager hires, the game today appears to have fewer active managers on a Hall of Fame track. But let’s take a closer look using the James monitor system outlined above.

If you pay attention to the annual BA Best Tools balloting results, then you probably know the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2016 at 06:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: managers

Indians’ Casey Weathers can throw 108 mph | MLB.com

Casey Weathers, yellow sneakers flashing, takes a few running steps and a crow hop before hurling a baseball with all his might into a sock net, which is a mere 30-ish feet away from his release point. A radar gun reading gets spit out on a monitor mounted on the wall: 107.8 mph.

“I got really fortunate in the last year,” says Weathers, 30, who battled bad luck and injuries for the better part of five seasons. “I basically got signed by the Indians off a pull-down video.”
Casey Weathers Radar ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2016 at 06:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: casey weathers, indians

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trouble in Sox Camp

Should he stay or should he go now?
If he goes there will be trouble
An’ if he stays it will be double
So come on and let me know

Skigem Posted: March 17, 2016 at 04:15 PM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: adam laroche, chris sale, kenny williams, white sox

Lester Goes One-for-Four at Minor League Camp

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 3
1. P Jon Lester: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)
2. P Jon Lester: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)
3. P Jon Lester: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)

Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 17, 2016 at 09:37 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester, yips

OT: NCAA March Madness 2016 Thread

I estimate that only 3-5 Primates are interested in college basketball, but I’m betting a few more will be tuned in for the next few weeks. Good luck getting that CBS bumper music out of your skull!

Link goes to “One Shining Moment” video


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 17, 1916:

[Tigers manager Hughie] Jennings is having difficulty in securing nine men for his all-comers’ team which will battle the Irish contingent today. “Who wants to play against an Irishman on this day?” is the alibi.

They’ve got a point.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, holidays

Analytics have teams considering bullpen roles | MLB.com

4. Playing it by ear every day would inevitably force relief pitchers to warm up more frequently than they have to, ultimately hindering performance.

At least that’s what Angels closer Huston Street believes.

“At the end of the day,” Street said, “it’s quite simple: There’s just not enough energy to go around.”

Street has been a closer almost his entire life, from his collegiate days at the University of Texas to the totality of his 11-year Major League career. He estimates that in a given ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, relief pitching, sabermetrics

Nationals Bronson Arroyo scratched from start | MLB.com

It’s sounds like it’s over.

Bronson Arroyo’s Major League comeback with the Nationals may have come to an end. The 39-year-old right-hander was scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday with right shoulder soreness, which a source told MLB.com is the result of a tear of his labrum. MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweeted that the tear was “80 percent.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 08:08 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bronson arroyo, nationals

Indians Michael Brantley in Minor League start | MLB.com

Brantley is still working to be ready for Opening Day.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 07:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael brantley

Contreras has look of Cubs’ catcher of the future | Chicago Sun-Times

The Cubs are busting out all over.

“I think he’s got as much ability as anybody at that position,” said the Cubs’ catching coach. “He’s the kind of athletic, strong, strong-armed, powerful-legged, young catcher that you don’t come across very often.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 07:30 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, willson contreras

School of Roch: Notes on Wieters, Matusz, Britton and more

Still not a good sign.

Renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews examined Matt Wieters’ MRI and concurred with team physicians who said there were no signs of structural damage.

More good news for the Orioles, who held obvious concerns about Wieters after he exited Saturday’s game with right wrist soreness.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 07:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, orioles

Dodgers Digest / 2016 Dodgers prospects: Best Tools

Dodgers Digest breaks down the best prospect tools.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, prospects

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pirates’ Juan Nicasio strikes out 10 in start | MLB.com

Nicasio struck out 10 of the 14 Orioles hitters he faced over four innings in Pittsburgh’s 9-3 loss at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday. The right-hander, signed to a $3 million contract in December, allowed one hit and extended his Spring Training scoreless streak to 10 innings.

Nicasio has one career 10-strikeout game, which came as a member of the Rockies against the Padres on July 31, 2011. He faced 28 batters in that game, compared to the 14 he faced Wednesday.

“That kind of outing will get ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 07:29 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: juan nicasio, pirates

Barry Bonds defeats Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich in Marlins home run derby

There were 762 of those bad boys during Barry Bonds’ 22-year career. But it was a career that ended nine years ago. Bonds is now 51 years old and the Marlins’ new hitting coach.

Still, it’s hard not to wonder whether the slugger could somehow help the team in some dream emergency scenario off the bench. Can he still hit? Is that don’t-pitch-me-inside-i’ll-obliterate-that-thing-to-the-moon swing still there? Judging from an impromptu home run derby on the back fields of Roger Dean Stadium on ...

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eddieot Posted: March 16, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Figueroa using analytics, physics for edge in making Pirates’ roster

On Monday in Fort Myers, Fla., Figueroa made an outstanding play at third base, ranging far to his right to field a ball, then releasing an accurate throw from beyond the third-base line to first. In the following inning, he singled to center to raise his spring average to .350 (7 for 20).

But he’s also perhaps the most mathematically gifted player in the Grapefruit League. In clubhouses that still have varying degrees of resistance to new-age thought, Figueroa is using analytics, coding ...

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eddieot Posted: March 16, 2016 at 01:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Sabermetrics’ impact grows as baseball delves deeper into the numbers

Billy Beane never should have put together this conference.

If Bill James incubated the revolution with his annual “Baseball Abstract” in the 1980s, and Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball” spread the movement into the mainstream and throughout the sport, the next generation is all about more numbers, more knowledge and new ways of finding new knowledge.

Jason Sherwin was a research professor of visual neuroscience at the State University of New York after holding appointments as a postdoctoral ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: conference, sabermetrics

Gay Cardinals Minor League player quit baseball when teammates said gays should be killed

I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart. I was miserable in a sport that used to give me life, and ultimately I decided I needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity. -Tyler Dunnington


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-16-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 16, 1916:

[Phillies manager] Pat Moran didn’t relish a letter he received from Eppa Rixey. The tall southsider said he was unable to get a pinch teacher to take his place at his school in Alexandria, and he could not tell when he would join the Phils. Sidestepping Dixie drill is bad business. Pat wired Rixey to go to the Phillies camp at once, or be disciplined.
...
Clark Griffith was rather amused when his attention was called to a story printed in one of the Washington ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 16, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chick gandil, dugout, eppa rixey, history, joe judge

Spring Training Roundup: Short Story? - BaseballAmerica.com

Baseball America updates on some young players in camp.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Enjoy the many subtle reactions from one of the strangest double plays you’ll ever see | MLB.com

You have to hate when this happens.

After catching the ball, Nava turned toward the outfield. It appeared that there were at least two friendly fans who were doing their darndest to let Nava know “No! There are two outs! Stop! What are you doing! What are you doooooing!”

Meanwhile, here were the Angels infielders—arms up, calling out two outs. But as you can tell by Yunel Escobar’s cocked head and the glance from Gregorio Petit, these are two men who have resigned themselves to the chaos of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, daniel nava

The Teams With the Most Dead Money in MLB | FanGraphs Baseball

Money is dead.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Full Count » Takeaways from Red Sox Grapefruit League game No. 14: David Price finding his groove, Hanley Ramirez passes another test

Hanley will be OK at first base.

Hanley Ramirez can cross another challenge off his list.

Heading into spring training, Ramirez expressed trepidation at needing to reach across first base to tag a runner on an errant throw. He got that opportunity on Tuesday and made the play, snaring a high throw from third baseman Pablo Sandoval and slapping a tag on Rob Refsnyder in the fourth.

“Just let it happen,” Ramirez said after the game. “Just react. Let your instincts take over.”

Manager ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, hanley ramirez, red sox

Craig Counsell, Pat Murphy have ties that bind

“He’s very high energy, very take-charge,” said leftfielder Ryan Braun. “It seems like he has a unique ability to inspire and motivate. That’s something you don’t find very often. He’s added a unique dynamic that we haven’t really had around here.

“The whole energy of this camp is better than any camp I’ve been a part of the lat 10 years. It’s been really good and he has been a big part of it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, craig counsell, managers, pat murphy

A’s Hill searching for answers after another rough start | CSN Bay Area

Maybe the guy who has been mediocre most of his career really is mediocre.

At the heart of the issue, Hill is having trouble finding the right release point in his delivery. That’s causing his bread-and-butter curve ball to betray him at times. Hill’s defense bailed him out in a couple of innings, preventing even more potential scoreboard damage. But the bottom of the third epitomized his frustrations.

After issuing back-to-back walks on eight pitches to start the inning, Hill struck out ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo hits third home run in four games as Rangers beat Cleveland | SportsDay

Joey Gallo is making an impression.

At it again: Something appears to be working with Joey Gallo’s approach. He homered Tuesday over the right field berm and nearly clearing a party tent that sat behind it. It was his third homer in his last four games and a span of 10 at-bats. Perhaps more impressive: It came off funky lefty Tom Gorzelanny on the first pitch Gallo saw. Gallo singled in his next at-bat, too, and has reached base in 10 of his last 17 plate appearances.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

New manager Andy Green is a breath of fresh air for the Padres and MLB | FOX Sports

“The first time I talked to the team, that was part of my message,” he says. “That’s the heartbeat of who I am. Better people make better teammates. Better teammates make better players. Being selfless, thinking about others, is a great way to live your life.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, managers, padres

Texas Rangers: Sources: Rangers are surveying catching market and Lucroy may not be top target | SportsDay

The Rangers are happy with Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, but they are thin behind him. It is one area in which general manager Jon Daniels recently acknowledged a lack of depth. The Rangers are currently deciding between Chris Gimenez, Michael McKenry and Bobby Wilson for the backup spot.

If the club were to add Norris, who started a career-high 116 games behind the plate last year, it would give them the ability to plan on keeping Chirinos in the 70-80 game range.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 07:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris., rangers

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

STL P-D: As Cardinals search for shortstop, Oquendo gives team direction

For infielders, Jose Oquendo’s reach extends their grasp.

The Cardinals’ choreographer relies on his feel for the game, his read on the pitcher and increasingly detailed spray charts to direct each infielder where there is a high probability of a play. It’s his sense of positioning that the groundball-greedy Cardinals have come to rely on, and one of the reasons they feel confident converting infielders, even at a premium position like shortstop.

Our Brock Hanke has been touting ...

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Dr. Vaux Posted: March 15, 2016 at 05:54 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, coaching, defense, jose oquendo, spring training

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