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Thursday, February 16, 2017

DONNIE DEWEES ONE OF MANY PROSPECTS REAPING THE BENEFITS OF NEUROSCIENCE

Dewees credits this climb, at least in part, to his work with the software, which he refers to as “neuro”. It was created by NeuroScouting, LLC, which was cofounded by Brian Miller and Wesley Clapp and is based in Cambridge, Mass. “NeuroScouting was started in 2007 with a mission focused on translating the latest brain research into real-world applications,” Miller and Clapp said.

To players like Dewees, it is a seemingly simple program that helps with pitch recognition and reflexes.

...
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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:39 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: neuroscience, plate discipline, royals

Kris Bryant gets pranked by Cubs great Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux disguised himself as a bearded, scraggly TV sound man for a Red Bull commercial and zipped a few pitches by the unsuspecting National League MVP while hurling some zingers at him, too.

“This sound guy has got a good curveball. What is this?” Bryant said after taking one of Maddux’s pitches. “He’s pretty good.”...

Maddux came on the mound when the practice pitcher suddenly got a call to “run study hall” on campus. “I seriously doubted you,” Bryant said. “I need to get one over the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:36 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, greg maddux, kris bryant, prank

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-16-2017

El Paso Herald, February 16, 1917:

BALL PLAYERS TO BE SOLDIERS

American Leaguers Will Be Given Instruction in Handling a Gun This Spring

American league baseball parks during the playing season are to be turned into military training camps and the players are to devote one hour a day to instruction. The league has adopted a resolution which provides that the players shall shoulder rifles as well as baseball bats.

They’re looking at you, Dave Davenport.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:06 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Jonah Keri’s over/under bet picks for 2017: Buy low on the A’s, sell high on the Royals

I am not a gambler usually but looking over all the over/unders, I’m tempted to put some of my cash down on the Diamondbacks at 78.5 wins. The D’Backs had a lot go wrong last year. With the change of emphasis on catcher pitch framing, the improved health of Pollock, and the talent I see on their pitching staff, I expect to see much better numbers on the defensive side of things.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: betting on baseball

Prospects to keep an eye on at Spring Training | MLB.com

Prospects in the camps of each team.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training


Theo Epstein of the Cubs shares his 20 percent rule for getting ahead

If you do 90% of your boss’ work, he will like you even more.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

Satche’s Greatest Trick

“Paige was the best pitcher I ever saw,” Feller said. 

“He’s a better pitcher’n I ever hope to be,” Dean said.

“Of course the stories about Satchel are legendary, and some of them are even true,” said Buck O’Neil, who teamed with Paige on the Kansas City Monarchs and was a lifelong friend. “For Satchel, making believers out of doubters was sweeter than winning any ballgame. It was as sweet as life itself.”

gehrig97 Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:04 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bill veeck, bob feller, dizzy dean, satchel paige

The Best Transactions of the 2017 Offseason

#6: Brewers Bet on KBO Translation
Acquire: Eric Thames
Cost: 3 years, $15 million

Thames is a fascinating test case in many ways. A busted prospect who went to Korea and became a superstar, his return to MLB can either be seen as confidence in his improvements — he got a three-year contract! — or skepticism about how well he’ll perform — he only got $5 million per year, which is now bench-player money — depending on which part of his contract you focus. In the end, though, I think ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: transactions

Lou Whitaker on the Hall of Fame: “I didn’t even get daylight”

Whitaker, who played from 1977 to 1995 with the Detroit Tigers, ranks among the best second basemen in baseball history by various sabermetrics — sixth by Wins Above Replacement, seventh by Wins Above Average, and 12th by JAWS according to Baseball-Reference.com. But Whitaker drew just 2.9 percent of the vote for Cooperstown in 2001, his only year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballot, disqualifying him from future consideration by the writers.

...

So what’s taken ...

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Optimizing the Lineup | The Process Report

An interesting look at the Rays lineup. I caution against putting too much credence in simple lineup simulators. In my experience, the best lineups take into account speed and sequencing of lefty-righty batters.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Slow-go for Brantley, Jackson: 5 things we learned from Cleveland Indians’ spring training | cleveland.com

1. Slow go for Michael Brantley.

Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that the Indians would have to “restrain their enthusiasm’ on setting a date for Michael Brantley’s return from August surgery on his right shoulder.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael brantley

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mets’ Zack Wheeler feels tenderness in elbow | MLB.com

Nevertheless, it’s not a promising first day.

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, who has spent nearly two full years attempting to return from Tommy John surgery, felt some “tenderness” in his elbow during a routine bullpen session earlier this week, according to pitching coach Dan Warthen. The Mets have briefly paused Wheeler’s throwing program as a result.

Warthen was quick to add that he does not consider this a setback for Wheeler, because a routine physical exam taken Monday revealed no structural ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:57 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Report: Jeffrey Loria being considered as U.S. Ambassador to France

France is rumored to be offering the Eiffel Tower to other countries in return for prospects.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly being considered as the U.S. ambassador to France.

According to the New York Post, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Preibus has recommended Loria for the position. 

However, there is reportedly internal discussions between Preibus and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about who should get the ambassador positiions.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 15, 2017 at 05:52 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey loria, marlins

Aaron Nola clears a symbolic hurdle in Phillies camp | CSN Philly

Nola’s health is probably the biggest storyline in camp and that showed in the number of eyeballs that peeked in on Wednesday’s bullpen session. Several front office members were on hand. Part owner John Middleton was in attendance, as well.

To the naked eye, Nola looked fine, free and easy, as they say. More tests will come and he will remain a focal point of camp.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “He feels great. He feels like he’s 100 percent and he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Episode 2 is alive! ALIVE! | lapodoa (PODCAST)

Primate David Peng has a new Angels podcast. In Episode 2, he talks to Dan Szymborski about the Angels. Check it out!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:42 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, podcasts

Yankees’ Michael Pineda focused on finishing outs and innings | Newsday

Sabathia is not alone in this judgement. Can he do it, though?

“I always come into spring training saying this is the year he’s going to win the Cy Young, he’s just got so much talent,” Sabathia said. “He just needs to put everything together. He wants to be good, he works really hard. He just wants to be that great pitcher. I think it’ll come together for him, hopefully this year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:02 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: michael pineda, yankees

At full health, Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez hoping for strong spring

It’s a lot easier to be healthy in the off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: anibal sanchez, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-15-2017

Washington Times, February 15, 1917:

Beaten to a frizzle, the baseball players’ fraternity quietly expired last night, when the leader called off the strike and released the men from their pledges. The fraternity was struggling for air after the National League club owners on Tuesday had wiped it off the books and had exposed the real cause for hold-up.

This body blow, which was delivered in spite of frantic requests from the fraternity for a hearing, made the strikers wilt. Many of them were ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 15, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Texas Rangers: Why money might not be the only reason Texas could let Yu Darvish walk after 2017 | SportsDay

It’s difficult to pay ace money when a guy is only pitching 160 innings a year. Even if he tops 200 this season, I’m sure the Rangers will be hesitant to shell out top dollar.

The biggest issue is durability. He’s averaged only 160 innings over the four seasons he’s pitched, and he missed an entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s going to turn 31 during the season, which is usually considered late in a pitcher’s prime to become more durable.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kang to miss start of camp because of trial in South Korea | TribLIVE

The first full-squad workout will be Friday. Kang remains in South Korea, where his trial on drunken-driving charges is set for Feb. 22.

“It is not known how long the trial will last or when any sentencing phase that might be necessary would be scheduled,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to do whatever we can to assist (Kang) and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters, so Jung Ho will be able to travel to the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

Miami Marlins players allowed to facial hair following a one-year ban | Miami Herald

Grow ‘em if you can!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins


Phillies embrace Tug McGraw’s life motto – Phillies Nation

The rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets is one of the best in all of sports, but with the Phils in the middle of a rebuild and the Mets continuing to ride their 30-year championship drought, all has been fairly calm.

That is until the Phillies had the audacity to design a wall in their spring training complex using the words of their Wall of Fame closer Tug McGraw. I mean, how dare they use the slogan “Ya Gotta Believe,” one in which McGraw made his life motto and continued to say ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, tug mcgraw

Red Sox boss uses own NBA analogy in response to Cashman | New York Post

Dave Dombrowski is not falling for Brian Cashman’s hype, comparing his talented Red Sox to the Warriors.

“I heard that and it was interesting,’’ Dombrowski told The Post on Tuesday as Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially worked out for the first time this spring at Fenway South. “But you know what? [The Yankees are] probably like the Cavaliers and I remember the Cavaliers beat Golden State last year. I would think they should be probably be thinking of themselves along those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:31 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, dave dombrowski, red sox, yankees

ESPN’s Glanville Says Playing Deeper In Center Field Would “Make A Difference” For Adam Jones

ESPN analyst/former MLB outfielder Doug Glanville was a guest on Glenn Clark Radio Tuesday. 

Among the topics he discussed were: 
-Would Adam Jones benefit defensively from playing deeper in center field?
-Is there any way that playing deeper could actually hurt him as Buck Showalter suggested?
-Even if he’s right in his comments, was Jones wrong to call out his teammates’ defensive abilities publicly?
-Do teams need to start treating outfield defense similarly to how they treat infield ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, doug glanville, orioles, podcast

Cubs will use restraint to ease Kyle Schwarber into limited catching role - Chicago Tribune

The current plan is for Willson Contreras to catch Jon Lester and start four or five times a week, with Miguel Montero serving as a backup. With Montero in the final year of his contract, Schwarber — who was drafted as a catcher — could move into Montero’s role in 2018 in addition to playing left.

For now, Schwarber will be part of the catching group each morning but will perform physical drills only once or twice a week with coach Mike Borzello, known for his creativity in keeping ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Communication foundation of success for Blue Jays’ Pete Walker - Sportsnet.ca

This year, Valentine’s Day is especially romantic not only because it’s the day when couples unashamedly and overtly make grand declarations of love. More importantly, it’s the day when the Blue Jays’ pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training. The end of winter, as it were. The day on which we can see the first spark of summer.

It’s only appropriate, then, to publish a love letter on this day, but I won’t be penning this one. This love letter is from the Blue Jays ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, pitching coaches

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Royals pitcher Brian Flynn fell through the roof of his barn; he’s out eight weeks

Days before he departed for camp, reliever Brian Flynn crashed through the roof of a barn at his home in McAlester, Okla., breaking a rib and sustaining three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae, Royals manager Ned Yost said on Tuesday. Flynn, a 26-year-old left-hander, is slated to miss close to eight weeks. He entered camp hoping to compete for a spot in a revamped Royals’ bullpen, but the injury stands as a significant setback.

“He was working on his barn and fell through the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 05:06 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brian flynn, injuries, royals

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