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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Thursday, November 12, 2015

School of Roch: Catching up on the catching situation

Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter with a career .240/.311/.419 slash line in nine seasons. He’s below-average behind the plate, but he did hit 25 home runs with the Red Sox in 2012 and the team signing him would pay only the league minimum. The Marlins are on the hook, so to speak, for the rest of the $8 million he’s owed next season.

It would simply be a depth signing. If not him, someone else. It won’t be presented as a major acquisition. It’s not evidence that Duquette is ignoring more ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Scott Boras says Harvey’s innings limit was misunderstanding - NY Daily News

Misstep, misunderstanding. Tomato,  tomahto.

It was all a big “misunderstanding.”

Uber agent Scott Boras, who started a firestorm in September over Matt Harvey’s innings limit, threatening that the Mets would be putting the right-hander in peril if he was used too much down the stretch, is now happy with the way things worked out.

“I think there was a misunderstanding,” said Boras, who made his annual appearance at the GM Meetings on Wednesday. “Matt never, ever said anything ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets, scott boras

Braves open to talks about Andrelton Simmons |

This is surprising.

The Braves are listening to some clubs that have shown interest in Andrelton Simmons, but this does not mean they are actively shopping the young shortstop, who is widely considered one of the game’s top defensive assets.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 06:27 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: andrelton simmons, braves

Cuban players to watch this Hot Stove season |

An estimated 100 players have left Cuba in search of a Major League contract in the past 12 months.

How many of those players will sign with a big league club is up for debate. What’s certain is that the once powerful Serie Nacional, the island’s top league, has been depleted by the defections from its top players over the past few years. Not surprisingly, many of the recent players to leave Cuba are much younger than their predecessors, so they are subject to international signing guidelines ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 06:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ESPN: Cardinals great Lou Brock recovering after leg amputation

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock, a former base stealing champion, has had his left leg amputated below the knee due to an infection related to diabetes.

The Cardinals and a longtime friend, Dick Zitzmann, confirmed Wednesday that the 76-year-old Brock had had surgery last month. Brock is undergoing therapy at an area hospital and will be fitted for a prosthetic leg.

Dayumm!! I know he’s a whipping boy around here for being overrated (and he is).But still, he was a lot of fun to ...

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 11, 2015 at 09:29 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brock, sb

Yankees, Mariners have engaged in talks about Brett Gardner | New York Post

No trade discussions were characterized as far along or specifically targeted to just one team. Nevertheless, Gardner has long been a player whom new Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has liked going back to his time as an executive with the Diamondbacks and Angels. The Mariners, in fact, as part of the six-player trade done last week with Tampa, obtained center field prospect Boog Powell, who is commonly compared to Gardner in projecting his future.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, trade rumors, yankees

Self-Sustaining System Is Stearns’ Success Plan -

“The philosophy of building a sustainable playoff team is not a secret,” he said. “You need to acquire, develop and keep controllable, young talent.

“If you look at the sustainably competitive teams throughout the industry, regardless of market size and city, that’s what they have to do.”

Fortunately for Stearns, the Brewers made real progress in that direction before he was hired. By virtue of the team’s last two drafts, in particular their highly regarded 2015 selections, as ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2015 at 05:55 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, david stearns, general managers

Gleeman: Twins trade Aaron Hicks to Yankees for John Ryan Murphy

Does this mean Gardner’s on his way out?

Hicks turned his career around this year, hitting .256 with 11 homers and a .721 OPS in 97 games for the Twins to show some of the promise that made him a top-100 prospect before back-to-back rough seasons in 2013 and 2014. He’s a speedy center fielder with a very good arm and the potential to be an above-average hitter, although so far the switch-hitting Hicks has struggled against right-handed pitching enough to question if he should be playing every ...

JE (Jason) Posted: November 11, 2015 at 03:20 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, hot stove, twins, yankees

Sullivan: The Extra Value of Having an Elite Reliever

It couldn’t be cleaner. We were missing about 1.7 wins. Through Clutch, we located about 1.7 wins. This appears to explain the over-performance, but given the consistency, it shouldn’t be thought of as over-performance; it should be thought of as a team capability, that WAR misses.

This is evidence that having a shutdown high-leverage reliever can be worth more wins than WAR would suggest. And this is just in the regular season, so we’re not touching on any further benefits in the ...

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 11, 2015 at 11:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: clutch, leverage, relief pitching, sabermetrics, war

The outfielders who threw 100 mph (FanGraphs)

Occasionally, an outfielder will get a running head start, whether on a single or a sac fly, and throw a bullet to home plate, just like a pitcher, and it elicits a response. We can see with our eyes that the ball was thrown exceptionally hard, but we don’t see it on the radar gun, so these throws go unrecognized. You’ll hear about “pitchers who can throw 100,” but you never hear outfielders regarded in the same light. The pitchers who can throw 100 have their own exclusive, little ...

Davo Posted: November 11, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, carlos gomez, defense, jake marisnick, kevin kiermaier

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-11-2015

Toledo News-Bee, November 11, 1915:

One day several years ago Lewis Rober, a retired fireman of Minneapolis, Minn., made a soft ball for a few firemen to play with.

Out of that simple act there has grown an outdoor game so popular it has spread to other cities and an industry with such bright prospects a big sporting goods concern has taken to making the same kind of ball.

The firemen invented a game like indoor baseball…Officials of city playgrounds heard of the ball, tested it, ordered a lot ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 11, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, softball

Japan Times: [Yomiuri] Giants pitchers to be banned from baseball for betting on games

None of these players is a star (they only threw 19 innings in 2015 between the three of them), but having members of Japan’s most famous team banned for gambling is a big deal. Oh, and they were gambling not only on NPB games, but MLB ones. They can apply for reinstatement in five years - they avoided permanent banishment because they weren’t found to have fixed any games.

Nippon Professional Baseball will ban three Yomiuri Giants pitchers indefinitely for their involvement in a gambling ...

vortex of dissipation Posted: November 11, 2015 at 05:44 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, japanese baseball

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gold Glove winners announced |

Buster Posey and Andrelton Simmons got jobbed.

Here is the complete list of Gold Glove winners:
NL: Yadier Molina, Cardinals (eighth straight win)
AL: Salvador Perez, Royals (third straight)
NL: Brandon Crawford, Giants (first)
AL: Alcides Escobar, Royals (first)
First base
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs (second)
AL: Eric Hosmer, Royals (third straight)
Second base
NL: Dee Gordon, Marlins (first)
AL: Jose Altuve, Astros (first)
Third base
NL: Nolan Arenado, Rockies (third ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 09:08 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, gold gloves

Lance Lynn injured, has Tommy John surgery |

Well, this explains it.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 09:07 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, lance lynn, tommy john surgery

Big free-agent contracts not worth it long-term.

Some of the players who sign for $20 million or more will be worth it in 2016, and some even in 2017. And who knows? Maybe they’ll sustain their value for a half-decade to come. But they’ll be bucking history if they do. So much of baseball analysis and analytics in the past few years has been focused on maximizing the efficiency of one’s payroll dollar, down to the most granular level. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that little is less inefficient than buying free agents on the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Full Count » Red Sox hire former ESPN, Globe reporter Gordon Edes as historian

The Red Sox on Tuesday announced that they’ve hired sportswriter Gordon Edes, formerly of ESPN and the Boston Globe, to work as a strategic communications advisor and team historian.

Edes, a native of Lunenberg, has worked in journalism for 35 years, most recently at ESPNBoston. In his new role, he’ll report directly to principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon.

Edes attended North Park University in Chicago, leaving to start his ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:30 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Baseball Prospectus | Winning By Design

OK, I’m going to read up a little more about “design thinking.” From what I’ve read so far “a method of meeting people’s needs and desires in a technologically feasible and strategically viable way” is really just a business speak definition of thinking differently. I’m going to keep an open mind on the topic but, at first blush, it just seems like a new fangled name for an old concept.

Design thinking, according to Harvard Business Review, is “a method of meeting people’s needs and desires in ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 03:50 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, team building

Hot stove survey—Offseason questions for baseball execs

In conjunction with an annual fall tradition, polled 34 general managers, assistant GMs, scouting directors and other baseball evaluators on seven questions that will help dictate the course of the Hot Stove season.
3. Which free-agent power hitter would you rather invest in for the long haul—Chris Davis or Yoenis Cespedes?

Responses: Cespedes 17. Davis 15. Two respondents said they would pass on both.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, gm meetings

MLB execs: Why best chance to upgrade starts at GM meetings -

Ben Nicholson-Smith assesses the market.

Even building an elite team offers few guarantees. Just as lesser teams can advance, top teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t even assured of a Division Series appearance in some years.

“It drives teams to the middle,” an AL executive said. ” The main thing is teams are less likely to rebuild because 86 can get you in, and then anything can happen.”

The first steps to sneaking in typically take place during the winter. As baseball’s middle ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 01:47 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, gm meetings

RootMetrics Review of Network Performance at US Baseball Parks

My buddy who works for [a major U.S. cell carrier] told me about RootMetrics to see crowdsourced coverage data. The first thing staring me in the face was this article from late October. Serendipity?

You have to dig into the site to get more specific info and there’s an app you can run on your phone that reports back to the Mother Ship so that they can tabulate these coverage maps.

When you’re at a game, you might want to check the scores of other games with your phone, manage your fantasy ...

Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$ Posted: November 10, 2015 at 12:27 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: technology

Breakout Candidates for 2016: Cincinnati Reds - Minor League Ball

I’m very high on Iglesias as well.

Top Candidate:  Raisel Iglesias. In his October report on Cincinnati’s rookie starters, John highlighted many of the reasons to be excited about Iglesias heading into 2016.  In 95.1 innings during his rookie campaign, the Cuban import registered impressive peripheral markers including 9.82 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, and a 3.28 xFIP.  His mediocre 4.15 ERA obscures his overall talent level.  Given all of the challenges he faced in his transition to pro-ball in the U.S., I ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:44 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, reds

Astros could strike a balance with offseason moves - Houston Chronicle

“Playoffs, everything is intensely scrutinized because every play matters so much more,” Luhnow said. “But if you’re good enough to get to the playoffs, you’re probably good enough to win in the playoffs. We certainly think about how our team would stack in a short series even as we’re constructing a team from right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Rangers notes: Yu Darvish headed home to Japan during ‘no-throw’ rehab | The Star-Telegram

With Darvish penciled in for a return around May and pitchers like Gonzalez and Martinez seemingly ready to contribute, do the Rangers really need anything more than depth signs?

The Rangers are looking to add one starting pitcher this off-season and hope to find a fifth rotation member during a spring training competition among a slew of candidates, including Chi Chi Gonzalez, Nick Martinez, Nick Tepesch, Anthony Ranaudo, and Phil Klein.

The rotation currently consists of left-handers Cole ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Will Dipoto continue his dealing this week at the GM Meetings? | The News Tribune

Having already pulled off the off-season’s first major trade, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is now in a setting that he believes facilitates deal-making.

The general managers are holding their annual meetings this week in Boca Raton, Fla.

“To me, the market is always moving,” Dipoto said. “The general managers’ meetings, years ago, used to be where everything got set up for the Winter Meetings.

“Now, quite frankly, the general managers’ meetings are where we generally ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gm meetings, jerry dipoto, mariners

Analyzing the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot: Ken Griffey Jr. is the only lock | FOX Sports

Rob Neyer looks at the ballot.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Full Count » GM meetings notes: Talks already heating up for Dave Dombrowski, Red Sox

Will this off-season top last year’s off-season?

Still, it sure seems like things are trending toward something happening in the coming days.

“I do,” said Dombrowski when asked if he believed there was more activity than normal at this young stage of the offseason. “People have asked me why, and I’€™m not really sure of that answer, but I do find that.

“We had some of our guys, I asked them to fly in this afternoon to sort of sit down. A couple of our guys said, ‘€˜Wow, we just ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombroski, general managers, gm meetings, red sox

Minor League Free Agents 2015

Time to go dumpster diving!

Ten players selected in the first three rounds of the 2009 draft are free for the first time to choose their next employer after becoming minor league free agents on Nov. 6.

The group includes (with original drafting organization in parentheses) first-rounders Donavan Tate (Padres), Matt Hobgood (Orioles), Jio Mier (Astros) and Tim Wheeler (Rockies); supplemental first-rounder Vic Black (Pirates); second-rounders Garrett Gould (Dodgers), David Holmberg (White Sox) ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 10, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league free agents

U-M baseball recruit dies in Illinois

Because the last 24 hours haven’t been depressing enough:

Charlie Donovan, the Gatorade Illinois baseball player of the year last spring and a Michigan recruit, died early Friday morning. The cause of death has not been determined.

Donovan, drafted in the 30th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in June out of Westmont High, had turned down pro ball to attend U-M. Donovan had deferred his enrollment until at least January because of a severe bout with mono over the summer.

Gamingboy Posted: November 10, 2015 at 09:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: college, college baseball

Vin Scully receives College Baseball HOF award |

Without a doubt Vin Scully is my favorite announcer. Thank you for all the enjoyment you’ve provided this baseball fan. Enjoy your last season.

“The game means a great deal to me,” Scully said, pronouncing himself fit and ready to go, “and I’m honored to be part of this. I went over the list of names in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and, honestly, I’m embarrassed to even be mentioned with these great talents.”

Unlike the team he has represented for 65 years, Scully never disappoints the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, vin scully

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