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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Recent cuts made by Giants could fit in later for team down the road

SAN FRANCISCO—For years, the Giants have made cuts in bunches. They would send out eight or 10 players at a time, but this spring it’s been a trickle, with 10 different sets of transactions thus far.

The latest set cut some big names from the spring roster. As we did early in camp, and again earlier this week, let’s take a look at the players the Giants took out of their Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse and their chances of returning

Mind you, those of us familiar with the Giants’ minor league teams aren’t surprised- a lot of the folk they had in Triple-A to start the season were with the team long before the minor-league season ended last year, and this year doesn’t feel like it will be different.

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuts, giants, minor leagues

Pirates to add OF Cabrera, LHP Liriano to 25-man roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates will add veterans Melky Cabrera and Francisco Liriano to their Opening Day roster, the team announced Saturday.

Both players had been with the Pirates on minor-league deals during spring training. Pittsburgh is expected to clear at least one spot on its 40-man roster by placing right-hander Edgar Santana on the 60-day injured list.

Cabrera, 34, provides Pittsburgh with a switch-hitting option off the bench and an occasional starter at the corner outfield spots. He is a .286 lifetime hitter with 137 home runs and 807 RBIs in 1,754 career games with seven big-league teams.

No matter how bad the free-agent market, these two manage to make it through….

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco liriano, melky cabrera, pirates

Veteran RHP Hammel retires after 13 seasons

Veteran right-hander Jason Hammel is retiring even though he had been told by the Texas Rangers that he had made the team.

The Rangers announced Hammel’s decision on Saturday, a day after the 36-year-old pitcher was informed he would be on the 25-man roster as a long reliever. He had gone to spring training on a minor league deal.

Some jokes just write themselves….

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: jason hammel, rangers, retirement

Sam Kennedy hints Red Sox could host MLB All-Star Game within 5 years

It’s been 20 years since the MLB All-Star Game came to Fenway Park. According to Sam Kennedy, that drought may not reach 25.

The Red Sox president and CEO said Saturday he hopes the Midsummer Classic will come back to Boston within the next half-decade.

“I would hope that Fenway would have the opportunity to host an All-Star game in the next 3-5 years,” Kennedy wrote in an email to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Given how many teams there are, how often should it go to Boston?

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game, fenway park, red sox, sam kennedy

Nationals’ Martinez wants Trea Turner to run more

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Trea Turner led the National League in stolen bases last season, and Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez wants him to run even more.

Turner was successful on 43 of 52 attempts last year. He had a career-high 46 steals in 2017. Martinez wants the speedy shortstop to attempt close to 100 this year.

Turner got his third steal of the spring during Saturday’s 4-4 tie against St. Louis.

Come to think of it, players who run every chance they get could very well be worth exploring- at any rate, it’s the perfect response to how twitchy modern pitching has become…..

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez, nationals, stolen bases, trea turner

Mets sign Rubén Tejada to minor league deal

Free agent infielder Rubén Tejada signed a minor league contract with the Mets, per an official announcement on Saturday. Tejada is not expected to break camp with the team and will report to extended spring training instead.

Somewhere, Chase Utley is feeling tempted to get back into the game….

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor league contracts, ruben tejada

Rays minor league pitcher will live in school bus this season to save money

Minor league baseball players don’t always make a ton of money.

And with them on the road for a large portion of the season, spending whatever money they do make on rent may seem like a waste.

So, pitcher Jack Labosky and his girlfriend decided to think outside of the box.

Labosky and his girlfriend, Madi Hiatt, are planning to live out of a 1999 Blue Bird International school bus during the 2019 season — which they purchased using his $3,000 signing bonus.

Meanwhile, a bunch of children are wondering why their bus to school hasn’t arrived yet.

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jack labosky, minor leaguers, rays, school bus

Source: Astros, Verlander reach $66M extension

The Houston Astros and ace Justin Verlander have agreed to a two-year, $66 million contract extension through the 2021 season, a league source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to ESPN on Saturday.

Astros owner Jim Crane on Friday had said there was mutual interest for an extension with the 36-year-old right-hander.

The news was first reported by KRIV-TV in Houston.

So, is this how long the Astros think their window will last, or just how long they think it will last with Verlander?

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, contract extensions, justin verlander


Saturday, March 23, 2019

There is little correlation between player salaries and ticket prices

With the recent spate of contract extensions and big name free agent signings, more than a handful of fans have expressed concern that deals signed by the likes of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado will drive up ticket prices. Research on the subject is scarce, but both pieces of research I found — by Jon Morgan at The Baltimore Sun in 1998 and Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus in 2003 — found very little correlation between the two variables.

In Morgan’s article, he cited Allen Sanderson, an economist from the University of Chicago who said, “They are either independent of each other or the causality is reversed.” Causality, in layman’s terms, is one variable explaining the other. If the data showed a high degree ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, salaries, ticket prices

Agent: Nick Senzel’s reassigment ‘egregious case of service time manipulation’

Reds prospect Nick Senzel is ready for the majors. Although he battled injuries, the 23-year-old performed well with Triple-A Louisville last season, batting .310/.378/.509 with 20 extra-base hits, 25 RBI, 23 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 193 plate appearances. Senzel has also performed well this spring, batting .308 across 39 at-bats.

The Reds, however, announced on Friday that Senzel was among a handful of players reassigned to minor league camp. Senzel was drafted as a third baseman, began playing second base last year, and had been playing in center field during spring training. The common thought is that the Reds, who have built a competitive roster, will keep Senzel at Triple-A to begin the season and call him up right ...

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QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: nick senzel, service time

Angels’ Ohtani thankful for shout-out from Ichiro

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — During his news conference in Tokyo after playing his final game, Ichiro Suzuki mentioned young Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, saying the two-way player could be one of the best in the world.

Ohtani was flattered to hear that from his idol.

“Obviously, it’s one of the most honoring things coming from Ichiro and I’m really thankful he went out of his way to mention my name at his retirement press conference,” Ohtani said Friday through an interpreter.

Ohtani did send a text message to Ichiro to congratulate him on his stellar career and got a reply.

Does this mean that Ohtani will now be the one capable of all sorts of things if he wants to?

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: changing of the guard, ichiro suzuki, shohei ohtani

‘Trader Jack’ McKeon back in baseball, his ‘love,’ with Nats

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — “Trader Jack” is back at spring training and couldn’t be happier. Back in baseball, where he belongs, after a season away.

Now a special adviser to the Washington Nationals’ general manager, Jack McKeon feels refreshed after a bit of a break from the place that’s been his world for most of his 88 years. He managed more than 1,000 wins in the majors, another 1,000-plus in the minors and was a GM, too.

“This is in your blood. It’s your love. When I used to manage the Marlins, I’d get up at 7, go to church at 8:30, then turn around and go right to the ballpark. People said: How come you went to the ballpark alone at 9 o’clock, 9:30? I’d say that it was like my living room. My home,” ...

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QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jack mckeon, nationals

3 minor leaguers suspended for drugs of abuse

NEW YORK (AP) — Seattle outfielder Eric Filia has been suspended for 100 games following a third positive test for a drug of abuse under baseball’s minor league drug program.

Filia served a 50-game suspension at the start of last season after his second positive test for a drug of abuse. The 26-year-old returned to hit .274 with two homers and 38 RBIs in 79 games for Double-A Arkansas.

Kansas City pitcher Jon Perrin and Boston pitcher Chase Shugart were suspended for 50 games each Friday following second positive tests for a drug of abuse.

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: drug of abuse, suspensions

Giants confident massive new scoreboard will be ready for Opening Day

SAN FRANCISCO—When members of the local media were let into Oracle Park on Friday to see upgrades, it was easy to be concerned about the scoreboard. The new version appears nowhere close to done, but the Giants are quickly making progress, and in the few minutes it took three team executives to brief the media on the ballpark, one percent of the scoreboard panels got completed.

Bill Schlough, the team’s Chief Information Officer, said there are no concerns about Opening Day. The $10 million Diamond Vision board will be fully operational by April 5, when the team returns home to host the Tampa Bay Rays. Schlough said the scoreboard will be more than two-thirds finished by Monday’s exhibition game against the A’s, and since the Giants have ...

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QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: china basin, giants, opening day, scoreboard

Reds’ Scooter Gennett injures leg, sent for scan

PHOENIX (AP) — Cincinnati Reds All-Star second baseman Scooter Gennett injured his right leg while fielding a grounder against Milwaukee and was helped off the field.

Gennett ranged to his left for a ball off the bat of Yasmani Grandal leading off the second inning Friday. Gennett slid to make the stop and threw to pitcher Robert Stephenson covering first for the out. Gennett went to his knees and was helped off by Reds head athletic trainer Steve Baumann and manager David Bell.

“I don’t know exactly if it was when he fell or when he made the throw,” Bell said. “He felt something in his groin.

So, will this affect his ability to scoot?

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, reds, scooter gennett

Injured duo Lindor, Kipnis to miss opening day for Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and double-play partner Jason Kipnis have been ruled out for opening day by the Cleveland Indians.

The team said Friday night that neither player will be ready for Thursday’s opener at Minnesota. Lindor will start the year on the 10-day injured list. He has been recovering from a right calf strain that’s limited him during spring training. He has yet to appear in a Cactus League game but has participated in intrasquad minor league games. Potentially frigid weather in Minneapolis is an extra concern for Cleveland.

Kipnis had an MRI on Thursday which confirmed a mild right calf strain. He won’t do any baseball activities for 7 to 10 days before being re-evaluated.

 

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians, injuries, jason kipnis, opening day

MLB Preview 2019: Who will be this year’s breakout stars?

A new Major League Baseball season brings with it a new chance for success — whether we’re talking about a team or a player. In the case of some players, it’s also the chance for this to become *their* year.

Every year brings breakout candidates, the people who are going to end 2019 in a much better place than they started it, the players who are going to propel their teams to new heights.

It’s a preseason tradition to pick breakout candidates, and we’re nothing if not consistent. So here are some breakout stars of 2019, as predicted by Yahoo Sports MLB’s team of baseball opinion-havers

So, who among these folk will break out this season, who will later, and who never will?

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adalberto mondesi, eloy jimenez, nick pivetta, ronald acuna, shane bieber, stars

Friday, March 22, 2019

Baseball’s new frontier: Inside the looming battle between players and teams over the new data – The Athletic

There are some serious issues involved with the new tech.

The most exciting aspect of new wearable technology — and there are quite a few, as our story outlined today — is that it can put a number on athletic movements that we used to describe generally, out of necessity. Now, thanks to new data, we can be specific. These vests, and sleeves, and monitors, they provide that data. Glorious data.

How that data can be used, and who has access to it, has quickly become the most contested aspect of this new technology in baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, technology

Baseball’s new frontier: How wearable technology is reshaping the game – The Athletic

Johnson goes back to the printout he grabbed, of one of baseball’s best hitters. The kinematic sequences are hard to read at first, but after hours of going over examples, they get easier. This is why a good portion of these seminars with major league clubs is focused on getting them to understand how to read the data properly.

Right away, you notice a problem with this one. There is a drastic dropoff at the hips followed by an unusual uptick at the hands. There is an enviable amount of power generated at the end, but it’s akin to the fire hydrant and garden hose.

“We look at this and say, ‘Ok we have a big issue here.’ Maybe he’s only using 60 percent of his hips? How scary is that?” Johnson said.  “When you’re so ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, technology

The Franchise Bids Farewell

“It shouldn’t have been so easy: Seaver was maybe a little too handsome, maybe a little too eloquent, maybe a little too “California” to earn the trust of a jaded, twice-bitten, hometown faithful. He was a little too… soft to make it big in the Big City.”

gehrig97 Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, cincinnati reds, mets, orioles, tom seaver


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-22-2019

Chicago Eagle, March 22, 1919:

France, the country that went through the fightingest war in history without batting an eye, will never adopt baseball as a national pastime because the game is “too rough.”

This was learned from no less an authority than Capt. Christoper Mathewson, who has just arrived from France.
...
“Their infield work is rotten,” said Christy, “They can run bases all right, but they get little opportunity because they can’t bat…No, the Frenchman will never take to baseball in a big way. He prefers something more gentle, such as football and dueling.”

Elsewhere on the same page…

[Braves catcher] Hank Gowdy has written Manager George Stallings of the Boston Braves that he hopes to bring back with him from France a French ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

ESPN Reasserting Commitment to Baseball through Baseball Tonight

Why bother? MLB Network’s coverage is vastly superior anyway.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 08:11 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, media

Mets to change Citi Field address to honor Tom Seaver, will unveil plans for statue

The Mets will be permanently changing the address of Citi Field to honor Tom Seaver, the team announced on Thursday, with full details to be released at a later date.

In addition, the team will be unveiling plans this June for a statue to honor Seaver, Mets chief revenue officer Lou DePaoli said, according to Newsday.

“We’ve been working on exploring a potential statue option for a couple of years in coordination with the [Seaver] family,” DePaoli said. “We won’t be unveiling a statue this season. We will unveil the plans of what it will look like sometime on that [‘69] weekend.”

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, statues, tom seaver, willets point

Allen Thomas, Alek Thomas share a precious father-son moment after son homers against dad’s White Sox

Every father loves seeing their son hit a home run in a game, but White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas had a different perspective of his son’s home run on Wednesday.

Thomas’ son, Alek Thomas, was drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft by the Diamondbacks and is still in big league camp with Arizona. He homered against the White Sox in the ninth inning of a Cactus League game.

Alek, an 18-year-old Mount Carmel grad, went through the normal celebrations with his teammates, but soon after wanted to get dad’s attention. He was waving in dad’s direction as if to say, “Hey dad, did you see that?”

This time of year, there’s always something to be said about the small slice-of-life moments.

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alek thomas, allen thomas, fathers and sons, white sox

Yankees’ Sabathia makes 1st appearance since heart procedure

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia has returned to the mound for the first time since undergoing a heart procedure in December.

Sabathia allowed one run and two hits over two innings on Thursday in a minor league exhibition game, striking out three for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Toledo, Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate.

Sabathia, who has announced he’s retiring after the season, said he “felt great” after his 26-pitch outing.

Positive news indeed.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, yankees

Giants acquire Connor Joe, who has shot at making Opening Day roster

SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants swapped out a Rule 5 pick who wasn’t going to make the team for one who now very well might.

Drew Ferguson, an outfielder picked up from the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, was designated for assignment Thursday to clear a roster spot for Connor Joe, a utility man who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Joe is under the same restrictions, and given that the Giants picked him up one week from Opening Day, there seems a good chance that Farhan Zaidi will try to tuck the former Dodgers prospect onto the roster.

Joe, 26, has moved all over throughout his minor league career, primarily playing first base, third and the outfield. As a right-handed bat with a .363 career OBP in the minors, he fits a lot of what ...

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QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: connor joe, giants, prospects, rule 5

Former Phillie Chase Utley to join Dodgers broadcast team for select games

Chase Utley wasn’t the biggest or fastest player.

He always found advantages, though, through preparation and guile, outsmarting the opposition and capitalizing on the finest of details.

Phillies fans will never forget the fake throw to first to then nab Jason Bartlett at the plate during Game 5 of the 2008 Fall Classic, such an Utley-type play on the night the city was crowned world champions of baseball.

So, who in the booth’s going to end up with a broken leg?

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, chase utley, dodgers

MLB season preview: Five over/unders you can count on in 2019

Want an easy way to prove to your friends you’re smarter than everyone else when it comes to baseball? Just look at some MLB over/unders.

By looking at win totals, you can get a quick snapshot of where you differ from the general consensus. Do you find the Tampa Bay Rays’ 84.5 win total insulting? Tell your friends they are going to be much better than anyone expects. Think there’s no way the New York Mets surpass 85.5 wins? You just identified a bust.

Feel extra confident in those predictions? Well, you can wager some hard-earned gummy bears on the outcome.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is suspecting that he was born a century too early….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, cubs, overunder, phillies, previews, reds

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