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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Top 20 Rookies For 2016 - BaseballAmerica.com

More young players to get excited about.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies, scouting

Rangers’ Joey Gallo hits first spring homer | MLB.com

“I’m trying to be more patient than last year,” said Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect. “That’s the biggest difference from last year. It wasn’t that I couldn’t hit, I just wasn’t patient. I’m going up there with a different feeling. Early in spring I was trying to see more pitches. Now I’m being more aggressive.”

Gallo, called to the big leagues when Adrian Beltre went on the disabled list in June, played in 36 games for the Rangers as a rookie last season and hit .204 with six home runs, 14 ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:47 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Spring Headlines: Asdrubal Cabrera shut down with knee injury | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

All was looking good with their new double play combo too. At least until Thursday, when Cabrera tweaked his left knee while running the bases. Now they’ve learned Cabrera suffered a strained patella tendon and will be shut down for at least two weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, mets

Red Sox like to create good will with salaries for young players - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

I doubt it buys them much good will.

At a time when money is pouring into the game and young players are playing a more prominent role in teams’ success, the payscale for pre-arbitration players may deserve a closer look during this year’s collective bargaining negotiations.

As all that was going on, Boston quietly announced its agreements with pre-arbitration players. Included among them was a $650,500 salary for shortstop Xander Bogaerts — roughly 30 percent more than league minimum for ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez happy with spring debut - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

He pitched well yesterday but I’m moving him down on my draft board this spring just in case.

Given that this team that will lean heavily on its starting rotation, Martinez’s health has been much-discussed this spring. The 24-year-old went 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA and struck out 184 batters last season, generating great expectations for 2016, but he also wore down and finished the season with a sore right shoulder.

He has been moving at a slower pace than the other starting pitchers this spring ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, carlos martinez

2016 SABR Analytics Conference-Friday (with images, tweets) · sabr · Storify

See Sean Forman juggle. Really.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Mike Scioscia may be old school, but GM Billy Eppler says Angels manager embraces new metrics too - LA Times

“The analytics vs. scouting thing, it’s so tired,” he said. “It’s so East Coast-West Coast rap. Uncle. Uncle, you know what I mean?

“It’s almost like you have to be Republican or Democrat. Are you East Coast rap or West Coast? Are you for stats or are you for scouting? I don’t know. Can I really be in between? Because I am.

“It’s only black and white. Nobody wants gray, but gray’s the best. That’s what makes this game great. There is no absolute.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, billy eppler, joe maddon, sabr

Indians outfielder Michael Brantley clears big hurdle, takes live batting practice - Indians - Ohio

While Brantley wants to play in Cleveland’s opener on April 4, it appears unlikely the outfielder will be able to do so. He still must work his way back into game shape before being inserted in a regular-season lineup.

If Brantley feels he’s able to play when opening day rolls around, however, Francona will listen to him.

“We don’t want to hold him back,” Francona said. “He asked us to trust him and that’s really not a very hard thing to do.”

Any setback with Brantley’s ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 07:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael brantley

Jarrod Parker refractures elbow

An MRI showed the right-hander had refractured his right elbow while throwing a pitch during a bullpen session Thursday. Parker’s latest injury originally was diagnosed as a muscular impingement, which is much less serious.

spanx for the memories Posted: March 12, 2016 at 03:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland athletics

Friday, March 11, 2016

Jenrry Mejia will appeal lifetime ban from baseball, lawyer accuses MLB of ‘dirty cop tactics’

Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia will appeal the lifetime ban MLB hit him with for a third positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, the closer’s lawyer said Friday.

“My client feels he has no choice but to fight,” said Vincent White with Mejia by his side at a press conference in Queens.

White accused MLB of “dirty cop tactics,” and claims to have spoken with several witnesses, one of whom, White says, accuses MLB of hacking players’ online accounts….

White also said he’d ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2016 at 03:30 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty cop, jennry mejia, mets, peds, suspension

Garcia, Diaz are versatile prospects for Cardinals at shortstop | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

A rundown of the Cardinals options at short.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:21 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

2016 SABR Analytics Conference - Day 1 (with images, tweets) · sabr · Storify

This looks like a good time.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, sabr

Texas Rangers: Signs from spring training; Mazara looks legit, Perez looks ready for big role, do these games actually matter? | SportsDay

Who has impressed you the most in spring training?

Grant: Nomar Mazara looks legit. Has great approach at the plate. Stinging the ball. It’s not surprising that he is performing well since he’s a top prospect, but maybe a bit surprising since this is his first major league spring training. Also: Martin Perez. He just looks ready for a big role. And seven ground balls in two innings in his first spring start is further evidence the Tommy John issues are a thing of the past.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2016

Toledo News-Bee, March 11, 1916:

Ty Cobb, world-famous ball player, is mourning the loss of a $600 diamond ring which he has been wearing for the past 10 years. The ring is resting somewhere along the Big Four railroad tracks between Ivorydale and Lockland, near Cincinnati.

Cobb lost the ring when it was washed from a new style basin unknown to Cobb. Cobb walked the ties, but was unable to locate the expensive stone. He has offered a big reward for its return.

Don’t look at it as the loss of a ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Grumpy old codger grumps

“Bautista is a f—-ing disgrace to the game…[Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”

Shockingly, it gets worse.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 10, 2016 at 02:56 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: blowhards

Bryce Harper: Baseball ‘a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself’

“If a guy pumps his fist at me on the mound, I’m going to go, ‘Yeah, you got me. Good for you. Hopefully I get you next time.’ That’s what makes the game fun.

Fun?  This is baseball we’re talking about.  You’re not supposed to look like you’re having fun.

Srul Itza Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:12 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Another year of the Jered Weaver experiment

At this point it’s safe to call it a spring tradition: Eyebrows get raised in response to Jered Weaver‘s underwhelming velocity, and Weaver tells the media he doesn’t care. There’s nothing wrong with Weaver’s reaction, because he is more of a command pitcher, and he knows he’ll be fine if he locates. I’m sure he’s beyond tired of this repeating conversation. But from the outside, it’s significant that Weaver’s fastball continues to surprise, because it just keeps getting ...

Read More...
Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 10, 2016 at 10:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jered weaver, velocity

Yoan Moncada making a strong impression in camp - The Boston Globe

I say he ends up in LF.

He could become the third baseman who replaces Pablo Sandoval. Or he could become the left fielder who replaces Rusney Castillo.
[snip]
“He moves way better than I anticipated,” Kelly said. “He’s quicker than I thought. I underestimated him.

“He’s got so much mass on his body. There’s nobody in the history of baseball who has been that strong and that big [as a second baseman].

“I work out with NFL football players in the offseason. I see them every day, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:14 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yoan moncada

Hyun Soo Kim continues drought, could be testing Orioles’ patience - Baltimore Sun

It’s looks like he may start in AAA.

As Hyun Soo Kim’s hitless streak grew to 21 at-bats following an 0-for-3 outing in the Orioles’ 8-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, the club is remaining hopeful that the South Korean outfielder will break out of his early spring slump sooner than later. But it’s growing evident that the Orioles are getting just as frustrated with Kim’s struggles.

“It’s just, I know what 0-for-whatever looks like,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun-soo kim, orioles

Royals’ Kendrys Morales is old soul in clubhouse and a run-producer in lineup | The Kansas City Star

Kendrys Morales is an old soul of sorts, a fan of the classics, so as he made a home at Kauffman Stadium in 2015, he settled on a simple routine. He would show up to the stadium around noon, change into a pair of basketball shorts and a T-shirt and cue up a playlist from a past generation.

“Elvis,” Royals manager Ned Yost says. “Frank Sinatra.”

In his first season in Kansas City, the rhythms of Morales fit his new club perfectly. As a switch-hitting designated hitter with hands like ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kendrys morales, royals

Pirates notebook: Outfielder Austin Meadows out indefinitely with orbital fracture in right eye | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hopefully it won’t impact his vision.

Pirates prospect Austin Meadows, an outfielder drafted ninth overall in 2013, injured his right eye while playing catch Tuesday at Pirate City. Initial tests showed an orbital fracture, but he’ll have further testing early next week in Pittsburgh.

Trainer Todd Tomczyk said it is too early to give a timetable for Meadows’ return. Doctors will to wait for swelling to subside before deciding whether the injury requires surgery. “Every injury has its own ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: austin meadows, pirates

Cody Bellinger having hot start to spring | dodgers.com

I’ve a few Dodgers games this spring. Bellinger has looked good. What hasn’t been good is the announcers mentioning his father in just about EVERY AB. In one game, they mentioned his father in all three AB.

We get it. Please stop.

“I get that question a lot,” said Bellinger, the son of former Major Leaguer Clay Bellinger, the assistant coach when Cody went to the Little League World Series and now a fireman in nearby Gilbert.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-10-2016

Milwaukee Sentinel, March 10, 1916:

Jim Scott, White Sox pitcher, is working a new delivery, which he thinks he will call the X-ball, applying the algebraic meaning of unknown quantity of the “X”.

The idea came by accident. He took a bottle of mineral water to the park. By moistening the tips of his two fingers of his right hand he found he could raise a loose welt on one side of the ball, and this caused it to take a weird and erratic course on the way to the plate. Half a minute sufficed to ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim scott, pitches

Reds’ Jay Bruce, Joey Votto working on bunting this spring

It’s all about the shift.

It’s hard not to notice all the real estate on the left side of the infield when Jay Bruce comes up to bat. Most teams employ an extreme shift with Bruce at the plate, moving the second baseman into short right field, the shortstop behind the bag and the third baseman at the normal shortstop position.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:45 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, joey votto, reds

Orioles’ Chris Tillman looking forward to putting hip issue behind him in first spring start - Baltimore Sun

Is Chris Tillman a top of the rotation starter or not? A hip issue won’t help him pitch like one for the Orioles.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris tillman, orioles

Baseball players more friendly to each other | MLB.com

It is just a game.

Mike Caldwell was traded from the Reds to the Brewers on June 15, 1977. Upon joining his new team, Caldwell reportedly called a team meeting at which he announced, “There are only 24 players in this game I like. … And if I ever get traded from here I’ll hate every one of you, too.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Mets Matt Harvey added spin to slider in 2015 | mets.com

When data matches perception.

Harvey noted to DiComo that he wasn’t sure if it was a “a forearm-strength thing or a feel thing,” and in late July, it was reported that he’d made adjustments to the slider with pitching coach Dan Warthen. But the trend was unmistakable. Just look at what happens when you compare spin rate (in blue) to the vertical movement he gained (orange line):

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Adrian Beltre Seeks Three-Year Deal From Rangers - MLB Trade Rumors

That’s a lot of money for a 37 year old, especially with Joey Gallo waiting. I guess we’ll see what the Rangers really think of Gallo.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is looking for a three-year deal in extension talks with the club, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (Twitter links). He’s also hoping to out-earn Pablo Sandoval on an annual basis, per the report, which would suggest a deal with an average annual value in excess of $19MM. Presumably, that contract would kick in following the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, rangers

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Arrieta, Cubs talking extension

He’s only going to get more expensive after this year’s 30-1, 0.87 ERA.

Arrieta and Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein recently discussed parameters for an extension, but nothing is imminent. ... Arrieta insisted that a longer-term deal would have to be for six or seven years, as there would be no point in a three- to four-year contract that would take him only a year or two past free agency. Arrieta has two seasons remaining before he reaches free agency.[\blockquote]

Walt Davis Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:54 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrietta

Ruben Amaro, Jr. says Phillies’ anti-analytics image was a ruse to gain a “competitive advantage”

David Laurila of FanGraphs caught up with Amaro and asked about the whole analytics thing in Philadelphia.

“You can’t ever deny the numbers. That’s true for every GM and every baseball person, regardless of whether you’re ‘old school’ or ‘new school.’ When a scout walks in, the first thing he does is pick up a stat sheet and look at what the player does and what he’s been doing. The numbers don’t lie.

“I’ve always believed in analytics. I just didn’t make it all ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:56 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, phillies, ruben amaro jr.

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