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Monday, August 22, 2016

How to Solve a Problem Like the Diamondbacks | FanGraphs Baseball

I haven’t liked most of the stuff the Diamondbacks have done in La Russa’s time but firing them now says more about the owner’s problems than the La Russa and Stewart front office.

In a rare case of agreement, I’m actually with LaRussa and Stewart on the idea that they shouldn’t be fired simply because the team performed badly in 2016. The results of one season, whether positive or negative, don’t provide enough information about the quality of the decisions made, and especially not the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 02:50 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

MiLB announces Class A realignment | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball today announced the Class A Advanced Carolina League will add two teams for the 2017 season as part of a broader realignment at that level of play. The California League’s Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks will cease operations at the completion of the 2016 season.

The 2017 season will see a return of professional baseball to Kinston, North Carolina. Kinston served as the home of Carolina League clubs from 1956-57, 1962-74 and 1978-2011. Several locations are ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 01:23 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league affiliations, minor league baseball

Vince Velasquez and the Flukiest Games Ever Pitched

“Kill the Win” indeed. And it should be in honor of Vern Law.

“After 18 innings of grit and guile, an exhausted Law was lifted from the game. Bob Friend was brought in to start 19th. Friend promptly gave up a run—and the lead—on two hits and a walk. The Pirates scored two in the bottom of the 19th to take the game, giving Friend “the win.” A friend indeed.”

gehrig97 Posted: August 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: game score, vince velasquez

Gordo: Depleted Cardinals turning negatives into positives | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

The Cardinals keep on plugging away.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 11:24 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

The Good The Bad And The Ugly Of Michael Kopech

That fastball. It’s arguably the best in the minor leagues, and it is certainly the fastest. He hit 105 miles per hour in his third start off the disabled list, and now constantly hits in the high-90s. It’s fair to think that he is getting by with his fastball alone, but his secondary offerings are also improved.

His slider was once mediocre with inconsistent control, but like his fastball, it has become a pitch that has some power behind it. He lands his slider in the low-90s, and a 90 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: michael kopech, prospects, red sox

A real vacation might benefit Jason Heyward more

If I were Joe Maddon, I would have made Jason Heyward take advantage of it while the Cubs were there. A day hike among a riot of wildflowers. A whitewater rafting trip. Some time atop a mountain that no hitting guru could scale. Maybe a tour of the state’s burgeoning herbal industry.

Instead, the manager kept his struggling hitter in the dugout for the three-game series against the Rockies in Denver. Actually, describing Heyward as “struggling’’ might imply that he has known something ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2016 at 10:45 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, hot takes, jason heyward

OMNICHATTER 8-22-16

The “Olympics are Done” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 22, 2016 at 10:28 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2016

Topeka State Journal, August 22, 1916:

The Philadelphia Athletics, for many years the idols of the game, have provoked much mirth this season and are now preparing to finish the race the worst last we have had for a long time.
...
It may sound queer to many, but as the season begins to sight its close Connie Mack is expressing satisfaction with the team he has been training this summer.
...
“By next year I expect to have a club that will be a big factor in the pennant race, and within two years ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP 2016 August 22: Baseball has much to teach us about politics

On this day in 1870, pitcher Fred Goldsmith demonstrated to baseball writer and historian Henry Chadwick that the curve ball is real. And the world was never the same.

The New Haven Register, Goldsmith’s hometown newspaper, wrote about the event recently.

“No game was scheduled this particular day, but a large crowd, curious to the proceedings, began to gather,” the Register reported. “[Goldsmith’s friend Ham] Avery, the story goes, drew a 45-foot line in chalk. He then hammered ...

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Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: August 22, 2016 at 07:47 AM | 1021 comment(s)
  Beats: curveball, history, politics

St. Louis Cardinals’ Brandon Moss enjoying proving haters wrong - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

“I had a bad year last year and I was coming off a hip surgery, and everybody wants to look at you like your career is done and you can’t do it anymore,” Moss said. “I wanted to tell them, ‘Hey man, pump the brakes a little bit. I’m fighting though a lot of things here.’

“You get tired of the constant questions about it. You’re going out there and fighting every single day to be the best for your team and your teammates that you can possibly be. Everyone in the room knows that you’re ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, cardinals

Mets Insider: Steven Matz to see team doctors - NY Daily News

Update (8/22/2016 3:10 PM EDT): Shoulder stain and rotator cuff irritation.

Shoulder not elbow. Ugh.

The Mets are still hopeful to have Steven Matz this week for their crucial series with the Cardinals. The Long Island lefty was heading to New York Sunday night to have his shoulder examined by team doctors Monday.

The Mets are holding his next scheduled start open for him, listing their starter for Thursday’s finale against the Cardinals as “TBA,” until they hear the diagnosis.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, mets, steven matz

Yulieski Gurriel makes Astros, MLB debut | MLB.com

Not ideal.

It was a dream more than 15 years—plus nearly five hours—in the making, but borders and politics always stood in the way. Yulieski Gurriel, at 32 years old, knew he was running short on time if he wanted to reach the pinnacle of the sport and play in the big leagues, which is why he took a chance and defected from Cuba with his brother earlier this year.

Gurriel, who defected following the Caribbean Series in February and signed with the Astros in July for $47.5 million, finally ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros


Arizona Diamondbacks ponder replacing La Russa, Stewart after just 2 years

The Arizona Diamondbacks are a mess.

Once again.

Diamondbacks ownership is strongly considering making sweeping front-office changes, firing some of the most respected men in the game.

Once again.

If owner Ken Kendrick and president Derrick Hall fire chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and his staff, including general manager Dave Stewart and assistant GM De Jon Watson, the D’backs will be changing GMs for the seventh time in just 11 years.

Stewart and Watson will have been given all of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:22 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Dansby Swanson’s arrival a cruel twist for Arizona Diamondbacks

Will they get another season?

La Russa paused when asked what he thought of the industry reaction. He said he understands the attention the trade received, particularly since the club had given up another first-round pick, pitcher Touki Toussaint, earlier in the year. But he questions the perception that everyone in baseball disliked it for the Diamondbacks.

“How many front offices, if you polled the other 29, how many would have questioned it or said it was a bad deal?” La Russa asked. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:21 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks, tony la russa

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A’s Billy Butler hurt by Danny Valencia in altercation, sources say

Despite facing left-handed starters Saturday and Sunday, designated hitter Billy Butler was not in the lineup for the Athletics. Manager Bob Melvin said Butler was out sick due to nausea and vomiting, though he ruled out the flu.

There seems to be more to this story than a simple illness, however. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Butler was injured in an altercation with teammate Danny Valencia on Friday. No one with the A’s has commented on the incident. From ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 21, 2016 at 09:19 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, clubhouse chemistry, danny valencia

Corey Kluber staking his claim for second Cy Young award

Dating back to June 21, Kluber has gone 7-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 69 strikeouts over 69 1/3 innings. Despite a slow start, that’s moved him into the top ten in several pitching categories. Most notably, he’s first in the AL in FIP (3.02). He also led in that category in 2014. He’s also second in WHIP (1.02), and still climbing in strikeouts and WAR.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, indians

Sunday Notes: Espinoza, Anderson, Clippard, Segura, Groome, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Notes galore.

He also likes to pitch inside. Espinoza has received advice from Pedro Martinez, and not surprisingly, it includes the importance of intimidation.

“Pedro told me the ways I have to pitch,” said Espinoza. “He told me how to control myself, and to not be afraid to go inside. It’s OK to knock some guys down. After you hit them, they will be afraid of you next at bat.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Red Sox will add more than arms in waiver deals

“For each trade you make there are 20 that didn’t work,” said Rizzo. “It’s a process that takes time and requires great research by our staff. We’re not afraid to make a deal. For me, when the deal succeeds for both teams it’s a success.

“We have great discussions with our staff. We have great debates. I want people to tell me I’m wrong and back it up with how they feel about a player. We love analytics, but what this is all about is the scout who drives that extra 100 miles ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mike rizzo, nationals, notes, red sox

Red Sox will add more than arms in waiver deals

It doesn’t sound like the Red Sox will be getting bullpen help via trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 08:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Yulieski Gurriel being called up to Astros | MLB.com

A new addition in Houston.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yulieski gurriel

Must C: Ortiz’s memorable moment | MLB.com

This works when you hit.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 07:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Yoenis Cespedes HRs twice, gives Mets momentum | MLB.com

Welcome back!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2016 at 07:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, yoenis cespedes

OMNICHATTER 8-21-16

The “Last Day of the Olympics” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 21, 2016 at 07:21 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cameron: Kris Bryant may be the best all-around player in the National League

Kris Bryant isn’t Mike Trout, of course. No one is. But if you look at the numbers over the last year, you might be surprised how close it is.

Is Kris Bryant the best position player in baseball not named Mike Trout?

Voodoo Posted: August 20, 2016 at 04:48 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, mvp

This is how I remember it: Baseball HQ’s 20th Anniversary - Ron Shandler

Memories from a fantasy baseball and sabermetrics pioneer.

Once upon a time, there was no internet.

It was a period of great struggle for fantasy leaguers looking for an edge. We had to rely on ancient forms of information, primarily books, magazines and newspapers. If an East Coaster needed to find out whether the Padres planned to put Shane Mack on the DL, we’d have to phone a distant relative or long lost classmate on the other side of the country, who then had to dig out yesterday’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 11:05 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Heyman - D-backs Kendrick Unhappy - Decisions Delayed On Execs

Arizona Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick is said to be “upset” and “embarrassed” about the team’s performance this season, at a time when the club’s very famous and accomplished top baseball operations executives, who include Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa and former pitching great Dave Stewart, have contract decisions coming due.

While Kendrick’s alleged current mood isn’t necessarily determinative, and the official word is that no decisions have been made yet, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 07:49 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Rockies Look For Boost From Hoffman - BaseballAmerica.com

The Rockies already got a boost offensively from calling up top prospect David Dahl last month. Now, they will try and get the same type of boost to their pitching staff with Jeff Hoffman.

The Rockies will call Hoffman up to make his major league debut on Saturday against the Cubs, according to multiple reports. Hoffman, the Rockies’ No. 3 prospect at midseason and a Futures Game participant, was 6-9, 4.02 with 124 strikeouts and 44 walks in 118 2/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff hoffman, prospects, rockies

Did Chicago White Sox steal Cleveland Indians’ signs? It happens in baseball | cleveland.com

A sign of the times.

Manager Terry Francona, when told of the speculation, said, “If it’s on the Internet, you know if has to be true. I think a lot of that goes on – more than people realize. Just because it gets written about doesn’t mean you react all of a sudden.

“We watch for that stuff all the time. Teams watch us. We watch them. It’s common. Some teams are better at it than others.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 07:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, white sox

Secrecy clouds view of downtown baseball stadium - San Antonio Express-News

Finally, Plummer writes, “The study is an evaluation and it points out the strengths and weaknesses of various locations. Forcing Centro to disclose weaknesses identified in the Requested Information clearly puts Centro at a substantial competitive disadvantage.”

But shouldn’t the public know about potential “weaknesses” before writing a big check?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 07:23 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball, stadium deals

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