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Saturday, April 01, 2017

Ranking the 15 Opening Day matchups around baseball

15. Ricky Nolasco vs. Kendall Graveman (Angels at A’s)
This will mark Nolasco’s 28th year in Major League Baseball, yet this is his first Opening Day start. And, no, I’m not looking that up. Feels true, though.

Nolasco was excellent for the Angels for 11 starts after they acquired him, though his overall season was kind of a drag (4.42 ERA, 93 ERA+). He has the third-highest ERA of any starter with 50 starts or more since 2014, and the two pitchers with worse ERAs are a non-roster ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2017 at 12:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day

Rays Designate Nick Franklin For Assignment

The Rays have designated infielder Nick Franklin for assignment, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Jumbo Diaz, Daniel Robertson, Mallex Smith and Peter Bourjos have all made the Rays’ Opening Day roster.

The 26-year-old Franklin batted a solid .270/.328/.443 in 191 plate appearances with the Rays in 2016, but he posted subpar defensive numbers and was out of options. He also rarely plays shortstop and therefore doesn’t make an ideal utility infielder, and Rays manager Kevin Cash ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2017 at 11:30 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: nick franklin, rays

When Lefty O’Doul Spoke, DiMaggio and Williams Listened

“No one will ever change [my swing] and if anything ever goes wrong with it, I’ll go back to Lefty and get it straightened out.”—Ted Williams

———

O’Doul was eager to let New York baseball fans know the treat they were in for, insisting that DiMaggio was as good as any player ever to come out of the pcl. “Barring injuries,” said Lefty, “he will be voted the Most Valuable Player in the American League in three years.” [Editor’s note: Lefty was off by a year: DiMaggio claimed his ...

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gehrig97 Posted: April 01, 2017 at 11:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joe dimaggio, lefty o'doul, ny giants, ted williams

Twins’ CBO Derek Falvey showed initiative, grit from the start

But is it Derek Jeter grit?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: derek falvey, twins

Goold: Will extra motivation make Cardinals ‘more dangerous’? | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

“The Cardinals are the standard for that sustained success in the game, and there is no reason that is going to change,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We won 2016 and it took until the 10th inning of Game 7 after a rain delay to do it. You can’t build for that. You can’t build to have one or two shots at it. You have to build to sustain, year in and year out. … When 86 wins is a disappointing season, you’re in an awesome place as a franchise.”

Echoed DeWitt: “If you ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

What’s keeping Bill James out of the Baseball Hall of Fame? | MLB | Sporting News

So long as players who retired before 1990 or so and older writers, historians and executives continue to comprise Hall of Fame committees, James will need considerable luck to even get nominated for consideration. Perhaps in 20-30 years, when the generation of players currently benefiting from the influx of advanced stats into baseball are on Hall of Fame committees, James might have a better chance.

Even then, though, don’t be too optimistic for James.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, hall of fame

Opening Day Roster Tracker 2017 - MLB Trade Rumors

MLBTR has put together a handy reference.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rosters

Q&A: Forst talks formula for success for A’s

MLB.com: Jed Hoyer talked about trading Corey Kluber to Cleveland when he was in San Diego and how that almost came back to bite him years later in the World Series. Is it tough to see a guy like Josh Donaldson thrive in Toronto the way he has after trading him?

Forst: We knew Josh was a good player when we traded him. We didn’t have any illusions that he was going to go out and put up a clunker of a year after that; I didn’t know he was going to win the MVP. That’s part of our situation here. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, david forst, general managers

Statcast 2017 preview for all 30 MLB teams | MLB.com

This is no prank. Statcast articles for every team for all my friends.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

2017 MLB Predictions | FiveThirtyEight

The Padres still have a chance.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 08:29 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Seth Lugo’s arm tired after WBC, jeopardizing roster spot with Mets | Newsday

Hey (insert team name), how about sending (best starter) to the WBC?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 08:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Dodgers aim for versatility off bench when setting roster for opening day - LA Times

You need a versatile bench when you carry twelve pitchers. It will be interesting to see how many teams decide to go with thirteen.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 08:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers


MLB executives have respect for one another | MLB.com

It’s tough to build a culture when you are unemployed.

“Dave’s relentless,” Moore said. “One thing I’ve noticed about him through the years is he’s relentless at dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. He’s had great relationships with his managers. He’s had great managers. He’s been able to attract people that want to work for him. And he’s always won.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 08:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Chicago Cubs favored to repeat in 2017, Las Vegas oddsmakers say

Back in March 2013 I went to Las Vegas for my first and only trip to that fair city. I’m not much of a gambler so when my wife suggested that I make a $100 bet with 30/1 odds for the Red Sox I laughed. To this day she reminds me of my lack of foresight.

Anyway, about a third of my sim league live outside Massachusetts. Most of the remote owners fly in for the weekend draft in January. Last year a few of the remote owners wondered why they were traveling to Boston in January when we all could ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 07:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, odds, red sox

Hummel: Matheny finds fun and competition incompatible | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

“A manager should stay as far away as possible from his players. I don’t know if I said ten words to Frank Robinson while he played for me.” ~ Earl Weaver

Part of me thrives on that,” he said. “That’s a great responsibility for a manager — to be able to wear the burden and take it off the guys. But I just got to the point of realizing that winning a popularity contest is not what I’m supposed to do.

“If we’ve been given the right talent and we all put our piece in together, then ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 07:36 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Friday, March 31, 2017

Smyly diagnosed with flexor strain, expected to miss six-to-eight weeks Read more here: http://www.

Left-hander Drew Smyly will open the season on the disabled list after being diagnosed with a flexor strain in his elbow. The injury surfaced Tuesday when he experienced problems in a routine between-starts bullpen workout.

Smyly, 27, is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, and the Mariners will compensate, at least initially, by recalling left-hander Ariel Miranda from Triple-A Tacoma.

This is Smyly’s fifth trip to the disabled list since 2012. He missed much of the 2015 season because of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: drew smyly, mariners

Trupin: Drew Smyly’s arm has drowned, he’s out 6-8 weeks

If only he had pitched in meaningless Cactus League games in lieu of meaningless WBC games…

Cool cool cool. Drew Smyly was the acquisition that signaled for many a shift in the Mariners from fringy contenders to Wild Card favorites. With his return expected in June, they’ll have to rely on their considerable but lightly proven pitching depth. Ariel Miranda will get first crack in the rotation, reportedly, and will start the fourth game of the season in Houston. The choice to continue ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: drew smyly, mariners, wbc

Bryzzo Souvenir Co is expanding

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:28 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rizzo, cubs, kris bryant, promotion

Olney: Rob Manfred needs to step up, foster relationships with players

Manfred has indicated time and again that he thinks the sport needs to change, as the league works to draw a younger viewing audience and better position itself for the future, and he wants to affect change. The union’s substantive contribution to the conversation so far has been to say no.

MLB intends to push this conversation again next winter, when it will have the power to unilaterally alter rules. And, down the road, the next round of labor talks may be more difficult, after what was ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:16 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues, rob manfred

Former big leaguer Ruben Amaro, Sr. passes away at 81

Ruben Amaro, Sr., a former big league shortstop and father of former Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., passed away on Friday at the age of 81.

Amaro may have played only about half of his professional career with the Phillies, but he definitely made it no secret that he wanted to be remembered for his time in the “City of Brotherly Love.”...

Amaro played shortstop for the Phillies from 1960 to 1965 and notably won a National League Golden Glove Award in 1964. He ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:02 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phillies, ruben amaro, sr.

Here are my good-for-nothing predictions for your team, 2017 edition | FOX Sports

Once again, I agreed to write a predictions column, but my editors rejected my request to post it on Snapchat, enabling it to disappear after 10 seconds.

So now the good people at FOX will take what I give them, realizing that some might interpret my defiance as evidence that I hate my employer as much as I hate all 30 teams.

Maybe I suffer from short man syndrome. Maybe I’m just a miserable lout. Whatever, I’m starting off the season angrier than Clayton Kershaw at a blown strike call ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 12:45 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Why the MLB is flooded with huge contracts - CNN.com

But forecasting baseball players’ productivity based on past performance is tricky, says Berri, who co-authored “Stumbling on Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports.”

“Salary is a function of what (a player) did in the past,” says Berri, who notes that MLB general managers often overlook the obvious when considering the future—including the downfall of an aging superstar like 37-year-old Albert Pujols.

The three-time MVP’s batting efficiency has ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

How to visit all 30 MLB ballparks in 30 days

In 2013, my friend Ben and I embarked on a 30-game baseball road trip, visiting each of the 30 major-league stadiums in a whirlwind 30 days. The rules were simple, or so he assured me: We had to be present for an entire game at every park, arriving before the first pitch and not leaving until the last. Our schedule allowed for games to last four hours (parking lot entries and escapes included), leaving us just enough time for a little sleep and a lot of 1,000-plus-mile drives. Due to some ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: travel

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-31-2017

Washington Times, March 31, 1917:

Carl Sawyer, the National’s comedian-player is suffering from a badly swollen jaw today. Sawyer was hit by a pitched ball in practice but played through the game won from Rocky Mount by 4 to 0.

An examination of Sawyer’s jaw will be made today. The player passed an uncomfortable night.

The early 20th century idea of a full-time bench player/comedian is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.

Sawyer wasn’t a terrible player; he was a second baseman with ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 10:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Statcast ranking of top defensive outfielders | MLB.com

More great stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

Indians ace reliever Andrew Miller will end the tyranny of the save

YOU KNOW WHO invented relief pitching?” Bill James asked in his 1985 Historical Baseball Abstract. “Napoleon. No joke. ... On the day of a battle he would take two or three regiments of crack troops and sequester them a distance from the shooting, eating and sleeping and trying to stay comfortable. ... At a key moment in the battle, with everyone else in the field barely able to stand, he would release into the fray a few hundred fresh and alert troops, riding fresh horses and with every piece ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 07:07 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, indians

Yadier Molina contract is about perception for Cardinals. - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

It’s not my money.

The new three-year deal the St. Louis Cardinals are about to complete to make Yadier Molina the highest-salaried catcher in the game is more about public perception than the team’s usual shrewd approach, but certain players—just a few in each league—force those kinds of mistakes.

The rules are different for franchise icons. They’re different when a player comes up in your organization, professes a love for the team and its city and becomes the face of its two most recent ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 07:06 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

Heyman: Boras Disputes Chipper Jones’ Story About Their Meeting

Another good read.

Jones was a great player, but he didn’t prioritize top dollar or even fair value at the start, and just wanted to stay in Atlanta (though another Hall of Fame Boras client, Greg Maddux, got his wish to stay in Atlanta a long time, as well — though not quite forever). We’ll never know if Jones recalled the story of meeting Boras precisely, but judging by how he handled things later, the conclusion that they weren’t a perfect fit for each other was probably right on.

...
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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chipper jones, scott boras

Inside Baseball — NL: Will Happ make Schwarber expendable?

They can’t play every young player.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:37 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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