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Thursday, May 18, 2017

How Mike Trout Is Hitting Better Than Ever – The Ringer

Trout has achieved his historic consistency through a remarkable ability to evolve. Throw him high fastballs designed to elude his low-ball swing, and he’ll eventually become one of the best hitters against that pitch. Tell him his arm is weak, and he’ll work on throwing until his arm is no longer a liability. Point out that he’s stopped stealing bases, and after combining for 27 in two years, he’ll swipe 30 in a single season. We’ve seen Trout stand out as an all-around stud capable ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout

Twins Miguel Sano is 2017’s hardest hitter | MLB.com

Highest percentage of batted balls hit 95 mph or harder in 2017
68.3 percent—Sano, Twins
58.9 percent—Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
58.0 percent—Khris Davis, A’s
57.6 percent—Joey Gallo, Rangers
55.5 percent—Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers
54.6 percent—Manny Machado, Orioles
52.9 percent—Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
51.3 percent—Aaron Judge, Yankees
51.3 percent—Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
51.0 percent—Justin Bour, Marlins
Minimum 50 balls in play. MLB average—33.5 percent

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

New York Mets’ injury issues go far beyond the disabled list

“It’s the same old, same old mistakes,’’ one industry source said. “The Mets are a successful, profitable organization. But no organization, over a protracted period of time, has more significant players on the disabled list. There’s a failing across the board. And what changes have been instituted, if any?’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, mets

Freddie Freeman expected to miss significant time

There’s no official word as to whether or not Freddie Freeman has a broken wrist, but the expectation is the Atlanta Braves star first baseman will miss significant time.

As a result, the Braves are discussing options at first base moving forward, including outside options. One potential in-house fill-in, Adonis Garcia, is on the disabled list with an Achillies injury, which makes the need to look outside more pressing.

There’s still no word from the Braves, but there was real concern and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:26 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, freddie freeman

Cubs fan dies after falling over railing at Wrigley: ‘He was a great guy, everyone loved him’

A Wheaton man died a day after falling over a railing and hitting his head while leaving Wrigley Field after Tuesday night’s game, officials said.

Richard E. Garrity, 42, was pronounced dead at 3:33 p.m. Wednesday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.  Garrity was taken by private ambulance to the hospital, police said.

The Cubs said in a statement that Garrity fell as he was leaving the ballpark around 11 p.m.  The game had ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: wrigley field

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-18-2017

Seattle Star, May 18, 1917:

Seattle school kids will again be admitted to the baseball park free of charge tomorrow to see the Giants and Butte club play. The boys were admitted last Saturday, and behaved so well it was decided to give them another free day.

Thumbs up, old timey Seattle team.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Study shows youth baseball, softball participation on the rise

Baseball and softball combined to rank as the most participated team sport in 2016, according to the annual report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a leader in sports participation research.


Equally important from baseball’s perspective, the sport showed growth in both casual and core participation over one-, three- and five-year periods at a time when the trends in other team sports are less encouraging, said Tom Cove, the president and CEO of SFIA.

The findings in SFIA’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: youth baseball

Jung Ho Kang’s suspended sentence upheld by South Korean court

A South Korean court on Thursday upheld a suspended prison sentence for Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang over a drunken driving conviction, a ruling that may complicate his plans to rejoin his team this season.

The Seoul Central District Court dismissed Kang’s appeal of a suspended eight-month prison sentence over charges of fleeing the scene after crashing a car into the guardrail while driving drunk in December, a court official said. The court official didn’t want to be named, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, jung ho kang, legal, pirates

Pillar, Bautista apologetic after bench-clearing incidents

Blue Jays outfielders Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista were both apologetic on Wednesday night after they were involved in on-field incidents that twice cleared the benches against the Atlanta Braves.
In the top of the seventh inning, Jason Motte struck out Pillar to end the inning. After his swing and miss, Pillar said something to Motte as the pitcher headed for the dugout and despite there being no physical aggression, both benches cleared.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Pillar called ...

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Braves pitcher Eric O’Flaherty: I’ve seen it from Jose Bautista too much

Benches emptied in the Blue Jays-Braves game Wednesday night after Toronto slugger Jose Bautista homered to left field, stood at home plate and stared toward pitcher Eric O’Flaherty before flipping the bat away with a towering toss in Atlanta.

Jace Peterson said something to Bautista as he rounded first, and Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki was waiting for Bautista when he touched home.

No punches were thrown, but O’Flaherty didn’t mince words about Bautista’s actions.

“That’s something making the ...

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Charlie Morton’s Electric Stuff Has Never Been More Electric

With the Phillies, though, Morton made a transformation. Matt Gelb reported on Morton’s velocity jump back in the spring of 2016 for Philly.com:

“For some reason,” Morton said. “I just went out there and tried to throw the ball hard one game. I wound up throwing it harder.

“I feel like my arm is working really well … My timing is really good. I feel like my arm is quicker. I’m maintaining my pitch speed throughout the game, which is really promising. It’s not just I go out ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, phillies

LaTroy Hawkins says Tommy Kahnle “one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had in my life.”

Former major league reliever LaTroy Hawkins pitched for a lot of teams, two of which were the Twins and Rockies. As it happened, the Twins were in town to visit the Rockies. Hawkins, now a member of the Twins’ broadcast team, told a story on air about he and former teammate Tommy Kahnle got into a fight back in 2014 when the latter was a rookie. Hawkins’ partner, Dick Bremer, tried to create a way for him to sugarcoat what he said, but Hawkins didn’t bite, calling Kahnle “one of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: latroy hawkins, rockies, tommy kahnle, twins

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Joe Posnanski: Ranking the Stadiums

The Best Places to Watch a Game: AT&T Park (San Francisco); Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City); Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore); PNC Park (Pittsburgh); Petco Park (San Diego); Safeco Park (Seattle).
Four of these — San Francisco and Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle — are just georgeous in every conceivable way. Honestly, you don’t have to like baseball at all to enjoy just going to the parks and taking it all in. The beauty is particularly compelling in Pittsburgh, maybe ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: stadiums

10 good Hall of Fame candidates most MLB fans have never heard of

Another good one from Graham Womack.

Home Run Johnson

Most underrated player in baseball history? Every player mentioned here might have a case, though Johnson could lay the most claim.

DanG Posted: May 17, 2017 at 12:28 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hall of merit, home run johnson, negro leagues

Red-hot Astros remain aggressive in their search for more pitching

The Astros remain interested in adding a starting pitcher and also are likely to pursue a left-handed reliever before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline, major-league sources say.

No trade is expected soon – trade discussions generally do not accelerate until after the amateur draft in June and sellers likely will maintain high asking prices until late July.

But the Astros, who began the season with the game’s third-best farm system, according to Baseball America, are in position to pursue ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gerrit cole, pirates, tony watson, trade rumors

PawSox, city reveal stadium financing framework   Poll

I’m glad I don’t live in Rhode Island.

$45 million from the PawSox for ballpark construction, including an early $12-million cash outlay and $33 million from revenue generated over the next three decades at the ballpark.

$23 million from the state in the form of tax revenue generated in and around the stadium.

$15 million from the city, also in tax revenue generated in and around the stadium.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, stadium deals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-17-2017

Pittsburgh Press, May 17, 1917:

The latest strategy to be used against spitball pitchers has been invented this season by Louis Guisto, Cleveland Indian first baseman now serving his first year in the majors.
...
Bert Gallia of Washington was Guisto’s first victim. Gallia had worked with the moistened ball only part of an inning when his face twisted in anguish as he moistened his fingers to toss up the pill.
...
[Catcher Jack] Henry called Tom Connolly, who was umpiring the game. Connolly ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, foreign substances, history, spitball

Dayton Moore says Royals are focused on 2017 | MLB.com

He is just trying to increase the ask, right? Right?

And right now, any talk of fire sales or giving up on the postseason chase is simply false, Moore said.

“Our process when we left Spring Training was to compete for a division title and the World Series,” Moore said. “That thought process isn’t going to change after 10 games or 20 games or 37 games or whenever. It’s not going to change.

“We’re going to continue to expect our team to play better. We’re going to focus on winning our division. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, royals

How Catch Probability works for diving catches | MLB.com

I need to look up Jackie Bradley on the Statcast fielding thingie.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

Schwarber’s towering solo homer | MLB.com

He hit this one just right.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

How to Beat Statcast’s Hitting Metric | FanGraphs Baseball

At first glance, the relationship doesn’t appear to be particularly strong. To receive an r-squared of .27, however, between two stats that wouldn’t seemingly have a lot to do with each other, suggests that there’s something to this idea. Of the 28 batters above who recorded at least five runs on the bases over the last two years, all but one produced a positive xwOBA-wOBA. That one outlier is Gregory Polanco and his xwOBA-wOBA was .001. Those good baserunners, on average, beat their ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statcast

Tim Tebow earns each team in the South Atlantic League an extra $44,200 a night

According to Baseball America, the Tebow bump for other teams in the South Atlantic League is real and quite measurable.

Based on the April attendance data, the Tebow effect appears to be roughly 2,210 fans per night. Minor league teams estimate that the average fan will spend $20 per person if they come to the ballpark. That counts ticket sales, concessions and souvenirs. So Tebow is worth roughly an additional $44,200 per night.

As I argued at the time, Tebow had the athleticism to win a ...

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MLB.com: A Canadian knuckleballer will be the first woman to play in the collegiate West Coast League

Claire Eccles, at just 19 years old, has already pitched in two Women’s Baseball World Cups and the 2015 Pan-Am Games. Now, the Canadian knuckleballer will become the first woman to play in the West Coast League, a collegiate summer baseball league ...

“Ichiro has always been my favourite player because I’m half-Japanese and grew up watching the Mariners. They were the closest team to where I live. I also admire all the skill he has since he isn’t the biggest or strongest player in the league. ...

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Fly Ball Revolution Is Hurting As Many Batters As It’s Helped

So there is definitely a fly-ball revolution underway in baseball. But that revolution is not without its discontents. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto recently disparaged the trend towards fly-ball hitting in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer. “I see it with a lot of guys. Everyone tells the good stories, but there’s a lot of s—ty stories of guys who are wasting their time trying things,” Votto said, as quoted in the Enquirer.

Votto is right; being a more productive ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, flyball revolution



PED suspicion is up now that home runs are back in baseball | SI.com

Conjecture <> evidence.

Let’s be clear: PEDs are not driving this explosion in home runs, the way they did almost two decades ago. A change in hitting philosophy is causing this boom more than anything. Get the barrel in the zone early, hit the bottom third of the ball, generate a launch angle between 23 and 28 degrees.

There’s a saying going around baseball: There is no damage on the ground. The damage is in the air. And damage means money.

A generation of players has been trained to hit this way. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 02:43 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

Information Age Shapes Pitching | BaseballAmerica.com

Technology has helped increase pitching velocity, first with the promulgation of the radar gun, second in the improvement of training techniques for pitchers. It has not seemed to help pitchers throw more strikes.

“Command is more important than velocity at times,” Meyer said, “especially the higher you go up. You can throw 97, but if you’re down the middle and you have one pitch, you’re going to get beat.”

Technology (the Internet) has spread information about velocity training, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 02:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Aaron Judge fools Yankees fans on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon

At 6-7, 282 pounds, Aaron Judge is hard to miss.

But the Yankees rookie managed to fool fans in a Jimmy Fallon segment on “The Tonight Show” that aired Monday night simply by wearing a pair of hipster glasses.

Judge asked one fan, wearing a Yankees hat, who his favorite player is right now.

“Adam Judge,” the fan responded.

Judge later held up a headshot of himself in uniform and said: “People say I kind of look like him.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2017 at 01:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, comedy, jimmy fallon, yankees

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