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Friday, May 26, 2017

A look at what all 30 teams can do with MLB’s free agent mega-class of 2018-19

Over the next 18 months, as two trade deadlines and one offseason pass, all 30 teams in baseball will have one eye trained squarely on Las Vegas. The city’s reputation as chaos agent certainly won’t abate on account of baseball holding its most anticipated Winter Meetings ever there. What happens in Vegas will reverberate for the next decade.

For those who have yet to hear about the free-agent class of 2018-19, here’s a sampling: Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Josh ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Big League Talent Harder to Find in 2017

An area scout was discussing his region. But based on conversations with scouts around the country, he may as well have been talking about the whole 2017 draft class.

“I feel like a beachcomber with a metal detector,” he said, “and all I keep finding is a broken earring here or there.”

Scouts do not expect to look back at the 2017 draft with fondness. But they will look back and find big leaguers, even impact big leaguers, who came out of this class.

They’re just harder to find, ...

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Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: May 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-26-2017

Chicago Eagle, May 26, 1917:

The old idea that a pitcher couldn’t hit is being rapidly dissolved. Ray Caldwell is the main pinch hitter of the Yankees. Walter Johnson is the leading pinch hitter of the Nationals.

But the premier bird of them is Babe Ruth of the Red Sox. Ruth is probably the best hitting pitcher that baseball has ever known. George Sisler started out as a pitcher, and he may have challenged Ruth’s title, but not even the Brownie star is as feared as the big left-hander on the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 26, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Clayton Kershaw dominant, lowers career WHIP under 1

I’m aware that WHIP is a rate stat and it could very well rise above 1 as soon as next start. However:
Kershaw hasn’t had a WHIP above 1 since 2012
His WHIP since 2013 is .854, so he’s gliding at a pace of well below a 1 WHIP right now and has for some time now
If he continues his since 2013 pace, he’ll pass Ed Walsh for second place next start and then Addie Joss for number 1 by the end of the season.
It’s true that Kershaw hasn’t had his decline phase yet, but neither did Addie Joss. There is ...

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Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 26, 2017 at 09:21 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: addie joss, dodgers, ed walsh, kershaw

A look at what all 30 teams can do with MLB’s free agent mega-class of 2018-19

Five best positioned
New York Yankees: More than $50 million come off the Yankees’ payroll this offseason, and by the time 2019 rolls around, they’ve got only $74.2 million guaranteed – less than the Royals or Marlins. Were Masahiro Tanaka to opt out of his current deal this offseason, the Yankees would rank 19th in committed money for ’19.

All of which is to say: Baseball should be scared. The upper reaches of Yankees management want Bryce Harper, and they can get him. If they really ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:37 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper

FiveThirtyEight: Pitchers Are Slowing Down To Speed Up

Despite consternation from the commissioner and rule changes to speed up the game, baseball has never been slower than it is right now.1 Even in the short time since last season, the average delay between pitches has jumped a full second. It’s all part of a decadelong trend toward more sluggish play, and there’s an alarming reason baseball’s pace problem is likely to get even worse going forward: Slowing down helps pitchers throw faster.

Compared with 2007, the average MLB pitcher now ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, pace of play

Thursday, May 25, 2017

First-Place Yankees Aren’t Faring Nearly as Well at the Ticket Office

The Yankees are, at the moment, a marketer’s dream. With a spirited start to the season, they can boast of having one of baseball’s best records, bask in the captivating presence of the Bunyanesque outfielder Aaron Judge and nod in approval at some popular changes to their ballpark — with all of these developments wrapped in the team’s rich history.

But even those selling points have yet to turn around attendance at Yankee Stadium, where ticket and suite revenues through last season ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2017 at 04:35 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, yankees

Inside Baseball AL Notes | Royals Slow Playing Their Free Agents

Heyman’s AL notes.

NL notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 03:22 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Heyman: Twins expected to pass on Hunter Greene

Word is, barring a late change the Minnesota Twins will pass on prep pitching phenom Hunter Greene, which means there still wouldn’t have been a high school righty ever picked No 1 overall.

Greene has hit 100 mph and he’s seen as an extremely fine and polished young man, as Lee Jenkins wrote in a Sports Illustrated cover story. He also is a very good shortstop, but he’s seen as a pitcher in pro ball and most see a prep pitcher as a gamble at No. 1.

The choice seems to have come down to ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 25, 2017 at 02:24 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: draft prospects, hunter greene, twins


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-25-2017

Washington Times, May 25, 1917:

Ferdinand Schupp, the young Giant pitcher, is likely to take his place among the greatest southpaws of all time, if he continues in his present brilliant form. Schupp is McGraw’s best bet. Starting this year where he left off last season, he has pitched brilliant ball, and now has five straight victories to his credit.

I had been mostly unfamiliar with Ferdie Schupp before he began to appear in the newspapers of 100 years ago, but he was one heck of a pitcher. In ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 25, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

San Francisco Giants: Analyzing Jeff Samardzija’s bad luck | SI.com

Everything is crumbling around Samardzija in San Francisco, but he’s in the midst of his best season since that 2013 campaign. The 32-year-old righty has made nine starts this season, and while his ERA sits at 4.57, the rest of his numbers suggest that’s nothing more than the product of bad luck. He has a 2.89 FIP, 1.13 WHIP and 71 strikeouts against 10 walks in 61 innings. Samardzija has the third highest spread between his ERA and WHIP in the majors, trailing Trevor Bauer and Bartolo ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija

Struggles show David Price still isn’t ready for Boston Red Sox return - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN

Maybe signing 30+ starting pitchers to big free agent contracts really isn’t a good idea.

Price, meanwhile, made what was supposed to be his final Triple-A rehab start in his return from a spring training elbow scare. He was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, one hour from Fenway, but after giving up six runs (three earned) on seven hits and expending 89 pitches to get through only 3⅔ innings, he must have felt light years away.

Of course, nobody knows for sure how Price felt, physically or ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, red sox

KEVIN COONEY: Long before you can laugh, the Phillies are a crying shame | Phillies Talk | buckscountycouriertimes.com

This can’t be true. Don’t the Phillies have more outfielders than they know what to do with?

It can’t get worse than this. Can it?

The Phillies have gone from a team that was representative for a month to something that can’t legitimately be called “major league baseball” at this time. They have gone from close losses to nightly poundings.

There are times over the course of 162 games when one part of a team disintegrates—when the offense goes south or the pitching implodes. It is ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury the next test for surprising Yankees | New York Post

Who could have seen this coming? Will Aaron Hicks Wally Pipp Ellsbury?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jacoby ellsbury, yankees

New rules change Trade Deadline strategy | MLB.com

For a selection to be awarded between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A of the 2018 MLB Draft, three conditions must be met:
1. The team that loses the free agent is a revenue-sharing recipient, based on its revenues and market size. (Under MLB rules, teams from many larger markets are disqualified for revenue sharing.)
2. The free agent rejects a qualifying offer during a 10-day period after the World Series.
3. The amount of guaranteed money in the player’s new, free-agent ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 06:42 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, trade rumors

Luis Severino pitches Yanks to win over Royals | MLB.com

Maybe the Yankees are for real.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: luis severino, yankees

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Angels’ Mike Trout continues his remarkable start to the season with another home run

With 15 home runs and a league-high 1.218 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, Trout has exceeded even his own outlandish norms. Little about his game, though, seems to be demonstrably different than in years past. The most pronounced difference is his first-pitch swing percentage.

The rate has increased in recent years, but it’s taken another jump in 2017, from 12.2% for his career to 17.2% last year to 24.3% entering Tuesday’s game.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2017 at 06:01 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout, the rapture


Modern Baseball Writing | Articles | Bill James Online

Rob Neyer’s take on the current state of baseball writing.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2017 at 03:47 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball writers


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-24-2017

Pittsburgh Press, May 24, 1917:

The “wheatina ball” has made its appearance in the Central league, and batters claim that it is as difficult to hit as the “emery ball,” which has been barred. Pitcher Cummins, of the Ft. Wayne club, is accused of using it by players on opposing teams. They allege that he carries a pocket filled with crushed grains of wheat, and that the sap in the wheat gives his fingers a powerful grip on the ball, causing it to break freakishly as it passes over the rubber.

Ah, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 24, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Scouting Shohei Otani

A fairly detailed look at Shohei Otani:

Do scouts for MLB teams think Otani can be a two-way player? For four out of five scouts, there was some hemming and hawing. They all like him as a batter – especially the left-handed power. They all love him as a pitcher. The fifth scout, though, is willing to dream.

“I’ve never said this about a player, but I believe he can be a two-way player,” the scout said. “There are good-hitting pitchers like Madison Bumgarner and Greg Maddux, but this ...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How a Defensive Leap Has Fueled the Twins’ First-Place Run

It’s in the third phase of the game, defense, that the 2017 Twins exhibit signs of a remarkable turnaround. Last year, the Twins supplemented a bad pitching staff with a porous defense, which ranked 28th or 29th in MLB by all three major advanced defensive metrics. This year, the staff is just as poor, but it’s supported by a defense that leads the majors with 27 defensive runs saved — no other team exceeds 17 — and ranks second in fielding runs above average and third in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, twins

Where Did the Great Hollywood Baseball Movie Go?

The silent spaces in baseball used to be filled in by novelists and filmmakers. They supplied quick-witted, slang-driven repartee that felt both revelatory and reassuring for dugout conversations and meetings on the mound. The makers of films like 1989’s “Major League” and 1988’s “Eight Men Out” gave us the thoughts of the batters as they dug into the box, the catcher’s mantras and occasional trash talk, the umpire’s endless exasperation. And while all that may have been ...

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Jered Weaver’s hometown discount was a cautionary tale

There was a three-year stretch when Jered Weaver was one of the best pitchers in baseball, with top-five Cy Young finishes in each of those seasons. In an era of wacky strikeout rates, he was one of the purest artists of the weak-contact genre, keeping his WHIP near the 1.0 mark the whole time, even as he wasn’t blowing hitters away.

In the middle of this stretch, Weaver signed a team-friendly extension. How team friendly?

No one from (Scott) Boras’ office attended Tuesday’s media ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:06 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hometown discount, jered weaver



Rangers’ Nomar Mazara shares his life story | MLB.com

Good stuff here.

It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to learn English, too. I remember sitting in the middle of meetings during my first year in the U.S. not knowing what any of the coaches were saying. I was so lost, so I started asking my teammates for help.

Joey Gallo was my guy. I would tell him things like, “Every day, you’re going to tell me one word so I can repeat it and repeat it, over and over, so I can learn. And then the next day, you’re going to teach me another one. So like ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

The curveball’s resurgence is changing starting pitching | SI.com

Although blowing a fastball by someone is a lot of fun, there is nothing like buckling a hitter’s legs by dropping a big curve right over the plate.

Said one NL general manager, “Three teams have become big, big believers in the combination of high fastballs and curveballs: the Astros, Dodgers and Rays. Those teams are heavy into analytics. The game is changing away from the sinker/cutter/slider guys.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

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