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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Braves, Marlins to play at Fort Bragg on July 3

The Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins will play a first-of-its-kind regular season game in celebration of the nation’s servicemen and servicewomen at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Sunday, July 3rd, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today. The game will air nationally on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

A new 12,500-capacity ballpark constructed by MLB and the MLBPA will host the “Fort ...

Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 03:31 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fort bragg, marlins, mlb

Projected Opening-Day Payrolls for All 30 MLB Teams

This never would have happened if baseball had a salary cap.

Also not a surprise: the Tampa Bay Rays bring up the rear. The average payroll right now is $128 million, and the median is right up there at $126 million. However, right after that median, there’s a major dropoff. The Chicago White Sox come in at $125 million, but after them, there is more than a $20 million drop to the Colorado Rockies. The top-four teams have a higher combined payroll than the bottom-ten teams combined, but that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 03:21 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: payrolls

WEEI: Red Sox top prospect Michael Kopech fractures hand after altercation with teammate

He’s got a million-dollar arm, and a million-kopek head.

Kopech, one of the Red Sox’ top pitching prospects, fractured his right hand after engaging in an altercation with a teammate recently. ... Kopech, a first-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2014 draft, missed 50 games last season after being suspended for the use of Oxilofrine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 02:29 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

MLB Announces ‘Historic’ Partnership With National Gay And Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce

“MLB: We don’t care what anyone says, you fruits are ok with us!”

You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:51 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business

MLB’s Biggest Pace Of Play Offenders

Was Joe West involved?

In terms of who is stretching games out, not shortening them, you might be surprised at who had the longest games… or, maybe you wouldn’t if you thought about the strength of their pitching.

Last season, the team that stretched games out the longest wasn’t the Red Sox or Yankees. In fact, it was from the National League. The Colorado Rockies, who averaged 3:09 per 9 innings was the biggest pace of play offender for 2015. They only had three NL teams that they ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:20 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Mets are using caution with their young pitching staff | Newsday

We can still dream.

“Nothing’s ever guaranteed,” Hefner said.

We forget that sometimes, when it looks too easy. The Mets finally will unwrap each of their five starters this week in succession: Monday was the split-squad assignments with Matz and Bartolo Colon, followed by Matt Harvey (Tuesday versus the Braves), Jacob deGrom (Wednesday versus the Yankees) and Noah Syndergaard (Thursday versus the Cardinals).

It’s going to feel like a long month for the Mets, hoping they’re all ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-8-2016

Milwaukee Sentinel, March 8, 1916:

Dispatches from Tampa on Tuesday said [Cubs] Manager Tinker had announced that Pitcher Phil Douglass [sic] would not be retained on the Cubs’ staff. Douglass, according to Tinker, was not in condition to start practice.

Read: He showed up drunk.

Douglas’s story is equal parts sad and strange. A talented pitcher and a mostly out-of-control alcoholic, he wore out his welcome everywhere he ever pitched. In 1922, while he was with the Giants, the team hired police ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, shufflin' phil douglas

Cubs’ Addison Russell getting power surge from leg kick - Chicago Tribune

Addison Russell with power? The Cubs lineup won’t be fair.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

Dodgers pitcher Zach Lee in position to seize fifth rotation spot - LA Times

This isn’t a ringing endorsement.

“I don’t think he has one wipeout pitch that might wow you,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “But when his command is good, when he’s down in the zone and working the cutter, the change and the sinker, changing eye levels with the fastball up, there’s some things he can do. … When Zach’s right, he gets major league hitters out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, zach lee

Rich Hill is this year’s surprise starting pitcher for A’s - SFGate

How many starts will he be able to make this season?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill

Astros revise manager A.J. Hinch’s contract - Houston Chronicle

The info is top secret.

Approached by the Chronicle during spring training, Hinch had no comment, deferring to general manager Jeff Luhnow.

Luhnow was coy.

“We’re committed to A.J., and he’s committed to us,” Luhnow said. “We don’t comment on contracts.”

The environment Hinch took over in the fall of 2014 was one of disrepair. He had to create cohesion in all directions: with a new coaching staff, the players, and the front office as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, astros, managers

Padres ‘very active’ on free agent Tim Lincecum |

Lincecum, 31, is expected to pitch in a showcase in Scottsdale or Tempe “sometime in the next two weeks,” Thurman said.

The showcase, which could be attended by all 30 clubs, was originally scheduled for mid-January, but it has been pushed back a number of times.

“He’s really been focusing on getting ready for the season and preparing for the season,” Thurman said. “This is really like his spring training right now. As soon as he’s ready, we’ll have a showcase. ... He’s healthy right now. ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:17 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, tim lincecum

Top 10 fantasy baseball prospects for 2016 |

This guy is really, really impressive.

1. Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (No. 1 on Top 100)
Reinforcing the idea that he should have been promoted a lot earlier, Seager hit .337/.425/.561 during his September callup. He has a higher offensive ceiling than any Major League shortstop not named Correa and could hit .280 with 20 homers in his first full season with Los Angeles. He’s going to be a better player than his brother, Mariners All-Star Kyle Seager.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies, scouting reports

Jhonny Peralta Potentially Out for 2-3 Months | FanGraphs Baseball

This one will really hurt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:12 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jhonny peralta

Orioles sign Pedro Alvarez to one-year deal

The Baltimore Orioles have signed first baseman Pedro Alvarez, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin.

The deal is for one year, reports FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal. Alvarez will receive $5.75 million in salary and can earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Well, that’s something.

Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 12:22 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alvarez, orioles

Monday, March 07, 2016

Figueroa takes calculated approach in hopes of making Pirates roster | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“I’m 28 — that’s the prime of a career,” he said. “Whatever gets me out there and playing. You want to help the team, not hurt it. If I’m out there and I can contribute in the outfield and the infield, that’s where I need to be. That’s fine with me.”

And if Figueroa ends up starting the season in the minors, he might spend the long bus rides catching up on reading. He likes the physics, geometry and analytics of baseball. He bought a book recently called ‘Analyzing ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cole figueroa, pirates

SEC files fraud charges related to Curt Schilling video game company

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against Wells Fargo and a Rhode Island state agency for defrauding investors when it came to investing in a video game company.

The regulator announced Monday that it was filing civil charges, arguing that the entities failed to inform investors about the financial situation of 38 Studios, a video game company started up by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

The litigation, which is ongoing, is the latest in a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 03:36 PM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, fraud, sec

Sabathia: My Toughest Out

Get better CC.

“I need help.”

I was in Baltimore at the time. It was the last Sunday of the regular season and we were about to start the playoffs. We’d gotten rained out on Friday, and I’d spent most of the weekend alone in my hotel room clearing out the minibar.

We had a game that day, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to help my teammates if they needed me. I was struggling to function physically, but I also felt awful in so many other ways. It struck me how tired I was of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 12:08 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: alcoholism, cc sabathia, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 7, 1916:

Pitchers Joe Benz and Jim Scott, Whitesox advance guards, were getting just a little bit tired of each other today. With no one to pitch to, the big fellows were fretful, but are trying to hold out by playing practical jokes on each other.

This is the kind of Spring Training news I’d love to get these days: “Victor Martinez is a little more careful today with his belongings after Miguel Cabrera put a plastic snake inside the big designated hitter’s duffel bag.” ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 09:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Red Sox like look of Hanley Ramirez’ swing | Boston Herald

I’m buying Hanley this season. The guy can hit and, although he won’t be a Gold-Glover at first, he’ll be more than adequate.

“Very good,” manager John Farrell said after the Sox’ 8-7 win. “There’s more compact. It’s more of a line-drive approach. And I think as you look at the way he finishes with swings, it’s more of a two-handed finish rather than the release of the top hand. It’s enabled him to be more compact.”

Ramirez’ clean swing is what the Red Sox needed to see this ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:56 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Diamondbacks are going for it now while also keeping an eye on the future | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal has a crush on the Diamondbacks.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

OTP - 2016 March 7: Obama will take in a baseball game during his visit to Cuba

President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba later this month will include some baseball diplomacy, the White House said Tuesday.

The president will attend a March 22 exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team during his brief trip to the island nation. The restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the reopening of the U.S. Embassy after more than 50 years has been touted by the White House as a key part of Obama’s foreign-policy legacy.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 2416 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, politics

Dave McKay’s hopes high for Yasmany Tomas’ defense

It’s nice expressing confidence in a player. I’m sure they will be very happy with close to average.

For outfield coach Dave McKay, the expectations on left fielder Yasmany Tomas’ defense are anything but tepid.

“No, average is out the door,” McKay said. “He’ll be much better than average. I like to say he’s going to be a good outfielder. Not an average outfielder, I’m saying he’s going to be a good outfielder.”

That’s asking a lot for player who rated among the worst ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Interview With Former GM and Baseball Lifer Dan Evans

Evan had an opportunity to work alongside former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for the past few years, Evans spoke about the work ethic of Anthopoulos.

“Alex has as much passion as anyone I have ever worked with, and he has an unrivalled capacity for work. A good friend of mine dubbed me The Energizer Bunny a few years ago, but Alex wins the gold medal in energy. I have immense respect for his character and creativity, and appreciated how he fully immersed himself, reading every report. We ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dan evans, general managers

Bucco Blog | Monday Mop-Up Duty: Are the Pirates taking advantage of Coors Field?

Have the Pirates found an elevation-based market inefficiency?

Regardless of his role, Nicasio has an arm that can play. Ideally, he could be a Joe Blanton 2.0 with better stuff (Horner photo)

Consider that from 2012-14 Nicasio posted three straight ERAs of at least 5.14 with the Rockies. But in 58 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, Nicasio posted a 3.86 ERA, struck out 10.3 batters per nine (career rate is 7.4) and had an elite 15 percent swinging strike rate.

His fastball ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: coors field, pirates

White Sox To Sign Austin Jackson - MLB Trade Rumors

Yet still no love for Pedro Alvarez? He’s a flawed player, but I’m shocked he hasn’t caught on with somebody.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:22 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: austin jackson, white sox

The fastball is back: Rockies refocused on the simplest pitch - The Denver Post

Another year, another theory on what plays in Colorado. How about bringing back the Blake Street Bombers?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, pitching, rockies

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Pirates rotation seems set, but Glasnow and Taillon are waiting in the wings | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Patience, patience.

Glas­now has a 2.07 ERA and 11.8 strike­outs per nine in­nings in 383⅓ pro­fes­sional in­nings. Watch­ing him throw, it’s easy to see why. His long arms and legs al­low him to re­lease the ball closer to home plate than most pitch­ers; a high-90s fast­ball is hard enough to hit, but when it has a shorter dis­tance to travel, it gets on the bat­ter more quickly. He pairs the fast­ball with a strong curve­ball. The changeup needs work.

“He’s still ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 12:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, pirates, tyler glasnow

Twins’ Miguel Sano discusses death of infant daughter

What an horrific ordeal for anyone to go through. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a child.

“It was hard,” the Twins right fielder said Sunday morning. “I would cry every day about that. My first baby. She died.”

Angelica Sano, born in late November 2014, was one week old when she died of a heart defect in the Dominican Republic. Sano, rehabbing in Fort Myers after having Tommy John surgery that spring, flew home after his daughter’s birth and had returned to Florida when his ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 11:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Mets’ hidden strength could be difference in a long season | New York Post

“There are so many players you would like more if you did not have to play them 162 games,” said J.P. Riccciardi, a special assistant to Alderson. “This is a way to keep players healthy and manage the season in a more effective way.”

And the Mets are going to have to manage, not just Cabrera, but more important Wright, who will need regular off time due to his spinal stenosis. Right now, Flores is the backup third baseman. But Alderson admitted the Mets would love to rest Wright ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 07:36 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

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