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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Baseball Mystery: The Home Run Is Back, And No One Knows Why | Five Thirty Eight

On his first day in office, in January 2015, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced his interest in “inject[ing] additional offense into the game.” Over the previous several seasons, scoring in baseball had dropped to levels not seen since the mid-1970s, as an expanded strike zone, an increase in average pitch velocity, the rise of defensive shifts, and detailed data on batter tendencies had combined to keep runs scarce. Manfred mentioned banning the shift as a possible ...

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philoye Posted: March 30, 2016 at 04:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: offense

Orioles move to cut ties with Miguel Gonzalez, placing him on release waivers

The Miguel Gonzalez era with the Orioles is over. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina, the O’s have given Gonzalez his unconditional release. Next, Gonzalez will be placed on waivers, and if he goes unclaimed for 48 hours, he will become a free agent.

It’s a move that’s surprising in the sense that the O’s under Buck Showalter have tended to stick with their guys, and Gonzalez was definitely one of their guys. It’s less surprising in that Gonzalez had a bad year last year, posting ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2016 at 03:24 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel gonzalez, orioles

If you care about Red Sox’ future, you should care about Single-A Salem

“The ability for guys to come up together is always a great thing,” said Red Sox assistant farm director Brian Abraham. “You see that now with our major league team: Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, Christian Vasquez, Travis Shaw. Those guys all played together throughout the minor leagues. The camaraderie and team work they are able to establish at the big league level, that’s been going on since they were drafted, since they signed. That’s really important, it’s great when you’re ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 30, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, red sox

Abreu: ‘I want to spend whole career with White Sox’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Abreu shared his allegiance while talking about his disdain for designated-hitter duty. When kiddingly asked if wants to be traded to the National League, which doesn’t the DH, he said through translator Billy Russo, “No, not even a joke. I want to spend my whole career with the White Sox organization because they were the ones who gave me the opportunity to play here. And they have done a lot for me. I love to be here.’’

The Sox were aggressive in their pursuit of Abreu three ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: jose abreu, white sox

Locke on making Pirates rotation: ‘It’s news to me. It’s good news to me’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Not even when Jeff Locke passed a group of reporters as he walked off the field at Pirate City Tuesday did it occur to him why they might want to talk to him. Only after he threw another inning in the batting cage did he hear the news.

Asked when and how he heard he had earned a spot in the starting rotation, Locke said, “You just told me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff locke, pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-30-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 30, 1916:

Schalk, first catcher of the Whitesox, is after the high jump record in the American league. Schalkie leaped over a saddled burro at the training grounds in Mineral Wells.

This, of course, doesn’t answer the obvious question: Why would you leap over a saddled burro?

Later in the linked article, Browns manager Fielder Jones is furious at Tigers manager Hughie Jennings for allegedly suggesting the Browns were a joke and a farce, and would easily finish last in ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 30, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, ray schalk, saddled burros

Orioles’ conundrum with Hyun Soo Kim just the latest drama in a spring training full of messes - Baltimore Sun

Would any other team pick him up?

And why should Kim—after receiving just 44 spring training at bats—be convinced he can’t cut it in the United States? It was just last year that Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jung Ho Kang struggled mightily in spring training. He opened the spring 1-for-23, looked lost at shortstop and, at the plate, he couldn’t make adjustments as pitchers jammed him inside.

The Pirates carried Kang as a backup infielder on Opening Day. By mid-May, he was hitting .300 and he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun soo ki, orioles

Braves have pair of young shortstop prospects | MLB.com

If they put put Swanson in High A, he’s probably more on a middle of next year timeline.

The Braves saw enough from Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies during Spring Training to strengthen their confidence that these two elite prospects could form a double-play combo in Atlanta within the next year. Now, they must decide how to best develop these two high-impact shortstops.

After seeing Swanson and Albies develop a strong bond and friendship during their time in camp, the Braves flirted with the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, ozzie albies

Roberto Osuna to be Blue Jays closer | bluejays.com

I wish they had announced this one day earlier.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

The Top 175 MLB Prospects for 2016 - Minor League Ball

Edit: The linked spreadsheet should be useful if you have a minor league draft coming up.

John Sickel’s Top 150. It came out a few days after my simulation league’s minor league draft so it didn’t help me this year. If you haven’t had your draft yet check it out. Also, here’s an Excel sheet of most of my prep work. If you haven’t had your draft yet, I’m positive it can help you.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:43 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospects

The vigilante Royals are a big part of baseball’s big problem | FOX Sports

This “problem” is soooooooooo overblown. A bigger problem is the outrage from the media over things so inconsequential.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:36 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Braves keeping Francoeur, will add him to roster

Though Francoeur proved productive through his first two Major League seasons, he began to decline and was traded to the Mets during the 2009 season. He has since played for the Rangers, Royals, Giants, Padres and Phillies.

But now, Francoeur is truly coming home to strengthen the Braves’ bench with his right-handed power potential. He can capably handle both corner outfield spots and he has acquainted himself with center field over the past few weeks.

And there was much rejoicing at BTF!!! ...Read More...

eddieot Posted: March 30, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur

Apple strikes deal with MLB to provide every team with iPad Pros | The Verge

Apple and Major League Baseball have signed a multi-year deal that will see every team receive iPad Pro tablets for use in the dugout, reports The Wall Street Journal. The 12.9-inch tablets will be used with rugged, MLB-branded cases based on the one from STM pictured below, and a custom app called MLB Dugout will help managers see performance statistics, check videos from earlier games, and analyze how pitchers and hitters are likely to perform against each other.

 

philoye Posted: March 30, 2016 at 02:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbam

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM, wife navigate unique situation

Among those competing for a roster spot are catcher Chris Herrmann and reliever Enrique Burgos. Both are former clients of Stewart, the club’s GM. Both are current clients of Murray, the GM’s wife.

shoewizard Posted: March 29, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, diamondbacks, general, general managers, legal

Analysis: Free bases and outs are costly | Boston Herald

“I’ve got nothing against the bunt, in its place. But most of the time that place is at the bottom of a long forgotten closet.” ~ Earl Weaver

This essentially means a manager must pick and choose his sacrifice bunting opportunities very carefully. The Red Sox have done just that, executing only 20 sacrifice bunts in 2014 and 30 in 2015.

“I think there’s a place and a time for it,” said Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. “Never would we ask Mookie Betts or Travis Shaw or Hanley ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:44 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Let’s Invent a New Pitch | FanGraphs Baseball

Everything has already been invented.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 02:42 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Old school baseball? Not for me

If you can’t enjoy winning, why bother? So, heave that bat, fist pump that strikeout, and point to the heavens when you do well!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 02:40 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: get off my lawn, unwritten rules of baseball


Yankees rejected Expos’ crazy Derek Jeter trade

According to a report from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, then-Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria wanted Derek Jeter so bad that he gave his general manager, Jim Beattie, free reign to offer everything the team had.

So, the report said, Beattie offered Yankees general manager Brian Cashman a crazy package: Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero. Obviously, Cashman rejected it.

“I can’t trade Derek Jeter,” Cashman said, according to the report.

The report didn’t say which year the deal was ...

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Shortstop Marten Gasparini’s unlikely journey from Italy to Royals’ minor leagues

Nick Leto has dark, short hair, and he is blessed with a friendly, affable personality. On a typically sunny day in Surprise, he is wearing a Royals polo shirt and greeting nearly everyone who passes by their first name.

His title is the Arizona operations manager for the Royals. In a nutshell, that means Leto ensures the facilities in Surprise accommodate whatever the team needs. It’s a year-round job.

After the Royals break spring training this week, the minor-leaguers stay behind until ...

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Zach Posted: March 29, 2016 at 12:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: europe, international players, operations guy from arizona, royals

Baseball or calculus? Advanced metrics changing way we absorb, interpret game - San Jose Mercury News

There are still a lot of smart guys on the Internet.

And, for the younger generation, there is Brad Pitt.

—‰‘Moneyball’ was the moment,” said Sam Miller, the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus. “Before that, there were smart guys who knew each other on the Internet. But that was about it. And they clearly felt like an outsider culture.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 11:10 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

In the Major Leagues, Female Scouts Are Few. Their Skills Aren’t.

Wallace’s scouting workload from March through August, covering amateur players in most New England states, is practically full time. Officially speaking, though, Wallace is the scouting bureau’s only part-time scout (maintaining a law practice and raising a 16-month-old son will lead to some compromises).

That leaves 22-year-old Amanda Hopkins in a class of her own.

Bill Bavasi, who succeeded Marcos as the scouting bureau’s senior director, said that if the Mariners had not hired ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 29, 2016 at 10:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rob neyer, scouting, women in baseball

Harvey had blood clot in bladder, will start Opening Day - NY Daily News

Let it flow, Matt!

After hours of speculation about his “mysterious” medical condition, Matt Harvey was cleared to pitch Opening Day after passing a “big” blood clot. The Mets ace said that the blood clot developed after a bladder infection, likely because he does not use the restroom often enough.

“I guess the main issue is I hold my urine in for too long instead of peeing regularly, so I guess I have to retrain my bladder to use the restroom a little bit more instead of holding it ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 10:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-29-2016

Rock Island Argus, March 29, 1916:

A majority of the members of the Detroit American league baseball club do not approve the plan of establishing a home for retired ball players. Several of the Tiger players have declared that under present salary conditions any capable player who does not become incapacitated by injury should be able to save at least a modest fortune during his diamond career. Some were inclined to think that players who were not of a saving disposition, but who were clever ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 29, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, ed hohnhorst, history, pensions

Welcome to Pittsburgh, home of baseball’s most dynamic pitching laboratory | FOX Sports

All hail the Pirates’ Dr. Searage.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 08:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, pitching, ray searage

Those who can’t do, “Strat-O-Gize”. - Hoffman Files

From the photo in the article, it’s clear some Strat players fondle bigger dice than others.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 08:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: simulations, strat-o-matic

Williamson among 9 Giants cut from camp

Opening Day is almost here!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Excerpt: In ‘The Arm,’ a search for the new frontier of building healthy baseball pitchers - Yahoo Sports

Good stuff. Adding this book to my list for the summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Brian Bannister is leading Red Sox charge on applying analytics; Craig Kimbrel, Clay Buchholz already on board | masslive.com

Bannister will also work with Red Sox scouts in analyzing pitchers for potential trades.

“I can envision asking him to look at a pitcher on our staff and get me some data or get me some feedback on what he’s seeing as far as release point, spin rate, action of the pitches,” Willis said last fall when the team announced Bannister’s new role.

“Anytime you have anyone who knows the game and can break the game down and give you tendencies to look at, any opportunity you can get to give yourself ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brian bannister, red sox

Farrell: ‘We’ve got versatility’ in Red Sox lineup | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Jackie Bradley should be right where he is. Not that it will make a huge difference.

hould Bradley continue to hit as he has this spring (.378 before Sunday’s game) he could conceivably hit higher in the order, perhaps as high as sixth, which would, again, give the Sox a lefty hitter to break up a run of other righthanders.

“Could he hit higher? Yes,’’ said Farrell. “I think there’s some healthy conversation among our staff in that regard. It’s more about lineup configuration rather than what ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: lineups, red sox

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