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Friday, March 27, 2015

Jason Heyward’s Ability Seems Boundless. Soon, So May His Contract.

If he wants the biggest contract, he has to put up some bigger numbers than he has put up the last few years. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll be a very wealthy young man at the end of season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, free agents

Jeff Samardzija ready for future - Chicago Tribune

If he’s not looking for top dollar, I’m sure he will have plenty of teams lined up not to give it to him.

“I’m not looking for top dollar,” Samardzija said. ”For me, it’s good to see those guys are compensated. But I think if you look at maybe outside of Shields, who maybe didn’t get his first choice, you look at Jon and Max and couple other guys, the big thing for them is they went somewhere they wanted to go to, and they were excited about where they were going to.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff samardzija, white sox

Fastball-changeup interplay featuring Jacob deGrom - Beyond the Box Score

Putting Jacob DeGrom under the microscope.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets, sabermetrics

Red Sox catcher Vazquez to have MRI on elbow | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Vazquez hasn’t caught in a major league game in two weeks after experiencing some discomfort in the elbow in a game against the New York Yankees. Subsequently, Vazquez experienced some pain in his triceps after altering his throwing motion somewhat to compensate for the elbow soreness.

He threw to bases Thursday, but did so at less than full intensity - per the Red Sox’ request.

“There’s a little bit [of restriction] there,’’ said Vazquez of the discomfort he experiences with his elbow. “I’ve ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: christian vazquez, red sox

At Least All These Tommy John Surgeries Aren’t Rotator Cuff Surgeries | FiveThirtyEight

Shoulder injuries really suck. Fortunately, conditioning methods have improved.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitcher injuries, tommy john surgery

For Mookie Betts, milestone marks changed approach - Sports - The Boston Globe

There is a reason the Red Sox won’t include Betts in a deal for Hamels. He a very smart *and* physically-gifted player.  He understands that taking walks should never be the goal. They should be a byproduct of a batter not getting pitches to hit. He also understands that the game is about constant adjustments. Not every gifted players gets that. (See Javier Baez for comparison.)

“[Big league] pitchers are just around the zone more. I feel like you have to swing a little more. You can’t go up ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-27-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 27, 1915:

Here’s the funny thing about [Bud] Davis, the rookie twirler from Virginia who has been showing so well with the Athletics this season. For four years Davis always threw left-handed. Now he is a right-handed pitcher.

That’s weird.

In fact, nearly everything about Davis as a ballplayer was weird. He put up a 98 ERA+ at age 19 in his only MLB season, then never again appeared in the major leagues. A pretty good season if you just glance at it, but somehow Davis ...

Read More...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boras: Cubs using business, not baseball, if Bryant stays in minors - CBSSports.com

I get that he’s trying to help his client become a free agent sooner but it’s also within the Cubs purview to send him down to the minors to gain another year and use Bryant’s defense as a reason to do so. If Boras really wants to get rid of the contract issue, he can agree to a contract which supersedes this issue. That won’t happen, of course. You don’t squeeze every penny out of a team signing such a contract. In the meantime, Scott, spare us the sanctimonious pontifications about “integrity ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:20 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

A Fresh Start | The Players’ Tribune

I guess the Astros concerns were well founded.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 09:29 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brady aiken

Report: Mets cut ballpark security to save money

I know this is shocking, but we have yet another example of the Mets being too cheap. This time around, they’ve drastically cut ballpark security to the point that there are safety concerns.

Jacob Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:10 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, wilpon

Cubs’ Ricketts reveals Wrigley renovation might take extra year

Wait til next year!

On Wednesday, though, Ricketts said the organization is projecting the $375 million renovation to take longer than originally expected.

“There will be four more years,” Ricketts said Wednesday after speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. “The way we project it now is four more years of construction.”

Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for Ricketts, confirmed Wednesday evening that the project could very well bleed into a fifth offseason, one more than the original ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:14 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ricketts, wrigley field renovation

Former Cardinals player punched at St. Louis County gas station after racial slur

Best Fans in Baseball?

Former Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford said Thursday he may move away from the St. Louis area in disgust after being punched in an allegedly unprovoked, race-related attack at a gas station.

“I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis,” Ford said in a phone interview Thursday. “You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:13 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, curt ford, ferguson, race

Nippon Ham ordered to pay ¥41.9 million for failing to shield spectator from foul ball

The woman in her 30s sued the team, Sapporo Dome Co. and Sapporo city for their failure to prevent her from being hit by the foul ball, which resulted in her losing sight in her right eye, while she was in the infield stands during a game at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido on Aug. 21, 2010.

I feel like there’s a tasteless joke somewhere in here about how ham is a poor substitute for steak in preventing black eyes, but please don’t be tempted to make it. Instead discuss whether this establishes any ...

Read More...

Tony Massarotti Details Phone ‘Conversation’ With Shane Victorino « CBS Boston

I can’t listen to Felger and Massarotti on the radio. They are the two biggest, factless blowhards on Boston sports radio. When faced with undeniable facts which refute whichever crazy premise they have expressed, the words “I was wrong” have never been expressed.

Felger added: “He’s backtracking today. That’s what I think. That’s my opinion. But it’s only an opinion.”
Mazz said, “I don’t know that he’s backtracking. I think he realizes he said too much. That’s what I ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, shane victorino

Giants’ Peavy likes results with new pitch - San Jose Mercury News

The crusty veteran is trying to add a new wrinkle.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 03:34 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jake peavy

Grantland: 2015 AL East Preview

Welcome to Grantland’s 2015 MLB division previews. From now through next week, Jonah Keri and I will analyze each team in each division, focusing on offseason triumphs and failures, roster strengths and weaknesses, telling projections, revealing stats, and off-field story lines, and wrapping up with our over/under verdicts on each team’s projected record. As always, all overly pessimistic opinions should be blamed on the well-known grudge we bear your team, and only your team, because of ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 12:23 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most ...

Read More...

Bill James Mailbag - 3/24/15 - 3/26/15

I need to see Bill’s high school stat line.

Hey Bill, on the Tommy John surgery boom, a couple of questions: 1) I’m pretty sure you’ve answered this in detail before, but is the proliferation mostly the result of Little League and high school kids throwing curveballs long before they should? And/or: 2) Were there a larger number of early-career burnouts before Tommy John? When I was in Little League (early ‘60s), our best pitcher threw a nasty curve. We dominated the league when he pitched, ...

Read More...

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2015

March 26, 1915, American pilot Phil Rader, fighting for the French in World War I, writes for United Press:

What Christy Mathewson could do to the Germans near our trenches!

The Germans are masters of new tricks, or of adapring old tricks to new purposes, but their hand-grenade stunt would put them at the mercy of the great American ball players.
...
I used to watch the Germans toss these bombs like schoolgirls or like boys pitching nickels at a crack…Eugene Jacobs, the man who left his butcher ...

Read More...

Not so fast, Matthew Lucroy!

Harry Pavlidis
‏@harrypav
About this http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/not-so-fast-matthew-lucroy-032515
it makes false claims about or work @robneyer

I don’t know much about Pavlidis. Is he incredibly thin-skinned or something?

Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, neyer, sabermetrics

Mets Try New Trick on Defense: Predicting Where Ball Will Be Hit - WSJ

I’m still surprised the Mets didn’t settle on a defensive specialist at shortstop this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel murphy, mets, wilmer flores

Unsafe at home: MLB’s Venezuelan stars fleeing country

The situation in Venezuela sounds awful.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuela

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is replacing Derek Jeter, is already garnering jaw-dropping praise from veteran teammates like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, particularly for his fielding and baseball smarts | FOX Sports

All hail Didi Gregorius!

Rob Thomson, the Yankees’ bench coach, said that Gregorius “really gets off the ball,” meaning that he excels at reading bat angles and hops. Thomson also praised Gregorius’ “quiet glove action,” noting that while some infielders will flip their gloves downward to make a play, Gregorius carries his glove outside his left knee and smoothly positions it in the spot where the ball arrives, almost as if he is laying it down gently.

“It’s like textbook—very ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:44 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, didi gregorius, yankees

Maddon: No decision on Baez’s roster status | cubs.com

I’ve watched Baez quite a bit. He’s not ready at the plate. He seems compelled to flail at every breaking pitch away that gets served to him. From Maddon’s comment it also seems he’s not really taking to his coaching and might need to be humbled a bit more.

Maddon denied a report that Baez was on the final 25-man roster, and added that neither Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein or general manager Jed Hoyer gave the infieder the go-ahead either.

“I have no idea where that came ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Five toughest roster dilemmas this spring | MLB.com

Dan O’Dowd has been providing some great analysis on MLB Network this off-season. He’s spot on in this article.


Lagares batting ninth? Why Mets think it’ll work | New York Post

It was the kind of power-speed combo that intrigues and enthuses the Mets about having Lagares bat first. Later in the game, he hit a two-run homer off Dellin Betances and Lagares is batting .395 this spring.

Yet, the Mets are toying with having him — wait for it — hit last.

Manager Terry Collins told me that as early as Friday against the Cardinals — when Curtis Granderson and David Wright return to the lineup — the Mets might experiment once again with the pitcher hitting eighth.

...
Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: lineups, mets

Twins parody Star Wars trailer to promote Phil Hughes bobblehead

the Twins are giving away possibly the best bobblehead introduced thus far this season. The bobblehead will feature pitcher Phil Hughes dressed in jedi robes and holding a green lightsaber. The best part of the whole thing is that the team is using the hashtag #HughesTheForce to promote the event.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes, star wars, twins

Pablo Sandoval says weight regimen contributed to him leaving Giants

Pablo Sandoval’s departure from the San Francisco Giants continues to get ugly. Sandoval has already made waves this spring, saying he felt disrespected by his former club, and never intended to re-sign with them. Well, he’s doubled down on those comments, telling USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz that he changed his cell phone number and doesn’t really communicate with his old teammates. He also revealed that the team’s insistence that he remain on a weight regimen was one of the reasons he decided ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:44 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: fat panda, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rafael Montero has earned roster spot

Montero officially remains in a competition with Dillon Gee for the fifth starter’s job. However, Mets officials acknowledge Gee is highly likely to get the rotation nod, and Montero likely is ticketed for relief at the major league level to begin the season.

Asked where Montero fits in, Collins said Wednesday: “On the team—somewhere.”

Montero suggested he is fine with any role.

“Minor leagues I was a starting pitcher,” Montero said through an interpreter. “Now, in the big leagues, I’m ready ...

Read More...
Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 25, 2015 at 11:41 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, rafael montero

USA Today: ANDREW McCUTCHEN GETS 1ST HAIRCUT IN 8 YEARS

BREAKING NEWS:

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a four-time All-Star, National League MVP, Golden Glove winner, and a three-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He also led the Pirates to their first winning season in 1992.

Despite all of these notable achievements, McCutchen is most famous for being the guy wit the hair. “It’s good to have an image,” McCutchen said of that hair to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review back in 2014. “I have the hair, but eventually ...

Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 25, 2015 at 04:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, cuts, pittsburgh pirates, sampson

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