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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Once beloved Pablo Sandoval sabotages his own image

If Pablo Sandoval’s recent comments were meant to sting, they did not penetrate. They were comically weak, brushed aside in the clubhouse like a passing whiff of flatulence. The only real issue was his motivation.

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: March 12, 2015 at 11:33 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, san francisco giants

Robothal: Cage Match: Yankees vs. Mets

The premise is simple: Which team will win more games, Team A or Team B? In each pairing, the teams are in the same city or same state. The idea came to me one day when I started thinking, “OK, which club will be better, the Mets or Yankees?

Yankees (82 projected wins) vs. Mets (81)
My pick: Mets 84 wins, Yankees 79.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 12, 2015 at 05:30 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york, yankees

Lindbergh: Best Shape of His Life! Does the Oft-Mocked Spring Training Declaration Actually Forecast a Better Season?

So what can we conclude? Being a best-shaper isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s not necessarily as meaningless as the reflexive jokes suggest. BSOHL position players don’t hit any better than expected, but they do tend to beat their playing-time projections and potentially play better on defense. BSOHL pitchers, meanwhile, seem to enjoy a genuine advantage. By the standards of most stories out of spring training, that makes being in better shape big news.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 12, 2015 at 03:41 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, bsohl, fitness, projections

Awful Announcing: Jonah Keri melts down over a concert on his flight

Alas, the knee defender is useless against annoying rock bands:

rantland’s Jonah Keri is one of my favorite baseball writers working today. On Wednesday, Keri was on a Southwest flight to Denver. The band Lifehouse was on the same flight.

All hell proceeded to break loose.

JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2015 at 11:03 AM | 231 comment(s)
  Beats: analysis, jonah keri, media, music

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 12, 1915:

[John] Peters did not want to go to Detroit this year. His objection to Detroit was that it was a major league city.
...
[Peters] admits that he can throw as few men can, and a comparison of his own .307 average and the swatting marks claimed by the majority of catchers, has convinced him that he need not worry about his hitting. But he doesn’t know baseball yet, knows that he doesn’t know the game, and doesn’t care to palm himself off as a wise guy.

That’s ...

Read More...

Newsday: Lennon - Noah Syndergaard vs. Marlins: It’s not a fair fight

Wishful thinking. Knowing who was on the mound, Wednesday must have felt like looking down the barrel of a gun for the Marlins—from the wrong end. Harvey being Harvey, most of the attention focused on the Mets’ recovering ace. Truth be told, Syndergaard made even more of an impression, maybe because the Marlins previously were unfamiliar with the 6-6 blond giant who threw “thunderbolts.”

That was more appropriate than the Marlins even realized given Syndergaard’s “Thor” moniker—it hasn’t ...

Read More...
Lassus Posted: March 12, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: thor

Inside the new system that wants to revolutionize how we look at pitches - Yahoo Sports

Pitch sequencing – or how a pitcher approaches a hitter or multiple hitters by linking different types of pitchers in an intentional order – is believed to be very important, and the QOP system ignores it, considering its dependence on context inconsistent with the model.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Andrew Miller: This Lefty Reliever Specializes in Outs - WSJ

Specializing in outs gets a pitcher paid; specializing in home runs gets him released. Good choice, Andrew!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, justin wilson, yankees

Harvey-Fernandez could be historic rivalry in the making | New York Post

So, Fernandez’s timetable is 13-14 months.

Fernandez was due to throw 24 hours later. But only 30 pitches (no breaking stuff) from a bullpen mound. His surgery was May 16. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings mentioned he has never seen anyone in his 28 years in pro ball attack rehab like Fernandez has, and the blueprint has Fernandez back in the majors sometime from mid-June to mid-July.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez, marlins, matt harvey, mets, tommy john

Jered Weaver’s velocity takes a dip in Angels’ 6-5 loss to Arizona - LA Times

Jered Weaver’s fastball averaged 86.8 mph last season, when he went 18-9 with a 3.28 earned-run average, but even by his standards, his velocity is down this spring. The right-hander ranged from 82-84 mph and hit 85 mph twice in a three-inning, two-run, five-hit effort. “How many velocity questions are we going to have?” Weaver said in response to his first velocity question of the spring. “I don’t pay attention to velocity. It’s more about getting location down and being able to get on pitches ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jered weaver

Japan’s Shohei Otani Hits 99 MPH, Strikes Out 10 To Outduel Kenta Maeda - BaseballAmerica.com

Facing Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda today, 19-year-old Nippon-Ham Fighters righthander Shohei Otani held the Carp to one run over five innings, striking out 10 with no walks while hitting 99 mph. Otani’s fastball was overpowering, sitting at 94-98 mph and hitting the upper end of that range consistently. His lone run allowed came on a hanging slider to Brad Eldred, who crushed Otani’s mistake for a home run.

Otani, who’s 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, overmatched hitters with his fastball, though ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, kenta maeda, shohei otani

St. Petersburg announces 1,800-seat baseball stadium at Walter Fuller complex | Tampa Bay Times

Mayor Rick Kriseman announced plans Wednesday to build an 1,800-seat stadium at the Walter Fuller baseball complex in western part of the city.

But he said he didn’t know how much it would cost to build or when construction would start.

“We don’t have an idea yet. We are working on finalizing those numbers,” Kriseman said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball, stadiums

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MLB Future Power Rankings (INSIDER)

1. Boston Red Sox

The overview
The challenge for the Red Sox now is to find the best way to turn some of their position-player surplus into pitching. They bet heavily on Sandoval, Ramirez and Moncada in a way other teams wouldn’t dream of because of the uncertainty involved.—Buster Olney

The dilemma
The Red Sox still lack a true top-of-rotation starter; having one would make them the favorite to represent the American League in the World Series once again. So far they’ve been reluctant to ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2015 at 06:05 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: organizational rankings, power rankings, prospects

Trevor Bauer responds to twitter criticism

@BauerOutage Honest question, man. Do you ever feel like you’re overthinking on the mound?

@Brill_Grates I know that question shouldn’t make me mad but it kinda does. That term “over thinking” is so annoying

I don’t see an article on this yet, so here’s just the raw feed. Trevor Bauer would prefer you not to try to guess what’s going on his head as he pitches.

cmd600 Posted: March 11, 2015 at 01:42 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Are pitchers getting hurt more often? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

Some interesting stuff from David Schoenfield.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 12:40 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: pitcher injuries, sabermetrics

Reynolds raking way up depth chart with stellar spring | mets.com

He’s had some impressive at bats this spring. Can anyone provide any insight into his defense?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 12:37 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: matt reynolds, mets

Seven rookie pitchers ready to make an impact this MLB season - MLB - SI.com

I’m not sold on Syndergaard, especially this year. After watching him get visibly flustered the other day, it might be a good idea for him to deal with the tough pitching environment of Las Vegas a little longer. On the other hand I’ve been impressed with Carlos Rodon. I look forward to watching him pitch a little more this spring.

Saving the best for last, the 22-year-old Syndergaard was ranked right around the tenth-best prospect in baseball by BA (11), MLB.com (10) and BP (9) coming into this ...

Read More...

Parity Found: Welcome to MLB’s 2015 Projected Standings, Where Everyone (and No One) Is a Winner «

Some good stuff from Ben Lindbergh. This is just one tidbit. Read the whole thing.

The AL is a prognosticator’s nightmare. As Phil Birnbaum and Neil Paine have noted, there’s an absolute limit to the accuracy of baseball projections. Even if we were omniscient when it came to team talent levels, we wouldn’t be able to predict luck. And luck has large effects: As Birnbaum wrote, “On average, nine teams per season will be lucky by six wins or more.” So what do we do with a division like ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 12:09 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics


Fantasy Focus: prospects at catcher, first base and third base | MiLB.com

Other than 3B, there are no exciting prospects in this article to get excited about for the start of this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 10:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Scouts say Mookie Betts poised for ‘All-Star’ year - The Boston Globe

Betts is the real deal. Barring injury he’s going to be a best leadoff hitter in baseball within a couple of years.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 10:19 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Early Returns On The Yasmany Tomas Third Base Experiment | FanGraphs Baseball

They may as well give the guy a little time. As the writer notes, it’s not like the D’Backs have much of a chance of making the playoffs anyway. From what I’ve seen and read so far, Tomas has not been pretty.

It was never likely that Tomas was going to stick at third, and while it’s far, far too premature to call it done, little we’ve seen so far indicates that the initial scouting reports were wrong. If he ends up in the outfield, what the Diamondbacks might have is a powerful righty hitter ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2015 at 09:30 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 11, 1915:

Beals Becker, who is a member of the squad of sluggers of the Phillies, has a glove which looks as if it were the second cousin to an aligator [sic] hide. This glove resembles one of the relics from Noah’s Ark, if there are such in existence. The glove is discolored and it has a weakened appearance, as though it had laid out on the grass many nights.
...
In the middle of the glove there is a good sized hole cut, for Becker, like many other players, believes it ...

Read More...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Soler, Baez and Bryant go back-to-back-to-back

A particularly arousing bit of Cub prospect porn.

Spahn Insane Posted: March 10, 2015 at 08:37 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez, jorge soler, kris bryant

Will Ferrell to play all 9 positions in various different Spring Training Games?

From Bob Nightengale’s Twitter:

Comedian and actor Will Farrell plans to play all nine positions in Cactus League games Thursday, shuttled by helicopter to different parks.


Hopefully we’ll get Pitch FX data on him on the mound.

 

Gamingboy Posted: March 10, 2015 at 07:22 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: celebrities, goofballery, spring training, take that garth brooks

The power struggle over Josh Hamilton and why Rob Manfred needs to do what’s right - Yahoo Sports

If the entire world revolved around Josh Hamilton I would agree. All of us, including addicts, have responsibility for our actions. Although I hope Josh Hamiltion gets control over his addiction and MLB and the public are supportive of his efforts, it’s just not true that the issue is just about Josh Hamilton.

The Josh Hamilton case should be about his addiction and only his addiction. It’s what anybody fighting substance abuse deserves: The ability to remain sober with as few distractions as ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2015 at 05:06 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton

Hector Olivera Hires New Representation – MLB Trade Rumors

Hector Olivera changes agents.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2015 at 05:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, hector olivera

Appel ready to go after bout with tight forearm | astros.com

Hopefully this was just a scare.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2015 at 04:52 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mark appel


Neyer: Three reasons to watch the Mets in 2015

Of course, the point of this series is that every team is interesting for at least a few reasons, interesting enough to watch at least occasionally. And among the non-great teams, I’m not sure the Mets take a back seat to many. I mean, just look!

1. Hey! Matt Harvey’s back!
Matt Harvey was one of the two or three most effective pitchers in those two seasons. Obviously, we can’t expect exactly the same in his first season after Tommy John surgery. But that only makes him even more ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 10, 2015 at 04:49 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

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