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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Why is veteran catcher Matt Wieters still on the free-agent market? | FOX Sports

Catch Rosenthal shilling for Boras.

Cue the chorus:

“Boras,” the agent’s critics will say, “is asking for too much money.”

Well, yes. That’s Boras’ job — to get the best deals he can for his players.

The case of Wieters, though, is even more curious than most.

No, Ken, I don’t think the situation is more complicated than Wieters’ asking price is higher than what teams are willing to pay him.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2017 at 07:55 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, matt wieters

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

2017 World Baseball Classic rosters: Posey, Stanton, McCutchen, headline Team USA

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 07:25 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Top 33 Prospects: Philadelphia Phillies | FanGraphs Baseball

Thirty-three players make the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 06:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects

Brian Wilson eyeing MLB return as a knuckleball pitcher

Brian Wilson intends to resume his pitching career as a knuckleballer.

Yes that Brian Wilson, now 34 years old, beardless and having just gone a month eating nothing but guacamole, which probably isn’t quite as great as it sounds.

On a muddy mound at USC on Wednesday morning, wearing high-top spikes and a Hawaii-themed cap, Wilson threw a 30-minute bullpen session. Of those dozens of pitches, all but a handful were knuckleballs.

“That right there,” Wilson said while pulling off his ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 06:08 PM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: brian wilson, knuckleballers

MLB plans to test new extra-innings rules in rookie ball, with Joe Torre’s approval

Major League Baseball plans on testing a rule change in the lowest levels of the minor leagues this season that automatically would place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings, a distinct break from the game’s orthodoxy that nonetheless has wide-ranging support at the highest levels of the league, sources familiar with the plan told Yahoo Sports.

A derivation of the rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 05:54 PM | 143 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings, pace of play, rule changes

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-8-2017

Ogden Standard, February 8, 1917:

John E. Powers, president of the Los Angeles baseball club and a patient in a hospital [in Chicago], still is ignorant that his mother died [two days ago] at the family residence, not far from the hospital.
...
Early Monday morning of this week he was stricken with appendicitis. While an operation was successful, he has not been informed by his mothers’ [sic] death.

That’s messed up. I hope someone broke the news to him before the funeral, at least.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 10:58 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

SNY to live stream Mets games in 2017

SNY is following the trends and making Mets games available via livestream, the network announced Wednesday. The team-owned network will begin streaming games during the 2017 MLB regular season at no additional cost to subscribers. Game broadcasts, as well as pre- and postgame shows will be streamed live on SNY.tv and the NBC Sports app.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 08, 2017 at 10:54 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cord-cutting, mets, mlb.tv, new york mets, streaming

The Twins should be more aggressive on waivers - Twinkie Town

When claiming Ehire Adrianza makes someone happy…

It’s still early to figure out the organizational strategy that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are pursuing, but I feel that utilizing the waiver wire will be an easy way to cheaply improve the Twins roster. With five of the past six years being utter disasters, the Twins shouldn’t be shunning the ability to make any improvements, no matter how small they may be.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: ehire adrianza, twins

Zack Wheeler wary of bullpen Catch-22: I don’t belong here | New York Post

All he has to do is out-pitch his competition.

“I know I belong in the starting rotation, there’s no question about that,’’ Wheeler told The Post as he stood behind the cluster of practice mounds known as the six-pack. “I’m a starter. I want to be a starter.’’

There is zero doubt about that.

Wheeler, 26, is aware that he has to run the pitching gauntlet to get back home to the rotation, which probably means a bullpen stint, but there is no way Wheeler wants to fall into the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:44 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Which young MLB pitchers are most at risk for injury? | SI.com (Sound Warning)

The article is interesting *but* the SI sign autoplays video with audio when you view the page. What’s even worse is the audio is buried in a place that’s tough to find.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchers

Wilmer Flores explains role-player headache — that hasn’t ended | New York Post

Wilmer Flores is cheap and crushes LHP. What’s not to like?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, wilmer flores

An early evaluation of the Red Sox lineup, minus David Ortiz

The Red Sox offense will be just fine in 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 08:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg optimistic about stadium search, team

The plan now is to whittle a list of a half-dozen potential stadium sites down to a top “pin-perfect” choice, not looking to identify Pinellas and Hillsborough options then negotiate for a better deal.

“To say this place, this place or the other place means we don’t have any place,” he said. “We need to know which is No. 1, and that’s what we need to shoot for. The idea is to get that place and make it work good.”...

• Though there have been “some” years when they have made money, and they ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:58 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: finances, rays, stadium

Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, and the Hall of Fame

Joe Mauer hasn’t squatted behind the plate since 2013. But he’ll still be a Hall of Fame catcher someday. Won’t he?

Only six catchers have been regulars on three or more World Championship teams. There’s the Yankee contingency: Yogi Berra (with eight), Bill Dickey (seven), and Jorge Posada (four); then there’s Posey, Mickey Cochrane, and Johnny Roseboro with three each. Yogi, Dickey, and Cochrane are in the Hall of Fame, and coincidentally, they (along with Buster) are the only ...

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Wahoo Sam Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:05 PM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, hall of fame, joe mauer

Report: Mike Napoli agrees to 1-year deal with Rangers

Free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, according to MLB.com.

The deal is pending a physical, MLB.com reported.

Napoli, 35, played in 150 games with the American League champion Cleveland Indians last season, setting career highs in homers (34), RBIs (101) and strikeouts (194).

This will be Napoli’s third stint with Texas.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 03:26 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, rangers

Yankees ink NL home run champ Chris Carter to a one-year, $3 million deal: report

All he does is catch touchdowns!

The Yankees and Carter have agreed on a one-year, $3 million contract pending a physical, according to USA Today.

Carter, 30, hit a National League-best 41 homers for the Brewers last season but hadn’t been able to find work until now. He struck out 206 times in 644 plate appearances and hit .222 with a .321 OBP.

Carter is certainly a flawed player, but will provide depth given his ability to play 1B/DH. He has not played in the outfield since 2014 with ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 03:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: chris carter, yankees

Long Games Aren’t Keeping MLB From Getting Rich

Cut out the standing around. Put the pitch clock in. Get rid of all the extra songs played between innings. (Do we really need God Bless America, Sweet Caroline, and Dirty Water *every game* at Fenway?) Cut down the mound visits and put a time limit for pitching changes? Get the games back in the 2:30-2:45 range.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Retired slugger Mark Teixeira joins ESPN as a baseball analyst

Mark Teixeira will go from sending “Tex messages” to breaking down film, as the retired slugger is joining ESPN as a baseball analyst, the network announced on Tuesday.

Teixeira, 36, retired after playing 14 seasons in the majors with four different teams, most recently with the New York Yankees. In New York, his home runs were called “Tex messages” by radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling.

“I couldn’t be more excited to begin this next chapter of my baseball career with ESPN,” Teixeira ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, mark teixiera, yankees

Royals forecast to finish last in AL Central in 2017 by PECOTA projections

Baseball Prospectus forecasts a 69-win season for the Royals in 2017 and a last-place finish in the American League Central. And it’s a distant fifth-place finish, six games behind the rebuilding Chicago White Sox.

A year ago, the PECOTA projection was right about one thing in the American League Central: The Indians were picked to win the division and that they did. However, the Royals exceeded their projection of a 76-86 record and a last-place finish in the Central.

Instead, the Royals ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: pecota, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2017

New York Sun, February 7, 1917:

In connection with comment by nine big league pilots on proposed changes it is interesting to note reasons assigned for the falling off in batting.
...
[Lee] Fohl points out the fact that these days clubs carry more pitchers than they did back in the old days of the famous sluggers. This, of course, enables pitches to take more rest between games, and furthermore permits managers to remove a man who is going badly and try another.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Inside MLB’s craziest curveball: from a Frisbee-loving Met | New York Post

“I knew I had a high spin rate, more than most,’’ Lugo told The Post from his home in Louisiana, but he didn’t know the exact numbers and that it was the highest until Statcast. “The curveball is different than any other pitch, you have to put reverse spin on the ball.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 10:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, seth lugo

Danny Goodwin: The Most Can’t Miss Prospect of All-Time

Only one player in the history of major league baseball was good enough to be selected first in the draft… twice.  He was chosen ahead of some of the best players in baseball history. And his story shows that extraordinary talent doesn’t guarantee extraordinary success at the Major League level.


MLB.TV for 2017 available now | MLB.com

Chromecast support makes me smile.

The new array of features, debuting for regular-season games, includes a “team view” in which fans can designate a favorite team and enjoy a custom team-centric experience on supported platforms. Redesigned apps will launch on connected platforms Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. The HD media player, a responsible, in-page layout experience, will introduce additional playback controls, milestone markers and support for Chromecast and Chromebook.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:55 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbtv

Routine plays are probably underrated - Beyond the Box Score

The distinct separation between Pederson’s starting points, marked by the bright blue dots, indicate a clear directive to differentiate between hitters (probably by simple handedness), and virtually every chart shows fielders adjusting their depth, within a range, based on who’s hitting.

How big are the gaps between those little dots? I’m not totally sure. But 15 or 20 feet of ground, gained more than a hundred times a season, adds up to something worth measuring.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

MLB opens new academy in Mexico | MLB.com

This is great.

Charlie Gastelum of MLB’s Scouting Bureau serves as the academy’s primary scout.

“This gives an opportunity for the kids to develop and show the scouts that come here every day to see their talents,” Vazquez said. “The goal is to develop as many possible players to be in the big leagues from Mexico. This is a big country with a lot of baseball players, and we want to get more big leaguers from Mexico.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international players

Roger McDowell’s reputation as a prankster has given way to seriousness as a coach - Baltimore Sun

McDowell now makes it clear that that time is behind him, that as a coach – he first became a pitching coach in 2002 in the Dodgers’ minor league system – it demands a seriousness to command the respect of his players. But he still knows there are times to be serious and times to loosen the mood.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, roger mcdowell

MLB proposes changes to intentional walks, strike zone

The intentional walk?

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age in which intentional walks actually have been declining—there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games)—that time savings would be minimal. But MLB sees the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated, so eliminating them would serve as much as a statement as it would a practical attempt to speed up the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rules of the game

The Rays still could be a surprise contender, if everything goes right

Robothal’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rays

Inside Baseball Teams’ Battle to Keep Their Secrets Safe

A lot of good stuff in this one.

“That is the key: how you maintain … consistency in the face of success, how you remain open-minded enough to change despite your success, how you continually have personnel that leak nothing to the media,” says the former scouting exec. “That requires dedication and commitment that can’t just be thrown on a flash drive or backdoored by someone with knowledge of a system; the real secrets are the ones that can’t be stolen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cyber security, sabermetrics

Monday, February 06, 2017

What Yankees’ bullpen freeze tells us about Hal’s budget | New York Post

Here is what a big-market team that truly believes it is a contender does if Plan A does not work: It moves to Plan B, even if the secondary scenario forces it to spend more than they wanted.

Only one New York team has behaved that way late this offseason. That it is the Mets symbolizes the identity flip-flop – at least in the present – of the two clubs.

Both had been determined to only address bullpen needs if they offloaded salary already on the books. The Yankees have stuck to that ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 06:27 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

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