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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell undergoes surgery on left knee, faces 2-4 week recovery | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Josh Bell was coming into Spring Training ready to challenge for the Pirates’ starting first base job. He may have to wait.

The Pirates’ third-ranked prospect underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove a loose body from his left knee, and will be sidelined two to four weeks. That leaves uncertain his status for Opening Day.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 02:09 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, josh bell, pirates

With Spring Training Looming, Top Players Are On The Mend | BaseballAmerica.com

That doesn’t sound promising.

Michael Matuella, rhp, Rangers

Injury: Right elbow ligament sprain

2016 stats: 0-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 2 BB

The former Duke ace has pitched exactly once since the Rangers drafted him the third round in 2015. He was in the midst of Tommy John surgery rehab when the Rangers drafted him and didn’t make his pro debut until June 2016, a full year after he was picked. He pitched three scoreless innings for short-season Spokane while reportedly touching ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Shohei Otani, the player we all wanted to see at the WBC, will hit but not pitch - CBSSports.com

It’s worth noting that Otani could still appear in the tournament as a hitter. The odds of that are uncertain, however, given Nippon-Ham’s concern that Otani’s condition could require surgery if it worsens.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:25 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, shohei otani, wbc

Is this the year that Mike Zunino can put it all together for Mariners? | The Seattle Times

Being able to adjust is a necessity in MLB.

“There are a lot of smart people in the league and in the game and scouting and look at video and how they’re going to approach you,” Servais said. “So they made an adjustment on him based on the fact that he wasn’t casing the breaking ball anymore and now he’s got to continue make an adjustment back.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

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

Seattle Star, February 2, 1917:

Severance of diplomatic relations with Germany, in the opinion of President Weeghman of the Cubs, would not mean the discontinuance of organized baseball for a season.

But Weeghman believes it would be the signal for a general retrenching all along the line in the majors. Training camps might be abandoned, and players who have not returned signed contracts probably would face a further cut in salaries.

“Just at present, it looks like a tough baseball season,” ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:14 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

The A’s are just sad now - Beyond the Box Score

We’ve been putting off this summation for more than two years, ever since Josh Donaldson got shipped north of the border for Brett Lawrie and co. We’ve wanted to put this off repeatedly, since Billy Beane built winners in the team’s 2012-14 renaissance. We want to believe that the first mainstream sabermetric success of 2001-2006 could manage to always be one step ahead of everyone else, always innovating and unearthing the next great market inefficiency.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 11:40 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Marvels of Engineering, Monuments to Kitsch: Ballpark Wonders, Oddities and Attractions

The Bat. The B&O warehouse at Camden yards. ‘The Big A’ at Angel Stadium. Those special flourishes, details, or attractions that make each ball park unique and serve as local touchstone (the guitar-shaped scoreboard at First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds) or national icon (the ivy at Wrigley). Some are wonders of engineering (Safeco Field’s retractable roof); others are monuments to kitsch (the bobble head museum at Marlins Park). Some are awe-inspiring (the desert vistas ...

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gehrig97 Posted: February 02, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: books, bull durham, cleveland, green monster, mascots, miller park, wrigley field, yankees

Cuba, Mexico open Caribbean Series with wins | MLB.com

The Caribbean Series began Wednesday in Culiacan, Mexico, with games between Cuba and the Dominican Republic during the afternoon, and a Mexico-Puerto Rico matchup in the nightcap.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:45 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean series

Fadeaway: Episode 7: The Big Drabowski

This is a few months old, published around the World Series, but still a good listen. The latest from Primate Eric Enders’  baseball history podcast.

Born in Ozanna, Poland, at the start of the Third Reich, Moe Drabowsky escaped from Hitler and came to America as a toddler. He embraced life in America, becoming first the hardest-throwing young prospect in baseball, then its most notorious prankster. And in 1966, after arm injuries had caused everyone to write him off for good, he resurrected ...

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Don’t Quit on Byung Ho Park | FanGraphs Baseball

I watched a lot of his AB last season. I still think he can be a quality major league hitter. I hope the Twins give him more AB to prove it.

We’re familiar with what Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu have accomplished. Jung Ho Kang, when he’s on the field, has silenced questions about his ability to hit velocity. Dae-Ho Lee arrived with more modest expectations but was still a league-average bat (102 wRC+) last year in his first year in the majors, and Hyun Soo Kim posted a .382 on-base mark ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Best tools: Hitters on Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com

(Time for a quick disclaimer: Yes, we know that some tools matter more than others and there’s more to evaluating prospects than simply adding up their five tools. This is meant to be a fun look at some of the most talented players on the Top 100, not the most scientific of analyses.)

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

For Minor League Free Agents, Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose | 2080 Baseball

The plight of the six-year minor league free agent.

There are generally two types of minor league free agents: those with some big league or significant Triple-A experience whose resumes sell themselves, and those who have filled more of an “organizational” role with their original teams and have often not received much playing time above the Double-A level. The players with more upper level and MLB experience often have more than one organization to choose from, while the other group can ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league free agents

Mark Reynolds agrees to one-year, minor-league deal with Rockies with invite to camp – The Denver Post

Ian Desmond is the Rockies’ first baseman in training, but now there’s a chance veteran Mark Reynolds could be his backup in 2017.

Reynolds, 33, was Colorado’s primary first baseman last season. He agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year, minor-league contract with the club. He also received an invitation to big-league camp, but he’ll have to prove himself to find a spot on the roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:39 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mark reynolds, rockies

Steven Matz banking holistic approach will keep him healthy | New York Post

“I try to take all aspects of it, nutrition, strength conditioning and the baseball work,’’ Matz said Wednesday at Tradition Field. “I don’t think there is one thing that has caused me to get hurt the past couple of years, it’s just the way it is, but I think I can learn some things from last year.

“Massage therapy is one thing I’m doing that will be beneficial to me, stuff like that. I think I’m kind of hitting the ground running here in a good way.’’

If Matz, the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:37 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Carlos Martinez, Cardinals nearing extension | MLB.com

The Cardinals and right-hander Carlos Martinez are closing in on a five-year, $51 million extension, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:36 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, carlos martinez

Four Yankees prospects ready to steal spring training spotlight | New York Post

The Yankees announced Tuesday highly touted prospects Chance Adams, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield and Gleyber Torres will be among the non-roster invitees reporting to George M. Steinbrenner Field for spring training. Each of the four young men will be attending his first big league camp.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:52 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-1-2017

Butte Daily Post, February 1, 1917:

Walter Johnson, pitcher for the Washington American League club, narrowly escaped death by drowning a few days ago, it was made known [in Coffeyville, KS].

While hunting coons with a party of friends at night, Johnson attempted to cross a river on the ice. The ice broke and although a strong swimmer, his heavy hunting clothes so impeded his efforts that it was impossible to keep his head above the surface for any length of time.

The timely arrival of a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:21 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, walter johnson

Big MLB free agents signed late in offseason | MLB.com

With pitchers and catchers to begin reporting to Spring Training in two weeks, most of the offseason’s wheeling and dealing has been done.

But since the advent of free agency in 1976, there have been several notable signings made on Feb. 1 or later that paid large dividends for the clubs that made them. Could we see that again in 2017? It’s possible with the likes of Matt Wieters, Chris Carter, Mike Napoli, Chase Utley and Jason Hammel still out there for the taking.

With that in mind, here’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 07:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Victor Martinez: Worst. Baserunner. Ever?

Only eight full-time players—a combination of designated hitters, catchers and the elderly—advanced less than 20 percent of the time, including David Ortiz, whose 16 percent mark was second lowest in baseball.

The one man Ortiz outran: Victor Martinez, a one-man combination of DH, catcher and, at age 38, elderly. He took the extra base 7 percent of the time. If we switch to Baseball Prospectus and look at the all-time leaderboard in its baserunning runs metric, Martinez’s 2016 season tied for ...

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Meatwad needs baseball Posted: February 01, 2017 at 02:43 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning, detroit tigers, victor martinez

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

215 Montague Street

I was delighted to speak yesterday at the site of the Brooklyn Dodger offices at 215 Montague Street. Chevrolet sponsored a four-stop baseball tour for media types who would be driven (or themselves drive) an electric-powered Chevy Volt to each site after the starting point of the MLB Fan Cave. Not knowing that I would be speaking outdoors in full sun for the second stop on the trail, I had prepared a 15-minute talk that stayed in my pocket; sunstroke made for poor public relations, I figured. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 08:51 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, history, jackie robinson

Mets need their catching guru to make Travis d’Arnaud a force | New York Post

“It was great, a ton of work,’’ d’Arnaud said. “Sometimes I rush throwing. He showed me a lot of videos where he said I was really, really quick, but in my mind it looked like I was slow. A lot of it is just slow it down and make a clean throw. We hit it off right from the get-go. We started cracking jokes and haven’t stopped since.’’

The two continue to talk and will exchange videos until pitchers and catchers officially report Feb. 13.

As for his new batting setup, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 08:48 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, travis d'arnaud

Ortiz: No winners, only losers in hacking scandal | Jesus Ortiz | stltoday.com

The longer he sits in prison, I wonder whether he will name names or just disappear into the ether.

Correa testified that he told colleagues he had seen the Cardinals’ information in the Astros’ database, but somehow we are expected to believe nobody with authority asked him how he saw it.

He never gave up any names, though, so you’ll have to take the Cardinals’ word that this was merely a case of one rogue employee. The rest of the baseball world views it differently. That’s the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

In statement, Correa alleges Astros benefited from ‘unauthorized access’ | Derrick Goold

What a mess.

The statement, released Tuesday morning by his family on Correa’s Twitter address, offers Correa’s view of what he labeled “intellectual property theft.” He describes how he “through unlawful methods” sought to learn whether the Houston Astros had utilized data and approaches that were proprietary to the Cardinals. The U.S. district court judge in the case had likened Correa’s motives to breaking into a neighbor’s house “to find out if they were stealing your ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 05:01 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Hardball Times: In the PCL, All the Ground Balls Have Eyes

If this is correct, we can begin to formulate what an archetypal Las Vegas mirage might look like. This player would avoid strikeouts, walk often, and hit a disproportionately high percentage of sharp ground balls and line drives. The mirage doesn’t have home run power that would translate to the majors, but puts up a strong OBP and SLG thanks to the walks and the BABIP. The mirage is, of course, Eric Campbell.

thetailor (Brian) Posted: January 31, 2017 at 03:38 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, new york mets, pacific coast league

$12,000 a year: A minor leaguer takes his fight for fair pay public | For The Win

Where are the Major League players on this?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 01:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, minor leaguers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-31-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 31, 1917:

President John K. Tener of the National League said today that he will submit to the joint rules committee which meets [in New York] next month a recommendation to increase the width of the home plate from 17 to 18 inches and send a batsman to first base on three balls instead of four. Such a change in rules he declared, would bring about the desired increase in batting.

A four-ball walk is sacred in 2017, but was less than 30 years old when Tener ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 31, 2017 at 11:00 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules, walks

$12,000 a year: A minor leaguer takes his fight for fair pay public

Minor league baseball players do not get paid for spring training. Johnson’s team, the Mets, will provide daily breakfast and lunch at their complex and a small stipend for living expenses, but not enough to cover all the costs. He hopes to borrow a car from a family member in Orlando. Two years ago, he rented a room from a local woman he found on Craiglist. Last year, he spent the month crashing with a ballplayer friend in the Marlins organization in Jupiter, Fla., about 40 miles south of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: labor law, minor leagues, wages

Could Omar Vizquel help other shortstops get in the Hall of Fame?

Sabermetrics reaffirm Vizquel as a good defensive shortstop, with his 127.6 runs saved while fielding 18th-best among all shortstops in baseball history. But his minus-244.3 runs worse than average as a hitter paint him as the 13th-worst hitting shortstop of all time. Adjusting for his era, Vizquel would be just about the worst-hitting position player in the Hall of Fame.

Sabermetrics aren’t everything, of course, particularly to the type of Hall of Fame voter who might support Vizquel. But ...

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Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 31, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, omar vizquel, sean forman

Teams that could be 2017 version of Indians | MLB.com

A team surprises *every* year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Possible platoons around Majors | MLB.com

I can see Zobrist getting time against tough lefties but do the Cubs really want to limit Schwarber’s development by putting him in a straight platoon?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 06:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

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