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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Assimilation of Twins slugger Byung Ho Park will be a key factor – Twin Cities

In the end, both Nero and the Twins are confident Park will be able to replicate the sort of success Kang enjoyed last year.

“We saw a lot of (Kang) in spring training,” Ryan said. “He looked like he made that transition rapidly. We’re hoping the same will be true here.”

Added Nero: “This is an outstanding young man. He’s very motivated. There’s not going to be any concern over him transitioning. He’s a good family man. He’s got a good marriage and a beautiful young son. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2016 at 06:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Schoenfield: The best defensive teams of all time

6. 2013-2015 Kansas City Royals. Their +93 Defensive Runs Saved figure in 2013 is the second-highest of DRS era (behind only the +95 of the 2005 Phillies) and defense was obviously vital to their playoff runs in 2014 and 2015. Maybe they lack that one signature, historic defender, but they’ve solid across the board….

4. 2002 Anaheim Angels. They had a lot of excellent defensive ratings in this era with the 2002 World Series champs topping them off at plus-98 runs.Darin Erstad won a Gold Glove ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2016 at 04:50 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, royals

Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects list is released.

1. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s dangerous to read too much into a month’s worth of major-league plate appearances, especially when that month is September. Maybe Corey Seager took advantage of 40-man roster fodder and teams with one foot on the golf course to hit .337/.425/.561 as the 2015 season waned, but that’s pretty consistent with what he has done at every other stop in his professional career. He hits for average. He hits for power. He may not be a shortstop forever, ...

Read More...

The ball from the final out of the Royals’ World Series win has an unlikely owner

“I still have it,” Drew Butera, the man who squeezed the final strike, told FOX Sports on Wednesday morning. “It’s in a safe in my house. My plan is to donate it to the Royals. They have a Hall of Fame in left-center field (at Kauffman Stadium).

“As much as I would like to keep the ball and have the last out of the World Series, it’s so much bigger than me. It wasn’t just me winning the World Series. The ball belongs to the team, and I want to give it to them.”

...Read More...
Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 27, 2016 at 01:09 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: memorabilia

The Beginning of the End for Pitch-Framing? | FanGraphs Baseball

The theory would go like this: more than ever before, umpires are aware of good framers. They’re aware that good framers can get strikes out of the zone, so then that introduces a bias. Umpires don’t want to be wrong, and their bosses don’t want for them to be wrong. It’s not like an umpire would watch a pitch, then think about a call, then think about the catcher, then change his mind. These decisions happen way too fast, but you’d just have to believe there’s some effect. A ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

2016 Prospect Watch: Top 10 third basemen | MLB.com

Joey Gallo tops the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Cubs project Kyle Schwarber to catch, play OF | MLB.com

He won’t win any Gold Gloves but he’s passable behind the plate. He should be catching.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2016

Pittsburgh Press, January 27, 1916:

A cub bear sent to [Cubs owner] Charles Weeghman by a Montana fan, did not fancy being a baseball mascot, even for the Chicago Cubs. When the bear escaped from its crate, it was shot while in a tailor shop.

Please do not send unsolicited bears to your favorite sports team. It may seem like a good idea, but it is not.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2016 at 06:34 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, history

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

SABR unveils new logo

The new logo that we’re unveiling today — SABR’s first significant logo change in nearly 40 years — reflects our appreciation for baseball’s past, present, and future. It also reflects our own past, present, and future, from our founding as a small group of devoted “statistorians” in Cooperstown to our diverse, passionate 6,300-plus members around the world today.

Mike Webber Posted: January 26, 2016 at 09:35 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Three Teams That Will Break Their International Bonus Pools In 2016 - BaseballAmerica.com

Maitan is only 15 but the hype has already been incredible.

The crown jewel of Atlanta’s targets is Venezuelan shortstop Kevin Maitan, perhaps the best 16-year-old July 2 prospect since Miguel Sano signed with the Twins for $3.15 million in 2009. Where Maitan ends up in the field remains to be seen, but several veteran evaluators have called Maitan a special talent at the head of the class because of his offensive ability. With the Braves the heavy favorites, Maitan’s bonus is expected to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 09:26 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: international league

Texas Rangers: Jon Daniels indicates Rangers would consider Jurickson Profar in the outfield, if needed | SportsDay

The primary options would be newcomer Justin Ruggiano along with Ryan Rua, the opening-day left fielder last season, and Patrick Kivlehan, acquired from Seattle in the Leonys Martin trade. Top prospects Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo could play their way into the equation.
So could Profar.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 09:08 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jurickson profar, rangers

Peter Gammons: Old deals forcing Nationals to stay idle in the market - GammonsDaily.com

Sorry, this is just whining.

The Nats complain they’ve barely been paid over the last three years, which is why every deal they offer has to be heavily backloaded with deferrals.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 08:57 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Wagner: Nationals owner says TV rights dispute is hurting team’s ability to compete

Hey, Angelos is a lot of (really bad) things but he’s not responsible for Papelbon.

The remarks by Ed Cohen, in a sworn affidavit filed late last week in a New York Supreme Court, are the strongest public comments to date by the Nationals about the dispute, which involves the amount of money paid to the team by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. The Orioles have a majority ownership of the shared network.

“Without this added and steady income, the Nationals cannot bring full economic confidence ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: January 26, 2016 at 08:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasts, masn, nats, orioles, peter angelos, television market, television rights

Crasnick: Rob Manfred: No foreseeable change to DH rule coming

Thought so.

Manfred told ESPN he was merely discussing the pros and cons of a possible change and did not mean to create the impression that NL clubs want to adopt the DH. He compared the reaction to his comments to the fallout a year ago when he discussed the possibility of eliminating defensive shifts as a hypothetical change that MLB might consider.

“When I talked about the defensive shifts, I let myself get into a situation where I speculated about a change I wasn’t serious about,” Manfred ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: January 26, 2016 at 08:45 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, commissioner, designated hitter, oops, rob manfred

Free-agent RHP Tim Lincecum plans to hold showcase in February | FOX Sports

“He’s throwing every day and says he’s doing great,” Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, told the Chronicle. “He’s got no instability in his hip, and he’s enthusiastic about his progress.”

Thurman reveals that nearly every MLB team has reached out about Lincecum, who is a free agent for the first time since being drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, tim lincecum

Q&A: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred

The NFL damaged itself in how it handled the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases. What did you take away from the response and reaction, and how will that shape your domestic-violence punishment?
When the domestic-violence issue moved to the forefront, we did a really careful review of how people handled domestic-violence problems in a variety of industries. For us, we concluded the most important thing for us to do was have a collectively bargained policy, and we thought that for two reasons. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Tanking: Does MLB Really Have a Problem? | FanGraphs Baseball

Cameron is using a pretty narrow definition of tanking. The Braves tanked last year.

In MLB? I just don’t see it. There are six teams who realistically don’t have much of a chance this year, but only one of them has stripped their franchise of present-value veterans, and given the Phillies’ lack of organizational talent after waiting too long to rebuild, they didn’t really have much of a choice. And because franchise players are harder to identify and matter less in MLB than they do in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2016

Milwaukee Journal, January 26, 1916:

CHASE IS IN BAD

Seven American League club owners to not want him to play.

If President Phil Ball and Manager Jones of the St. Louis Browns decide they want Hal Chase for first base next season it will be because the wishes of seven other American league club owners have no weight with them.

Chase, it will be remembered, quit the White Sox in midseason, after having served notice on President Comiskey that he was going to exercise the ten days’ notice ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hal chase, history

AP: M.L.B. Considering Raising Bottom of Strike Zone

Major League Baseball is studying whether to raise the bottom of the strike zone from the hollow beneath the kneecap back to the top of the kneecap.

“I’m not in a position to predict whether it’s going to happen or not,” Rob Manfred said during an interview with The Associated Press on Monday on his first anniversary as baseball commissioner. “I think that the interest in the topic is really driven by the fact that if you look over time there has been a movement down of the strike zone, ...

Read More...

Monday, January 25, 2016

A’s Billy Butler: ‘I’ve got a lot left in the tank’


Butler spent 11 seasons in Kansas City organization before signing with the A’s early last winter. He said it was a “culture shock. KC and the Bay Area are opposites.” He added, “I know what to expect now. Nothing’s out of the ordinary. I’m completely prepared for everything that’s ahead.”

Beyond all the losing, the A’s had a clubhouse-chemistry problem, and Butler acknowledged it Sunday, saying, “To say we had a bad clubhouse was accurate.

“You see there’s ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:08 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler

Milwaukee - Baseball Prospectus

And it happens over and over and over again.

If the billionaire Pohlads had been willing to take a short-term loss, they could have made their way out of the Metronome years earlier without taking the public for such a ride. Instead, Pohlad and Selig played games with the public to service their own greed. The threats of contracting the Twins were never about Minneapolis’s “growth potential” or any of Selig’s typical economic concerns. Those threats were about bullying the people of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 03:29 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, twins

Brisbee: Absolutely nothing has gone right for the Nationals this winter

What utter nonsense. Why just the other day, Rizzo signed Billy Joel to perform another midsummer night concert.

The targets that joined

The Nats did add some bullpen arms, though, in Shawn Kelley and Oliver Perez. That allowed them to trade Storen away, and it made it palatable to lose out on O’Day and Aroldis Chapman. Still, there won’t be a lot of Shawn Kelley shirseys at their FanFest, I’m guessing.

No, the big splash was Daniel Murphy, whose best-case scenario is probably something like ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: January 25, 2016 at 12:19 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mike rizzo, nationals, nats, offseason, sucks, trades

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-25-2016

A Zimmerman note in the Pittsburgh Press, January 25, 1916:

Johnny Evers has been offered in trade by the Braves to the Cubs for Heine Zimmerman. This fact was learned yesterday and along with it the probability that the offer would be rejected by Manager Tinker.
...
The report said that Tinker considered the offer carefully but talked as if of the opinion that Zimmerman would be able to play for a greater number of years than Evers.

That much was true. You could stick a fork in Johnny Evers’s ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 25, 2016 at 09:44 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, heinie zimmerman, history, joe tinker, johnny evers

OTP - 2016 January 25: A vanishing line separates politics and sports

Serious science has also increasingly treated politics as sports. In 2012, the political scientist John Sides of George Washington University explained that he derived approach to research from baseball, specifically from Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball,” in which a baseball manager abandons the “gut feeling” school of selecting players and starts relying exclusively on arcane but important statistics. Sides wrote:

“My goal with the study of elections is to move things as close as possible towards ...

Read More...
Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 25, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 2612 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, nate silver, politics

Baseball’s Sharpest Drives - The New York Times

This does not appeal to me.

After Cespedes established himself as a star, he bought a Lamborghini Aventador, a car that Vega estimated cost about $400,000. Then Cespedes asked for $75,000 in renovations. Cespedes wanted the car painted satin black with metallic blue accents. He wanted the entire interior redone, a custom wheel design, and for the exhaust to spit fire out of the back.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:05 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cars

Charley Walters: Paul Molitor has Twins on ‘pretty good course’ - TwinCities.com

Molitor on the Twins.

“I don’t think I’m as nervous as some people—he’s athletic enough,” Molitor said. “Once we signed (South Korean Byung Ho) Park, we knew we were going to have to do something different. You look at your personnel and see how it fits together, and I’m not taking (Trevor) Plouffe off of third (base).

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: paul molitor, twins

Tigers will use more data to improve decision-making

What did the “analytics coordinator” do before the change?

“We didn’t really revamp the analytics department,” Avila said Saturday during TigerFest. “We didn’t have an analytics department.”

So in August, Avila promoted Sam Menzin from analytics coordinator to director of baseball operations and hired former Apple executive and Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Jay Sartori to serve as senior director of baseball operations in November.

Together, Menzin and Sartori head ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Texas Rangers: Investigation finds no ties between Yu Darvish and brother’s alleged gambling ring | SportsDay

Major League Baseball has found no links between Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish and the alleged illegal gambling activities of his younger brother, Sho, in Japan, a source said on Saturday.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kevin Kiermaier defense measured with Statcast | MLB.com

I look forward to when there is enough data to put a run value on each catch using StatCast data.

It’s not quite as big a gap, though Kiermaier still clearly covered more ground. The images line up well with the tracked numbers, which show that Kiermaier’s average distance covered of 58.5 feet on catches was well more than Pagan’s 51.2 or the average center fielder’s 53.8 feet.

Now, let’s be clear about what those images are showing and what they aren’t. Those dots are all catches, without ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kevin kiermaier, rays, sabermetrics, statcast

Deadspin: U.S. Attorney Suggests Password Cardinals Used To Access Astros Scouting Database Was “Eckstein123”

Here’s what U.S. Attorney Michael Chu said (from the transcript of Correa’s re-arraignment):

MR. CHU: It was based on the name of a player who was scrawny and who would not have been thought of to succeed in the major leagues, but through effort and determination he succeeded anyway. So this user of the password just liked that name, so he just kept on using that name over the years.

What about Chris Truby?

eddieot Posted: January 25, 2016 at 05:34 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, david eckstein, hacking

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