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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Baseball’s Choice: Change or Die | VICE Sports

They don’t need a big clock. They need umpires to enforce the rules already in place. Such a change wouldn’t require negotiation with the union. Such a change wouldn’t generate another distracting clock on my TV screen or at the ball park. Yet, it would accomplish the goal.

Baseball is a great game. It doesn’t need radical overhauls to stay popular. It just needs to be tweaked to keep the action moving and to help it fit into our busy lifestyles.

The timeless—in not having a clock, and in ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 08:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of play

Maybe the Last Key for Carlos Carrasco | FanGraphs Baseball

Jeff Sullivan breaks down Carlos Carrasco emergence as a quality starter last season.

The problem with mechanical fixes is they can be kind of like momentum: they’re only as good as the next day’s game. Ubaldo Jimenez looked like he was fixed, until he wasn’t fixed anymore. On the other hand, that’s one example, and unlike Carlos Carrasco, Jimenez no longer has Mickey Callaway as a coach. Probably, Carrasco isn’t going to be as good as Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez going forward. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos carrasco, indians, sabermetrics

Is old school Pat Gillick the right man for his new job?

David Murphy thinks Pat Gillick is an old dog.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 08:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pat gillick, phillies

Montgomery returns to Phillies as chairman | phillies.com

The more Pat Gillick is involved in the decision-making, the better the chance for progress in Philadelphia

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david montgomery, pat gillick, phillies

Santana, Escobar to engage in shortstop competition | twinsbaseball.com

A battle for shortstop is coming in Minnesota.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: danny santana, eduardo escobar, twins

2015 MLB Prospect Spreadsheet 2 - FantasyRundown.com

Here’s a cheap, handy tool for draft prep for dynasty league players. This site provides a spreadsheet with a compilation of all the top prospect lists in one Excel workbook for $3.99. I usually do this myself. This will save me a lot of time this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 07:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy, prospects, stuff worth buying, tips

Make relievers face more than 1 batter for faster game, more runs | FOX Sports

I would think it would take a few years for teams and hitters to evolve. For me, a little less offense isn’t really an issue. Game time is a bigger issue. Get the time back down to 2.5 hours and I’ll be happy.

Baseball already is kicking around ways to improve the game under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, but some ideas are just too radical, not to mention premature. Take the elimination of defensive shifts. Manfred raised that idea as a radical possibility in an interview with ESPN last Sunday, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2015 at 07:04 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of play

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Time for hitters to counter defensive shifts | MLB.com

The game will adjust without banning the shift.

Take it from Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who sees the data work against him at the plate and for him behind it.
“I think [the shift] is a tough thing to blame for the decline in offense,” he said in a text. “ERAs are down [0.12 points between 2013 and ‘14 and 0.72 points over the past decade], so that means pitching is better. Why is pitching better? The wealth of information we have when calling games is a very large amount. If they wanted to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics

Judging the Royals:  Should Yordano Ventura be the Royals’ opening day starter?

During the 2014 AL Wild Card Game against the Oakland A’s, the Royals were up 3-2 going into the sixth inning. Starting pitcher James Shields gave up a lead-off single to Sam Fuld and then walked Josh Donaldson. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Ventura was brought in to face Brandon Moss….

Ventura had faced three batters, given up two hits, allowed two earned runs and finished his one-third of an inning with a postseason ERA of 54.00. According to Star columnist Vahe ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2015 at 02:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, royals, yordano ventura

Aces and changeups - Beyond the Box Score

NEWSFLASH: Felix Hernandez has a good change up.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 11:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, sabermetrics

History hurts Shields’ chances at landing a big contract | FOX Sports

This shouldn’t exactly be news. James Shield’s agent misread the market.I guess there’s still time for some team to give him a stupid contract. Time is running out, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 11:01 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, james shields

Where will Moncada land among Major suitors? | MLB.com

A little more info about the Moncada situation.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, yoan moncada

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: Nationals sign free-agent reliever Casey Janssen

“One year with mutual option, $5M guaranteed including option buyout.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 10:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: casey janssen, free agents, nationals

Orioles Do Something, Add Lottery Ticket in Travis Snider | FanGraphs Baseball

Breaking down the Snider trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Prospect Watch: Top 10 third basemen | MLB.com

No surprises at the top.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

So Teams Have Lots of New Data. Then What? – The Hardball Times

Interest stuff from Bill Petti.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 09:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

MLB, Not OFAC, Is Why Yoan Moncada Can’t Sign - BaseballAmerica.com

Come on MLB!

The holdup is that MLB won’t let Moncada—or any Cuban player, for that matter—use the general license any more. That wasn’t always the case. Yasiel Puig, for example, signed using the general license. It’s not clear what exactly changed, but at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC. That ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, yoan moncada

School of Roch: Showalter on Duquette and Wieters on his throwing progression

Catcher Matt Wieters revealed that he expanded the distance on his throws yesterday to 150 feet. He had been playing catch at 120.

The rehab’s going well and going how it’s supposed to from all the talk I’ve gotten with Dr. (James) Andrews and my physical therapist down here and Richie (Bancells),” Wieters said. “Everything’s kind of moved along and we’re preparing for me to be ready for opening day. We still have a good couple of months before we’re there, so it’s still going to be a lot of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, matt wieters, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-28-2015

Toledo News-Bee, January 28, 1915:

Even more dangerous to the life and well being of the national pastime than the Federal, organized baseball and the warring magnates, is the European war. So declares Curtis Guild, former United States minister to Russia. He remarks if trade with the czar’s kingdom is not continued there will be no more baseball. Here’s why, according to Guild: “The only leather which will not stretch under sudden impact comes from the hides of Siberian ponies.”

If you think ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 28, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, siberian pony leather

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS: #14 — Brian Sabean

Sabean won his first pennant by building around an aging but still potent Barry Bonds and then three World Series championships by restructuring his team around a young core with undervalued pickups.  As much as any modern GM, he represents a successful bridge between the old and new approaches.

bobm Posted: January 27, 2015 at 01:02 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: brian sabean, general managers, giants

WAR Index for hitters: 2014 - Beyond the Box Score

Warring fractions.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 11:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Ranking baseball’s greatest dynasties - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

How to rank these nine dynasties? I’d go like this:

1. 1949-1953 Yankees—Hey, five titles is five titles.
2. 1996-2000 Yankees—Dominant postseason winning percentage, star power, hitting and pitching balance.
3. 1935-1939 Yankees—Statistically, better than the 1949-53 teams.
4. 1910-1914 A’s—If only Mack hadn’t broken them up.
5. 1971-1975 A’s—Only team with three straight titles in 1960s, ‘70s or ‘80s.
6. 1942-1946 Cardinals—History’s most underrated dynasty.
7. 2010-2014 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 11:19 AM | 122 comment(s)
  Beats: dynasties, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, January 27, 1915:

“Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Detroit will make the fight for the 1915 pennant,” declared Bill Carrigan, the Red Sox manager today. “It’s hard telling which of the four will win, though I think Boston and Philadelphia will be the more formidable and less dependent upon breaks in the luck.
...
“Getting Larry Lajoie has put Connie Mack in the race. Bender and Plank were slipping and realy not necessary. I look for our stiffest competition from ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 27, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

White ‘invigorated’ by move to Padres’ front office | padres.com

Do any other teams assign their scouts by organization?

The Padres, at the insistence of former assistant general manager A.J. Hinch, added to their pro scouting department before the 2011 season—adding eight scouts to give the team 13 on the pro side, to more than adequately cover all levels of Minor League Baseball. Hinch is now the manager of the Astros.

White said that the current ownership group has committed to provide blanket coverage throughout baseball. One change, White said, is that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: logan white, padres

Evaluating the Prospects: New York Yankees | FanGraphs Baseball

Kiley McDaniel looks at the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect reports, prospects

Angels still ‘optimistic’ about Garrett Richards’ rehab- Angels Blog: Orange County Register

This report is more optimistic about his timeline than others I have read.

The Angels remain hopeful that Richards will be ready for opening day. If Richards is not ready by the April 6 opener, the Angels expect him to be active sometime in April.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 07:39 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, garrett richards

Cleveland Indians want Michael Bourn to “wreak havoc” on bases in 2015 | cleveland.com

“We’ve talked to Bournie a lot,” said Francona. “He’s one of the most conscientious and nicest kids you’ll ever meet. But quite frankly, whether it’s because of injuries or not, he hasn’t been the kind of guy who wreaks the havoc that we kind of envisioned when we signed him when it comes to stolen bases.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 07:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael bourn

Reds Extend Devin Mesoraco – MLB Trade Rumors

Mesoraco will receive a $28MM guarantee, MLBTR has learned. He receives a $500K signing bonus and will earn $2.4MM in 2015, $4.9MM in 2016, $7.2MM in 2017 and $13MM in 2018.  The contract also contains an additional $2MM worth of performance bonuses for a max of $30MM over the four-year term.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2015 at 07:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: devin mesoraco, reds

Monday, January 26, 2015

Beloved “Monbo” Dies at Age 78

Bill Monbouquette was a joy to be around, a wonderful storyteller and a mentor to so many young pitchers.

Bruce Markusen Posted: January 26, 2015 at 09:34 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths, workhorse pitchers

An Audience With the ‘Sports Pope’ at FrancesaCon

The most recent hootenanny to be held at New York City’s Irving Plaza, meanwhile, took place this past Saturday. There were no mandolins or folk ballads at FrancesaCon 2.0, a wild-eyed yet winking celebration of Mike Francesa, New York’s most popular and polarizing sports radio host. But there was a cover band from Long Island playing sports-radio jingles and ’90s hits. The sold-out audience wasn’t quite so demographically balanced as the “men, women, and children (some also with ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: January 26, 2015 at 04:44 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: francesacon, mike francesa

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