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Friday, January 27, 2017

Cuba’s Caribbean Series Roster Includes Alfredo Despaigne, Victor Mesa | BaseballAmerica.com

You can see it on ESPN Desportes?

Among prospects, Victor Mesa (the son of the long time Cuban national team manager of the same name) is the most exciting player on the roster. Mesa, 20, is a dynamic center fielder with excellent athleticism and tools coming off a breakout season in which he batted .359/.399/.539 in 290 plate appearances, ranking seventh in the league in batting average and sixth in slugging. Mesa was by far the league leader in stolen bases with 40 steals in 50 attempts. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Baseball Hall of Fame not mulling election rules for PED-era players

Idelson said the Hall’s leadership is “comfortable” with its current rules, despite the surge in support that has lifted Bonds and Clemens to more than 50 percent of the vote and to within about 100 votes of being elected.

“Rules are always a topic of conversation and thought,” Idelson said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about any of our sets of rules for election.

“[But] bottom line is, we still feel very comfortable with the character, integrity and sportsmanship ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Report: Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field to host 2019 MLB All-Star Game

The 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be hosted by the Cleveland Indians in Progressive Field, according to a cleveland.com report by Zack Meisel.
Progressive Field has been renovated several times since last hosting the game in 1997 and right now the Indians are off the heels of a World Series appearance, so the decision by MLB here would make a lot of sense.
This would break a four-season streak of National League clubs playing host to the Midsummer Classic, as the Reds and Padres ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, indians, progressive field

Too many strikes against McCoy: Study says stadium age, location overshadow its charm

Larry Lucchino can do what he likes as long as he does it with his own money.

“Is another major investment in McCoy Stadium to cure current deficiencies throwing good money after bad?” the study asks early on, before all of its data points to the affirmative.

Merely fixing the structural deficiencies at the park will cost a proposed $35.6 million - and that’s if further damage isn’t discovered beneath the surface level. That investment would do nothing toward providing the ballpark and its ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 07:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, stadiums

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rangers’ Jake Diekman to miss first half of 2017 after surgery to remove colon - CBSSports.com

Wishing Diekman well.

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Diekman has been open about his disease, and is involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Diekman hoped to delay the surgery until next offseason, but a flare-up over the holidays forced him to have the procedure now. From Fraley:
“It’s one of those step-away-from-baseball deals,” [GM Jon] Daniels said. “I know ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2017 at 08:55 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jake diekman, rangers

Heyman: Nationals re-sign Stephen Drew to one-year deal

A source close to the situation has informed FanRag Sports that veteran infielder Stephen Drew has agreed to return to the Washington Nationals for the 2017 season. While agreeing to a one-year deal on Thursday morning, Drew will earn a $3.5 million base salary in addition to another $1.2 million in incentivized bonuses.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2017 at 11:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen drew

Indians’ Austin Jackson: Signs minor league deal with Indians

The soon-to-be 30-year-old has spent time with the Mariners, Cubs and White Sox over the last two seasons after moving on from a three-plus-year stint in Detroit. Jackson, who underwent surgery in June to repair a torn meniscus, appeared in 54 games for the White Sox in 2016, hitting .254 with 18 RBI, 17 walks and 39 strikeouts in 203 plate appearances.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2017 at 11:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: austin jackson, indians

Reds agree to deal with Scott Feldman

The Reds have agreed to a one-year deal with right-hander Scott Feldman, multiple sources confirmed to The Enquirer.

The team announced the signing on Thursday morning.

Feldman, who turns 34 next month, was 7-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 40 appearances - including five starts - between the Astros and Blue Jays in 2016.

The deal, originally reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, is worth $2.3 million with another $2.2 million in incentives.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2017 at 11:27 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, scott feldman

Steven Matz says he knows how to be more effective for Mets - NY Daily News

“I really feel like I learned a lot about myself as a pitcher,’’ Matz said by phone on Wednesday from Nashville, where he is living and working out with other pitchers. “I learned that I don’t have to be going full-guns to be effective.

“There were times where if I stepped on the gas pedal at all, my elbow would kind of bark at me. But I found out I could pitch effectively, and I felt at times I was even more effective, toning it down and staying within myself.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2017 at 10:47 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2017

Washington Times, January 26, 1917:

[American Association president T.J. Hickey says] Lollypop stuff has drained diamond dramas of blood and thunder and David Fultz’s frat chariot is fast being deserted by minor league players who want some real baseball again.
...
“I want to see teams go after each other with hammer and tongs to win; see blood in their eyes when they come on the field; see them at dagger points from first to last instead of taking it out of the umpires.

“This frat business has ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2017 at 10:16 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, lollypop stuff

2017 Top 10 outfield prospects | MLB.com

1. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
The No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 Draft not only tore through the Minors, he showed he’s ready to be productive in the big leagues. Only an injury cut down his time in Boston, and thus kept him on this list. He might be the best pure hitter among all prospects, with power, speed and the instincts to make all of his tools play up. He could play a fine center field, but will man left for the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects reports

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Phillies prospect Matt Imhof quits baseball at 23 after losing right eye

Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Matt Imhof has announced his retirement from baseball at the age of 23, just seven months after losing his right eye in a freak training accident.

In a first-person piece for ESPN, Imhof confirmed he was walking away from the game young, but insisted that it wasn’t because of his injury. “My injury is not what’s stopping me,” Imhof wrote. “The truth is I need a change of pace after 20 years of doing the same thing.”

In June last year, Imhof ...

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Rockies agree to deal with Greg Holland | MLB.com

The Rockies and two-time All-Star righty reliever Greg Holland are closing in on a one-year deal with a vesting option for a second year, pending a physical, according to various media reports that were confirmed by a baseball source.

The Rockies have not announced the pending agreement and declined to comment, and the timetable on the physical is unclear. BSN Denver was first to report the deal, along with FanRag Sports and Yahoo! Sports. Financial terms were not immediately known, but a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:20 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, greg holland, rockies

Japan Times: Japan fills out team for World Baseball Classic

One roster spot is being left open. I wonder if they are leaving room for a MLB player to decide at the last moment. Masahiro Tanaka announced a couple of days ago that he won’t be pitching in the WBC.

Samurai Japan mostly filled out its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, adding eight players, but no major leaguers, to the 19 names released in December…

...Currently, Japan’s lone MLB player will be Houston Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki.

vortex of dissipation Posted: January 25, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, world baseball classic

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-25-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 25, 1917:

In disposition [Frank Schulte] is droll, and he probably wouldn’t become excited if he fell out of an aeroplane. His mind poise at the plate is the same.
...
[While a member of the Cubs of the nineteen aughts], Schulte never made any noise except when his bat spoke and a ball landed in one of Chicago’s streets.
...
One of the Cubs who was a strong booster for Schulte called him aside on an afternoon after he had lifted a home and remarked: “Say, Frank, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 25, 2017 at 12:10 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

FanGraphs: No ordinary Joe

For those not keeping up with Fat Joe’s career post-Terror Squad, he has reinvented himself as the master of the slider and death to all RHB.

Blanton was effective in the Royals’ bullpen, and when he was traded to the Pirates at the trade deadline, he was again successful in a relief role. During the following offseason, he signed a modest one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers and was, again, successful pitching out of the bullpen.

Since 2015, Blanton has appeared in 107 games, all as ...

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Just a Few Words About Jake Daubert

The forgotten MVP, few players were easier to root for than Jake Daubert.

gehrig97 Posted: January 25, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, jake daubert, most valuable player

Top 10 Future Scouting Directors

No Baseball America feature is complete without a Top 10 Prospects list, so while gathering information about the job of scouting director, we also asked people where the next generation of scouting directors might come from. This ranking is not a formal poll, but does reflect the opinions of the more than 25 current scouting directors and other front-office executives.

1. Danny Montgomery

Assistant Scouting Director, Rockies

Montgomery, 47, has been with the Rockies since the birth of the ...

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Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: January 25, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, scouts

Dodgers left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin claims to be pain-free, ready for new season

“Right now, I’d say I am in better shape than I normally would be at the start of spring training,” Ryu told reporters at Incheon International Airport. “I threw four bullpen sessions a day while training in Japan. I have no pain at the moment.”

Ryu, who made his big league debut in 2013, missed the entire 2015 season after a shoulder surgery in May that year. He returned to action on July 7 last year against the San Diego Padres but was touched for six earned runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, ryu hyun-jin

Mets captain David Wright: I’m no feel-good story, I want to win | New York Post

“I can go on for hours about that, but I still have a passion for the game,’’ Wright told The Post Friday night. “Everybody I’ve talked to has said the same thing to me. You know when you know.’’

It’s not over for David Wright, not yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, mets

MLB Allows Hector Mendoza Unrestricted Free Agency In Unusual Case | BaseballAmerica.com

Late Cuban free agent enters the mix. In another article, BA says he’s a reliever with middle of the rotation potential. That ability should help him to get a nice contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, hector mendoza

Know Thyself: How Self-Assessment by Teams Fires The MLB Hot Stove | VICE Sports

“You’ve got a thousand little things that go into it, even when you feel like you’ve got a pretty good sense of your ballclub,” said one executive. “How long a tenure does the general manager have, and how long is his current contract? How stable and consistent and long-term looking is the ownership? How have the last five years been? The last ten? What’s the current season ticket base? There’s just so many different factors, and there is a huge wide spectrum of thought on each of those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

2017 Top 10 shortstop prospects list | MLB.com

Torres leapfrogs them all.

1. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
The recipient of a $1.7 million bonus out of Venezuela in 2013, Torres excelled in his first full pro season in ‘15 as he helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach win the Carolina League title at age 19. He continued to impress last season in his return to Myrtle Beach before joining the Yankees as their key return in the Aroldis Chapman deal in July, and then became the youngest Arizona Fall League MVP and batting champion (.403) in 25 years. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospect reports

S. Korean infielder embraces challenger mindset after signing with San Francisco Giants

“They told me they could clearly see I was getting better, and that I had potential to grow even more,” Hwang said. “I know the team will be counting on me to provide some power. And I hope to take advantage of the assets that I have.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hwang jae-gyun

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jeff Bridich on Building the Rockies (With an Eye on the NFL) | FanGraphs Baseball

It’s tough to think outside the box when you all occupy the same box.

“That’s where your internal process is important — how you evaluate, and not only the players you have, but also the type of development process you have. You’ve got to have people that don’t think alike all the time. Group-think isn’t always a good thing in an organization. You want people who are willing to play devil’s advocate and push your internal convention. If you’ve got that, you’re hopefully setting ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jeff bridich, rockies

The Dodgers’ Decision To Be Intentionally Inefficient | FanGraphs Baseball

One of the best things about baseball is we’ll eventually find out the answer.

De Leon could make this deal a disaster from LA’s perspective, but if Forsythe provides enough short-term value that they can get past the Cubs in either of the next two years, they’ll comfort themselves with the warmth of a World Series appearance, and maybe a big shiny trophy. Deals that require postseason success to work out are the worst kinds of trades to make, but the best kind of trades to have to make. The ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 06:39 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rays

Edwards: Scott Rolen, Ron Santo, and the Third-Base Myth

Rolen, Rolen, Rolen, Rawhide!

In one way, Mike Schmidt is the prototypical third baseman: he was a great hitter and provided excellent defense. In another way, though, he isn’t: a prototype is a model on which subsequent reproductions are based. But no other third basemen has ever reproduced Schmidt’s accomplishments. He’s the best third baseman ever.

There’s a view that’s prevailed for some time to the effect that third basemen are just like first basemen except slightly more mobile. ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 05:18 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, scott rolen, third basemen

Heyman: Best Of The Rest Free Agents

As we near February, some of these players must be getting nervous.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 03:06 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Pleskoff: Baseball in Cuba: Part I - The Atmosphere

A few people have floated the idea of a MLB team in Cuba. It’s not going to happen.

Games in Cuba are local celebrations. Tickets for Cubans cost the equivalent of 17 to 19 cents. For Americans, the price was three CUKs, a tourist currency, with each CUK translating to one American dollar. Tourists purchase CUKs at the hotel or a bank for a service fee. Locals pay for any goods and services not provided by the government in Cuban pesos which carry a different value than a CUK.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2017 at 03:00 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-24-2017

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, January 24, 1917:

Albert (Reb) Russell, a pitcher with the Chicago Americans, has signed a 1917 contract. Russell is the twenty-first member of the club to come to terms. “Talk of a strike is not worrying me,” Charles Comiskey said. “I am having no trouble in signing my players.”

Meanwhile, the Marshalltown (Iowa) Times-Republican reports that Shano Collins, the White Sox representative to the players’ fraternity, sent a letter to a teammate talking about ice skating ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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