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Saturday, January 28, 2017

MLB Tonight: Top 100 prospects | MLB.com

Set your DVRs.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2017 at 08:10 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, January 27, 2017

What would the free agent stars of yesterday make today?

Fernando Valenzuela
When would he have been a free agent?
After the 1986 season.

What kind of season did he just finish?
He finished second in the Cy Young voting, leading the league with 21 wins and posting a 3.14 ERA. He led the National League in batters faced for the second time in three seasons, and he led all of baseball in complete games.

These were not red flags. These were the fires churning in the belly of Fernandomania. He was 25. He was a golden god of pitching. He was ...

Read More...

Rosenthal: Bullpen action starting to heat up

Agents for the top two remaining free-agent left-handers, Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, are signaling to teams that the pitchers will secure deals of at least two years and $12 million.

*The Blue Jays are trying to add two relievers, a lefty to replace Brett Cecil and a righty as well. Signing one such pitcher for bigger money — say, Blevins or right-hander Joe Blanton — could limit the team’s options.

*The Indians continue to explore the market, and bullpen coach Jason Bere was one of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: boone logan, free agents, jerry blevins, relievers

From the World Series to the KBO

The Indians lost Game 6 and, the day after Manship’s last MLB outing — for now, or maybe forever — they lost Game 7. One month after that, they non-tendered him, despite bringing back their eight other arbitration-eligible players. “All told, he contributed 82 2/3 innings of 2.07 ERA ball during his time in Cleveland, which ought to set him up for an opportunity with another organization,” Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors wrote in response to the decision, which made Manship a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 03:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jeff manship, kbo

Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill goes by no-failure, no-progress credo - LA Times

“In a way, I’m a role model for failure,” Hill said. “My first suggestion for 2017 is to go out and fail — but fail at something you have passion for. I’m standing here today because I’ve failed more often than I’ve succeeded.

“Without struggle, there is no progress. Without failure there is no progress.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 03:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rich hill

Klapisch: The world according to Ron Darling

Q: You were recently quoted as saying you’re optimistic about the Mets’ chances this year. What makes you so hopeful, considering all their injuries in 2016?

A: It’s from being a pro athlete my whole life and knowing what makes them tick. I can’t predict the injury part of it; if everyone gets hurt again, my claim will obviously be bogus. But I see a perfect storm that breaks down like this.

(Noah) Syndergaard is building on a season that already puts him among the top five pitchers ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, ron darling

A Big Key For the Cardinals Offense in 2017: Raise the OBP, Which Collapsed in ‘16 - 101Sports.com

Their team .325 OBP was the fourth lowest in 21 seasons of baseball during Bill DeWitt Jr.’s ownership reign.
So what can be done to improve the OBP in 2017?

I don’t want to get overly complicated here, so I’ll keep it to three points.

1. Obviously, the signing of center fielder Dexter Fowler should be a big help. Since 2009, Fowler ranks third among MLB leadoff hitters (minimum 400 games in the No. 1 spot) with an OBP of .369. In terms of getting on base, Fowler is as reliable as any ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:39 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

If the ‘lost’ Wieters’ market is down, it’s time to bring him home again - BaltimoreBaseball.com

It’s tough to re-establish your value if you are a part-time player. At this point, Wieters, at best, would be sharing the job in Baltimore.

When talking to Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette earlier this week, he said something that really struck me.

It wasn’t the sentiment conveyed, but the wording he used that that made me pause.

Here was the exact quote:

“We lost Matt Wieters, who had been a big part of our operation for a while. But we’ve been able to sign Welington ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:35 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, orioles

Bullpen action starting to heat up | FOX Sports

The clock is ticking.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 01:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Was Dixie Walker a Racist?

Dixie Walker received MVP votes in eight separate seasons, finishing as high as second in 1946. Yet if he is remembered at all by today’s fans, it’s for the charge that he was the player most responsible for trying to keep Jackie Robinson from joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

It’s easy to cast Walker as the bigoted villain, but history suggests things may be a bit more complicated than they seem…

gehrig97 Posted: January 27, 2017 at 12:44 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, brooklyn dodgers, dixie walker, jackie robinson, racism

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2017

Albuquerque Journal, January 27, 1917:

President William F. Baker, of the Philadelphia National league club, [yesterday] made public a letter sent to Grover Cleveland Alexander, the club’s star pitcher, refusing the player’s demand for a three-year contract at $15,000 a year. Mr. Baker told Alexander he was “astonished” at his demand, and that an offer of $8,000 a year still stood and “would not be increased to any great amount.”

Ty Cobb made $20,000 in 1917, Tris Speaker made $15,000, and ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cheapskate, dugout, history, pete alexander

With the New CBA, Ownership Finally Eliminates the Bonus – The Hardball Times

The top-end bonuses may shrink but the pots of gold will still be there.

We’re all happy there won’t be a lockout or a work stoppage, but it’s otherwise hard to find the positives in the changes in the newest agreement. To protect the owners from their own thriftless ways, the agreement threatens to dilute baseball’s talent pool and divert money from the pockets of a largely poor work force into the well-lined coffers of the teams. That may be business as usual for MLB dating all the way ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur baseball, amateur draft, international free agents

Ex-Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow crunches data, emerges with new pitch | Boston Herald

Craig Breslow, the smartest man in baseball. (At least that’s what I’ve read.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: craig breslow

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. ...

Read More...
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 ...

Read More...
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 ...

Read More...
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, ...

Read More...
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 ...

Read More...

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

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