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Monday, March 06, 2017

Statcast and the Future of WAR | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve argued about this for 20 years. The MVP question and the best player question are two entirely different things. Using WAR for either conflates the two. Why not transform WAR into a purely contextual answer (value) and continue to define results in runs and wins based on outcome and then use Statcast probabilities as a scouting tool for the best player question? In my mind, using Statcast as the inputs on an improved 20/80 scouting scale and apportioning all the components properly would ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast, war

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2017

A brutally honest season preview in the Seattle Star, March 6, 1917:

Fifth or sixth place seems to be the best the Reds can hope for. There is no silly pennant talk being stirred up here, as the team doesn’t look as good as the one Buck Herzog took South last spring.

Coincidentally, fifth or sixth place seems to be the best the Reds can hope for in 2017.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Mike Gimbel’s video of RPA vs. WAR plus 2017 predictions.

Mike Gimbel’s video was made on February 28th. It contains criticism of the WAR formula(s), using a comparison of results from the 2016 season and an analysis of all 30 MLB teams going into the 2017 season.

caiman Posted: March 06, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, rpa, sabermetrics, war

Engel: Rangers insulting Elvis Andrus with batting slot

Elvis Andrus should not be some bottom-two hitter.

It borders on insulting and demeaning.

Move him up. Elvis is good with it, and so is Daniels, who says the lineup is entirely up to the discretion of manager Jeff Banister.

The slots Andrus called home last season are for a defensive catcher or infielder. It’s not for a two-time All-Star shortstop whose price tag is $15 million per year. No “defense only” shortstop makes that much.

Andrus batted mostly 7th and 8th last season because ...

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BDC Posted: March 06, 2017 at 09:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: on-base percentage, rangers

D-backs Oscar Hernandez and Brandon Drury played catch with one lucky fan during BP | MLB.com

Pretty cool for this kids. That it was caught on video is even better.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Harvey Shows Both Sides Of The Dark Knight In Spring Debut

The TV gun had him sitting at 92-93, not mid-90s.

After beginning the affair with a pair of timely strikeouts, the 27-year-old right-hander completed the eventual 1-2-3 inning by getting veteran catcher Yadier Molina to ground out to third base. With his velocity sitting in the mid-90s, as expected, Harvey seemed to have no restrictions upon taking the mound for manager Terry Collins – outside of a pitch-count that is.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Is time running out for Texas’ top talents?

“Don’t hold it against these players,” Daniels said. “That’s on us. We promoted them aggressively because they were advanced in a lot of ways, and when you get to Triple-A at age 19 or 20 years old and reach the big leagues at 20 or 21, that’s unusual. The guys that hit and perform immediately are on the fast track to the Hall of Fame discussion.

“We’ve asked these guys to play out of position and in less-than-everyday roles, and that’s a challenge. The talent and the instincts haven’t gone ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, jurickson profar, rangers

Austin Meadows to see more spring playing time, sets health as spring goal | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

His desire to stay healthy stems from his injury history in pro ball. He did not play until June 30 in 2014 because of a hamstring injury in spring training that did not heal, costing him half his first full season. He hurt the other hamstring last year, then hurt his oblique on a swing during the final game of the season.

“I came down here for about a month to rehab after the season, just to get it healthy and then go home and really get everything right, work on my body, doing yoga and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: austin meadows, pirates

Red Sox backing off Tyler Thornburg for the time being

Fernando Abad traveled to Sarasota on Sunday to join Team Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic. Abad’s departure from Red Sox camp comes at a time when he’s battling for a roster spot.

“You love the fact that his country looks upon him as a guy to contribute for the WBC,” Farrell said. “But in those positions of competing for a spot, you’d like to think that a guy’s going to be here to make that mark here. He’s aware of his status on the roster competing for a spot. When he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Early results promising for Diamondbacks rotation

“Nobody wants to go out there and have a year like that, but it’s part of the game,” Butcher said. “It’s a true test of how we are and how we can bounce back. I think we’re seeing a little taste of that early on in spring training. He’s throwing the ball extremely well his first two outings. Velocity aside, the curveball, the cutter, the change-up – it’s really, really good.”

Said Miller: “I feel good. My confidence is where it needs to be. I’ve still got some things I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Everything about Gary Sanchez’s day was ‘unbelievable’ | New York Post

The Post discovered Luis Severino missed the team bus Friday from Tampa to Dunedin, Fla., where he started the game against the Blue Jays. There is more to pitching in the big leagues than throwing fastballs 99 mph, and making the bus is among the basic things.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Sunday, March 05, 2017

OTP 6 March 2017: Baseball Won’t Change Politics, But Politics Will Definitely Ruin Baseball

Equal time for our friends on the right, with a blast from David Harsanyi of the Federalist:

Stark notes, for instance, that there was a “social media storm” when St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Dexter Fowler “dared” to “express personal concern for his wife’s Iranian-born family in the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.” Fowler was also expressing concern about his sister-in-law having to delay a business trip from Qatar.

Don’t get me wrong, that struggle is ...

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BDC Posted: March 05, 2017 at 10:07 PM | 1583 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, politics, social media

It’s Hard to Be Excited About World Baseball Classic When U.S. Players Aren’t

In weighing his options last year, [Bryce] Harper bluntly said he did not sense much excitement from other stars.

“I really just think if we have the support of all the players in the big leagues on the American side, then I’ll definitely play,” he told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I’d love to. Hopefully, we get some guys like Thor in New York and guys like that.”

Thor, of course, is Syndergaard, who is ensconced in Port St. Lucie as the rare Mets starter not coming off surgery. No rational ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 05, 2017 at 12:47 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: general, world baseball classic

Could Jake Bauers salvage Rays’ trade of Wil Myers? | Tampa Bay Times

For what it’s worth, Souza is among those who think Bauers could indeed turn out to be a savior.

“He’s very impressive,” Souza said. “I actually made comments to a few people and I even said something to him that he’s going to be a really good player, especially for how old he is. He’s got a really mature personality and approach at the plate. … To be 21 and be slated to go to Triple A, that’s awesome. I’m sure the organization is very happy with that, too.”

The way these trades have played ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 09:31 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jake bauers, rays

Mets’ Matt Harvey excited to get back on the mound for first time since July 4 | Newsday

Two years ago, almost to the day, Matt Harvey pitched the most anticipated Grapefruit League game in Mets history.

And Sunday against the Cardinals, he’ll pitch another one.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 09:29 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Does six-man starting rotation make sense for Cleveland Indians? Hey, Hoynsie | cleveland.com

Six-man rotation? Please, no.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Sunday Notes: Harkey, Jenkins, Intangibles, Spring Stats, Meyer, more. | FanGraphs Baseball

Since coming to Toronto from Oakland, via trade, prior to the 2015 season, Josh Donaldson has been worth 16.3 WAR. The four players A’s acquired from the Blue Jays — Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin — have combined for 3.6 WAR. By all accounts, Alex Anthopoulos got the better of Blly Beane in the deal.

At least for now. Lawrie and Nolin have since moved on, shipped out for little or nothing in return. Barreto and Graveman remain, and while they have a long ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Miami Marlins engaged in serious sale talks | Miami Herald

The question is no longer if Jeffrey Loria will sell the Marlins. It’s how quickly.

According to people briefed on the situation in the past week, Loria is fully expected to sell the team sometime this year, barring an unforeseen change of heart. He has decided it’s time to move on from baseball.

The Marlins are actively engaged in discussions with four groups and have had additional conversations with two others. MLB is aware of the identity of the Marlins suitors, which include both ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Q&A: House on team chemistry, analytics

Tom House is more than just the trivia answer to the question of who caught Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. He is an innovator who admittedly ran into obstacles along the way while trying to change the process of decision makers in baseball.

Now, however, with his 71st birthday approaching, House is enjoying watching the acceptance of analytics, and he’s waiting for the new breed of baseball management to reach out and embrace the importance of chemistry.

House’s insight into athletic success ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 11:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: tom house

Statcast wants to change how we’re consuming baseball games

BAM wants anyone interested to understand from whence its WAR came. So the idea is for a tree – one that allows a click or tap on the overall number, which then branches into components (offensive, defensive, baserunning, etc.) that show his overall value in each. From there comes a breakdown of more subcategories, and subs of subs, and on until piecing together WAR isn’t so daunting.

They’re also toying with the idea of an alternative presentation for their WAR. Even though the current ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2017 at 01:59 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbam, statcast

Luis Severino hit 99 in outing, but that’s not why Girardi is pleased | New York Post

Once Severino masters his change (and it has the potential to be a really good one) he’s going to be dominant.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: luis severino, yankees

Zack Wheeler dilemma requires Mets to start dreaming big now | New York Post

I feel similarly about Wheeler. The Mets are discussing Wheeler as a first-half reliever to save innings for a second-half rotation spot, or having him in the rotation from the outset, use his 120 innings and shut him down afterward. But I would try to keep him in extended spring until approximately June 1 and then have him for the most precious part of the schedule, perhaps even a Division Series Game 4 start. Again, if you are not going to dream big now, then when?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zack wheeler

Yankees hot prospect Gleyber Torres not just playing shortstop | New York Post

I’ve been very impressed with Torres as well. He uses the whole field and makes very solid contact. He looks like a future 2B to me though. Don’t get me wrong, he could probably stick at short and play passably there, but that would be his cap defensively.

“I am impressed with his at-bats where he has a real good understanding of what the situation called for and what he needs to do. He adjusts with a couple of strikes,’’ Girardi said. “He runs the bases extremely well, very heads up. He ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: gleybar torres, yankees

White Sox’ release of Brett Lawrie a curious cut – Chicago Sun-Times

The White Sox save a little cash.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brett lawrie, white sox

Royals focused on winning now, not free agency | MLB.com

Inside the Kansas City Royals’ clubhouse, no goodbye speeches are being prepared.

“We’re not finished,” left fielder Alex Gordon said. “We’re not satisfied with winning one World Series.”

Indeed, that could be the mantra for a season that could be the last waltz for a group of players that has done what once looked to be impossible.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Friday, March 03, 2017

Texas Rangers: The Rangers are creating an advantage over every team in baseball—and they’re doing it in the kitchen | SportsDay

We take you now to a moist, crisp spot at the very front of the Rangers battle to create a competitive edge on the field.
It is called: “The produce aisle.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 10:45 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price won’t need surgery on arm

David Price doesn’t need surgery.

That was the verdict Friday after the Boston Red Sox ace had his sore left elbow examined by prominent orthopedic surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Price is expected to rejoin the Red Sox at their spring training camp Saturday in Fort Myers, Florida.

Boston manager John Farrell told reporters that the findings of Andrews and ElAttrache represented the best-case scenario for Price, who will rest and receive treatment for the next seven to 10 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 08:09 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, red sox

Manager held captive for 36 hours by creepy voice on phone | New York Post

Wally Backman had better be careful before he picks up the telephone.

The former Mets icon is headed to Mexico this summer for a minor league managing gig after an unsightly MLB breakup, and he would be wise to familiarize himself with the harrowing and mysterious tale of a prominent Mexican League manager who went missing this week and said he was terrorized by a voice on the other end of a phone.

Francisco “Paquin” Estrada was found Thursday hours after his team, Bravos de Leon, and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 07:44 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mexican league

Why Mets urgently need to know if the kids can hit | New York Post

Joel Sherman skips a year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

White Sox Request Release Waivers On Brett Lawrie

In a surprising move, the White Sox announced on Friday that they’ve requested release waivers on infielder Brett Lawrie. Assuming Lawrie clears waivers — a fair bet, given his $3.5MM salary for the 2017 season — he’ll become a free agent upon clearing in 48 hours. The Sox, it should be noted, won’t be on the hook for the entirety of that salary. Arbitration contracts aren’t fully guaranteed until Opening Day, so the Sox will only be on the hook for about one-sixth of that salary ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 01:32 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: brett lawrie, white sox

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