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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grantland: 2015 AL East Preview

Welcome to Grantland’s 2015 MLB division previews. From now through next week, Jonah Keri and I will analyze each team in each division, focusing on offseason triumphs and failures, roster strengths and weaknesses, telling projections, revealing stats, and off-field story lines, and wrapping up with our over/under verdicts on each team’s projected record. As always, all overly pessimistic opinions should be blamed on the well-known grudge we bear your team, and only your team, because of ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 12:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most ...

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Bill James Mailbag - 3/24/15 - 3/26/15

I need to see Bill’s high school stat line.

Hey Bill, on the Tommy John surgery boom, a couple of questions: 1) I’m pretty sure you’ve answered this in detail before, but is the proliferation mostly the result of Little League and high school kids throwing curveballs long before they should? And/or: 2) Were there a larger number of early-career burnouts before Tommy John? When I was in Little League (early ‘60s), our best pitcher threw a nasty curve. We dominated the league when he pitched, ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2015

March 26, 1915, American pilot Phil Rader, fighting for the French in World War I, writes for United Press:

What Christy Mathewson could do to the Germans near our trenches!

The Germans are masters of new tricks, or of adapring old tricks to new purposes, but their hand-grenade stunt would put them at the mercy of the great American ball players.
...
I used to watch the Germans toss these bombs like schoolgirls or like boys pitching nickels at a crack…Eugene Jacobs, the man who left his butcher ...

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Not so fast, Matthew Lucroy!

Harry Pavlidis
‏@harrypav
About this http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/baseball-joe/blog/not-so-fast-matthew-lucroy-032515
it makes false claims about or work @robneyer

I don’t know much about Pavlidis. Is he incredibly thin-skinned or something?

Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, neyer, sabermetrics

Mets Try New Trick on Defense: Predicting Where Ball Will Be Hit - WSJ

I’m still surprised the Mets didn’t settle on a defensive specialist at shortstop this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel murphy, mets, wilmer flores

Unsafe at home: MLB’s Venezuelan stars fleeing country

The situation in Venezuela sounds awful.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuela

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is replacing Derek Jeter, is already garnering jaw-dropping praise from veteran teammates like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, particularly for his fielding and baseball smarts | FOX Sports

All hail Didi Gregorius!

Rob Thomson, the Yankees’ bench coach, said that Gregorius “really gets off the ball,” meaning that he excels at reading bat angles and hops. Thomson also praised Gregorius’ “quiet glove action,” noting that while some infielders will flip their gloves downward to make a play, Gregorius carries his glove outside his left knee and smoothly positions it in the spot where the ball arrives, almost as if he is laying it down gently.

“It’s like textbook—very ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, didi gregorius, yankees

Maddon: No decision on Baez’s roster status | cubs.com

I’ve watched Baez quite a bit. He’s not ready at the plate. He seems compelled to flail at every breaking pitch away that gets served to him. From Maddon’s comment it also seems he’s not really taking to his coaching and might need to be humbled a bit more.

Maddon denied a report that Baez was on the final 25-man roster, and added that neither Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein or general manager Jed Hoyer gave the infieder the go-ahead either.

“I have no idea where that came ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Five toughest roster dilemmas this spring | MLB.com

Dan O’Dowd has been providing some great analysis on MLB Network this off-season. He’s spot on in this article.


Lagares batting ninth? Why Mets think it’ll work | New York Post

It was the kind of power-speed combo that intrigues and enthuses the Mets about having Lagares bat first. Later in the game, he hit a two-run homer off Dellin Betances and Lagares is batting .395 this spring.

Yet, the Mets are toying with having him — wait for it — hit last.

Manager Terry Collins told me that as early as Friday against the Cardinals — when Curtis Granderson and David Wright return to the lineup — the Mets might experiment once again with the pitcher hitting eighth.

...
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Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: lineups, mets

Twins parody Star Wars trailer to promote Phil Hughes bobblehead

the Twins are giving away possibly the best bobblehead introduced thus far this season. The bobblehead will feature pitcher Phil Hughes dressed in jedi robes and holding a green lightsaber. The best part of the whole thing is that the team is using the hashtag #HughesTheForce to promote the event.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes, star wars, twins

Pablo Sandoval says weight regimen contributed to him leaving Giants

Pablo Sandoval’s departure from the San Francisco Giants continues to get ugly. Sandoval has already made waves this spring, saying he felt disrespected by his former club, and never intended to re-sign with them. Well, he’s doubled down on those comments, telling USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz that he changed his cell phone number and doesn’t really communicate with his old teammates. He also revealed that the team’s insistence that he remain on a weight regimen was one of the reasons he decided ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:44 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: fat panda, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rafael Montero has earned roster spot

Montero officially remains in a competition with Dillon Gee for the fifth starter’s job. However, Mets officials acknowledge Gee is highly likely to get the rotation nod, and Montero likely is ticketed for relief at the major league level to begin the season.

Asked where Montero fits in, Collins said Wednesday: “On the team—somewhere.”

Montero suggested he is fine with any role.

“Minor leagues I was a starting pitcher,” Montero said through an interpreter. “Now, in the big leagues, I’m ready ...

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Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 25, 2015 at 11:41 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, rafael montero

USA Today: ANDREW McCUTCHEN GETS 1ST HAIRCUT IN 8 YEARS

BREAKING NEWS:

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a four-time All-Star, National League MVP, Golden Glove winner, and a three-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He also led the Pirates to their first winning season in 1992.

Despite all of these notable achievements, McCutchen is most famous for being the guy wit the hair. “It’s good to have an image,” McCutchen said of that hair to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review back in 2014. “I have the hair, but eventually ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 25, 2015 at 04:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, cuts, pittsburgh pirates, sampson

Kurijian: What if Alex Gordon had tried to score?

I know this play has been beaten to death, but Kurkjian does a nice job breaking the play down and getting quotes from all the players involved.

Juan Perez: “When I got to the ball, I tried to pick it up with my bare hand instead of using my glove. That was another mistake. Then I kind of kicked the ball and I thought, ‘Oh my God, he might score!’ I wasn’t sure how fast he really was, and I thought there was a chance he would score.”

Jirschele: “I know Gordo is going to get to third, and I’m ...

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MLB Worth $36 Billion As Team Values Hit Record $1.2 Billion Average

Baseball is dying, man.

If Major League Baseball traded on a stock exchange it would be worth $36 billion. The average baseball team TISI +0.62% is now worth $1.2 billion, 48% more than a year ago, the biggest year-over-year increase since we began tracking team values in 1998. A record 15 MLB teams are now worth at least $1 billion, up from five in 2014.

The New York Yankees are worth the most, $3.2 billion, and are tied with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable U.S. sports teams ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2015 at 12:37 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: forbes, franchise valuation, revenues, television

Tony Blengino: Danny Santana’s Upcoming Offensive Collapse.

Santana’s actual production on each BIP type is indicated in the AVG and SLG columns, and it’s converted to run values and compared to MLB average in the REL PRD column. That figure then is adjusted for context, such as home park, luck, etc., in the ADJ PRD column. For the purposes of this exercise, SH and SF are included as outs and HBP are excluded from the OBP calculation.

More abstruse analysis of stats nobody has ever adequately explained from the #6 numbers guy in baseball.


Top-Selling Throwback Unis by State

Not just baseball, obviously, but it’s an interesting look at what the most popular throwbacks are state-by-state.

Gamingboy Posted: March 25, 2015 at 11:35 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: jerseys, uniforms

MLB invetigating claims tying Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart to gambling

I still think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Cosart’s troubles started last night with a gambling expert on Twitter alleging he’d direct messaged a colleague asking for betting advice. Cosart later deleted his own account as tweets piled up accusing him of gambling and speculating whether he’d ever bet on baseball, which would be a serious violation of the game’s rules.

Before jumping into the tale, it’s worth noting: The entire firestorm stems from essentially anonymous Tweets from ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2015 at 11:16 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, jarred cosart, marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2015

Milwaukee Journal, March 25, 1915:

“CUBS A FRIGHTFUL BUNCH WITH WHICH TO WIN PENNANT, BUT—” it depends on which team gets their GOAT.

I don’t have any idea what this is talking about, unless someone from 1945 invented a time machine and went back 30 years. That’s a weirdly prescient obscure reference.

Dan Lee tips his cap respectfully to JackVincennes Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, goats, history

Yankees Insider: Alex Rodriguez a hit at DH for Girardi - NY Daily News

He likes him. He really likes him.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Javy Baez told he’ll make Cubs’ roster despite strikeout woes | Chicago

I’d say the biggest thing he needs to do is stop swinging at breaking pitches in the dirt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javy baez

Crashburn Alley: David Buchanan is Putting Together an Impressive Spring

With 16 innings under his belt in the 2015 Grapefruit League, Buchanan is sporting a 1.69 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP and 11 strikeouts. But perhaps his most impressive statistical feat is this: the next walk he surrenders will be his first of the season. We preach loudly and often here at Crashburn about the irrelevance of spring training stat lines for perfectly valid reasons ranging from inconsistent quality of competition to extraordinarily small sample sizes to the emphasis on season preparation ...

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eddieot Posted: March 25, 2015 at 07:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david buchanan, phillies, spring training, starting rotation

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brewers to unleash the ultimate Wisconsin brat, nachos this season

Thank goodness for the Milwaukee Brewers, who are set to unleash two new food items this season. First up, it’s the ‘Down Wisconsin Avenue’ Brat. This brat has everything: fries, gravy, cheese curds and sauerkraut are placed on the dog. That gets covered with cheese sauce, fried jalapenos, sour cream and chives.

On top of that, the club has also announced the ‘Inside the Park Nachos.’ These are not your typical nachos. Nachos are great, but they are a difficult item to eat on the go. And, if ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 24, 2015 at 07:05 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, fatass

Astros makes 2017 World Series rings

The replica ring is a staple ballpark giveaway these days, one that fans will line up hours to get. We’ve seen plenty of teams giving away recent World Series replica rings, even World Series replica rings from 50 years ago. But we’ve never seen a future World Series ring.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 24, 2015 at 07:01 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, pot

Yankees recreate famous Babe Ruth scene from ‘The Sandlot’

What you’ll find above is a wonderful little skit where current Yanks players recreate the famous Babe Ruth scene from the movie. It stars Brett Gardner as Smalls, learning that he just offered up a ball autographed by Ruth to Hercules, the feared ball-chomping dog that lives beyond the sandlot’s fence. Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, C.C. Sabathia and Didi Gregorius play members of “The Sandlot” crew, but perhaps most notable is Brian McCann, who’s in the Ham Porter role and actually seems ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 24, 2015 at 06:56 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, the sandlot, yankees

Nitkowski: The Anxiety of Cut DAy

Good practice, kids. Now it’s time for the easiest part of any coach’s job. The cuts. Although I wasn’t able to cut everyone I wanted to, I have cut a lot of you. Wendell is cut. Rudy is cut. Janey, you’re gone. Steven, I like your hustle….That’s why it was so hard to cut you

There is a chance you’™re gone today, off to a meal money-less life of soup and sandwiches. I would sit in front of my locker for a few minutes to see if a coach was waiting for me to arrive to deliver the news. Some ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2015 at 03:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: c.j. nitkowski, cuts, demotions, releases

How MLB Profits from Players with Addiction

Intentional or not, MLB’s steroid policy has been a massive money-saver for owners. In the Biogenesis case alone, $31 million in salaries were saved by teams. MLB even went so far as to threaten Alex Rodriguez with a lifetime suspension from the game, which would have saved the Yankees at least another $60 million on top of the $22 million the club retained in 2014—all before potential eight-figure luxury tax savings are accounted for. While suspensions without pay are far easier to justify ...

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Dodgers land Cuban second baseman Olivera for six years | MLB.com

The Dodgers pool all the spare change in their office. There is a lot of risk with Olivera. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Does this also mean Alex Guerrero is gone?

Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera has agreed to a $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers, according to an industry source.

The club has not confirmed the agreement, which includes a $28 million signing bonus.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2015 at 02:52 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, dodgers, hector olivera

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