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Monday, February 27, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2017

Washington Times, February 27, 1917:

CALDWELL ABSENT

Rumor Has Him Pitching for Ball Club in Panama

Ray Caldwell, according to a rumor reaching the Yankee camp [in Macon, Georgia] today, is pitching in Panama. [Yankees business manager] Harry Sparrow received this information in a round about way from a friend of his in the canal zone.

Caldwell was a good pitcher; in both 1914 and 1915 he finished in the top ten in the league in WAR. BBRef’s similarity scores have him as similar to Dock Ellis ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2017 at 10:38 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ray caldwell

Red Sox reportedly testing ‘performance bedding’ for new ‘sleep room’ at Fenway Park

After all, babies need their afternoon naps.

Captain Supporter Posted: February 27, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

A’s Sonny Gray: WBC insurance denial ‘an unfortunate thing’ - SFGate

I’m not sure exactly what this means about their health.

The A’s right-hander wanted to pitch in the second round of the WBC next month, but the insurance carrier for the event pulled the plug because Gray didn’t meet some requirements after twice missing time with injuries last year. Gray spent more than 60 days on the disabled list, he was on the DL in late August, and when he returned, he didn’t pitch more than 10 innings.
“It’s not up to us or MLB, it’s up to the insurance ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sonny gray, wbc

Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger hits huge HR | MLB.com

This was a shot.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Here’s what scouts say about the Marlins’ six key newcomers | Miami Herald

Read the whole thing.

How did Dan Straily go from winning one major league game combined in 2014 and 2015 and being waived by the Padres 11 months ago to finishing 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA with the Reds last season?

Credit Straily’s diligence and – no joke – some guy who specializes in banking analytics.

Straily prefers to identify the banking analytics man only by his first name (Michael), but he had a key role in helping Straily get back on track, three years after he went 10-8 with a 3.96 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dan straily, marlins

Hector Velazquez’s contract, pitching are lessons in creativity | Boston Herald

The purchase price for the Red Sox: a low-risk, $30,000, a baseball source told the Herald.

To begin with.

There are escalators built into the deal, based on consecutive days Velazquez spends on the major league roster — a clever and perhaps new approach to the market.

One general manager from another team said they had not heard of such a deal before.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Notes: Cactus League Meanderings | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:46 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Alex Speier: The Red Sox are retiring Carmine for a new analytics system

More details about Red Sox analytic system change. The name of the new system is pretty lame. I hope it’s not an indication of the creativity of the analytics crew.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:42 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red sox

OTP 27 Feb. 2017: Become Political

What does it mean to become sick of politics? asks columnist Jonathan Stinson.

I kept seeing random photos of baseball players pop up on my newsfeed the other day. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Pitchers and catchers have reported for camp, and Spring Training is right around the corner for the rest of the MLB stars and hopefuls.
Then I read one of the posts. It said: “The idea of this is to occupy Facebook with baseball posts to break up all the political posts. Whoever likes ...

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BDC Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:22 PM | 2148 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, politics, social media

Behind MLB chemistry: How teams try to sniff out ‘bad guys’ | New York Post

I can’t see how anyone who has played baseball competitively for any length of time could think chemistry doesn’t matter. The problem, though, is how to measure it, integrate it, and maximize whatever knowledge you gain. On top of that, people are funny. Sometimes you assemble a bunch of great guys who simply don’t mesh when you put them together.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: chemistry

Meet the ‘Vulture,’ the Mets’ baseball lifer who’s overflowing with stories | New York Post

The right-hander pitched 13 years in the majors, compiling a 96-81 record with 92 saves. Regan was teammates with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1966 with the Dodgers, a rotation that included three Hall of Famers: Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton.

Koufax, who won 27 games that year, gave the reliever one of the great baseball nicknames: “The Vulture.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, phil regan

With Each Hit, Rockies’ D.J. LeMahieu Shows Cubs’ Epstein What He Gave Up On - The New York Times

“Sometimes, you show up somewhere and you can make a mistake in your first off-season by not being as familiar as you should be with a player, because you haven’t seen him yourself in person,” Epstein said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, d.j. lemahieu, rockies

Red Sox analytics guru Zack Scott keeping the team up to speed | Boston Herald

If you stand still you are falling behind.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox


AZ Snakepit: If Zach Greinke were a Free Agent today, what would he get ?

This is a fan post with a poll I put up at AZ Snakepit. I’m trying to get a handle on how other teams might view the value of Greinke’s contract, or rather how much of it is “negative value” I need some feedback from non D Backs fans without bias. Since I’m one of about 3 D Backs fans that frequently comment here, I figure this is a good place to get that feedback.  It should be noted that Greinke missed the last 3 starts of 2016 with a shoulder issue and is a week behind the other starters in ...

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shoewizard Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agent contract busts, general

Angels figure to run more this season, just like Mike Scioscia likes it - The Orange County Register

“We’ve had a lot of different teams,” Scioscia said. “The aggressive type of baseball where you’re moving guys is something we’re drawn to, but other years we didn’t that type of team and we still scored runs by hitting the ball. We adjust to whatever the talent says, but this year we’re going to be able to incorporate that more.”

It starts with speed, and the Angels added that with Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere in left and Danny Espinosa at second.

“We’re going to be ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:02 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Full Count » Year after his career-changing meeting, Drew Pomeranz has no interest in returning to bullpen

Of course, if he wants to stay a starter he has to stay healthy too.

“What we had discussed was I was coming in as a starter and at the end of camp if I didn’t get a spot I would go to the bullpen. That was my understanding,” he remembered. “Then when they put the charts up and it said one inning, and day off, and then ‘Pomeranz one inning’ I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ You’ve been around long enough to know if you’re being groomed as a starter or a reliever.

“I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 08:58 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: drew poweranz, red sox

Mets’ staff of aces now a staff of mustaches | New York Post

“I didn’t even notice – what mustaches?” deGrom said, adding that it might be a coincidence all four pitchers have a new look.

Matz said he wasn’t sure who the driving force was behind the rotation’s mustaches.

But pitching coach Dan Warthen, who also has been wearing a mustache, has a theory.

“I think they all conspired,” Warthen said. “I think they are trying to tell me how bad mine is.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:57 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Can Bud Black break the curse of Coors Field for Colorado Rockies pitchers?

Backing those words with their checkbook will be important as well.

Against that daunting backdrop, Black and Bridich agree that an aggressive mindset is vital in slaying the Coors Field monster.

“On top of talent, we need mentally tough SOBs,’’ Black said. “We have to find and draft guys who are resilient, who’ll bounce back from a tough outing where it might get chaotic in Coors and their ERA takes a hit. It might get a little bit unsightly when it pops up on the scoreboard or on TV. We have ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

How to Fix Arbitration for Relievers | FanGraphs Baseball

This part seems fanciful. Saves will still be used by agents to get closers paid. Agents will use leverage index to also get set-up men paid.

This wouldn’t even cost Major League teams more money, as they’d simply be redistributing money given to ninth-inning specialists to their entire bullpen, so we’re not even arguing that MLB teams should increase pre-FA reliever salaries in total. But by switching from saves to leverage index (or even just high-leverage innings totals), the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Mets’ Duda, Who Had Back Trouble in 2016, Is Now Bothered by His Hips - The New York Times

Duda felt stiffness in his back and his hips after a recent workout. Although his back improved, his hips remained troublesome, Collins said, prompting Duda to receive a cortisone shot in each hip on Friday.

Collins said he had received no indication that the stiffness in Duda’s hips was related to last year’s back injury, but everything in the lower body is connected, he noted.

“We’re very fortunate at this time we’ve still got a ton of camp left,” Collins said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:33 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: lucas duda, mets

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Which spring training stats actually matter?

If you ask me, the only stat that matters is WINS.

In 2015, however, Dan Rosenheck, an editor at The Economist, presented a paper at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference arguing that some spring training stats do matter—at least a little bit. He wrote that despite the limited number of games and the uneven quality of opposition faced, “the claim that spring-training numbers are useless is wrong. Not a little bit wrong, not debatably wrong—demonstrably and conclusively wrong. To be sure, the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:35 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Nick Cafardo: Alex Rodriguez, The Mentor: ‘I want the kids to learn from my mistakes’

How many teams don’t know “framing isn’t the only attribute you’re looking for in a catcher”?

6. Matt Wieters, C, Nationals — Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo is a master roster builder. The signing of Wieters could bring dividends as the switch-hitter can still produce offensively. Wieters, 30, signed a two-year deal worth about $21 million with an opt-out after one year. He’s considered to be poor at framing pitches, but Rizzo is savvy enough to know that framing ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, notes, yankees

Rio Ruiz has dropped 30 pounds in 16 months, boosted his stock

Baseball America says the Braves view him as a Bill Mueller-type of player. It will be interesting to see how his hard work pays off.

“I think that if they recall me — whenever that might be, whether it’s out of spring (training) this year or a couple of months, April or May, whenever it might be — I feel like I can be an asset to the team,” Ruiz said. “But then again that’s not my decision, that’s the front office’s decision. All I can do is handle everything between the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 01:44 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rio ruiz

Twins’ Byron Buxton remembers the fun part of baseball

I’m buying in.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Cardinals’ sign Jose Adolis Garcia to deal | MLB.com

Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia, the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, agreed to a Minor League contract with the team on Friday. The deal includes an invite to Major League camp, and it will pay Garcia a $2.5 million bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jose adolis garcia

Cubs Addison Russell ready for power breakout | MLB.com

Mike Petriello puts Addison Russell 2016 season under his analytical microscope.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

GMs’ View: Picking a Direction and Staying the Course | FanGraphs Baseball

Some good quotes in this piece.

Jerry Dipoto, Seattle Mariners: “You always want a plan, and we’ve not varied. Our roster has varied, but the plan we instituted the day I took the job has… I don’t want to say it’s come to fruition, but this is about as close as we’ve been to that. We wanted to control the strike zone, we wanted to be more athletic, we wanted to be deeper on the pitcher’s mound, and we wanted to improve our overall organizational depth in our minor-league system. To ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Friday, February 24, 2017

Posnanski | A Baseball Challenge!

Seems like this is the sort of thing that Primates would be all over.

Small challenge: Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

Baldrick Posted: February 24, 2017 at 02:00 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: fun stuff, international, posnanski, world baseball classic

Are statheads “pro ownership?”

But, beyond that, something happens when statheads talk about transactions or rule changes in particular. Unwittingly, I think, we ally with ownership. When a player signs a free agent deal, and we talk about whether it’s a “good” or a “bad” deal, we’re framing that in terms of whether it helps the team that the player signs with….

But I don’t think that’s out of some sympathy with owners. Rather, I think that most analysts, whether they’re into analytics or not, are fans ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 12:25 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, labor, ownership, rob neyer

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