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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Peter Gammons: Swihart and the Red Sox catching depth chart - GammonsDaily.com

I still believe Swihart will end up being the best of the Red Sox three options.

“Swihart has that sense, that ability to relate to and build pitchers,” says LeVangie. “He’s a really good worker. He was a good wrestler with the legs that goes with that. He’s obviously an athlete. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be a polished catcher right now. We understand that. Jason constantly reminds us, ‘do not panic.’

“So we’re working with a kid who needs to learn to get more ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

The Glory Days of Baseball and Beer Marketing

Beer, is there anything it can’t do?

Anheuser-Busch led a major offensive to boost Budweiser’s presence in the Chicago market. How did they accomplish that? By being a major sponsor of Cubs broadcasts on WGN-TV and enlisting Harry Caray in the marketing efforts. When WGN-TV started broadcasts Cubs games nationally on cable, Wrigley Field was presented as a sun-drenched nirvana, paving the way for the party atmosphere that exists today. Producer Arne Harris never missed a chance to show an ...

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Friday, February 03, 2017

MOST INTRIGUING NON-ROSTER INVITEES

Wily Mo Peña, LF, Indians
Last appeared in MLB: Sept. 2011

With Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, Peña was part of a trio of heralded outfielders called up by the Reds in the wake of their acquisition of Ken Griffey Jr. (that feels like a lifetime ago). A true one-tool player, Peña is a monster of a man with shoulders in different time zones who can send a fastball into orbit but is just as notorious for his brutal play in the outfield. In parts of eight Major League seasons spread throughout ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 03, 2017 at 10:50 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league contracts, non-roster invitees, spring training

Fred Manfra to Step Back

Sorry to read about Fred’s health problems catching up with him, but at least Orioles fans will now be able to get accurate descriptions of plays. Without waiting, to boot!

Bote Man Posted: February 03, 2017 at 10:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, orioles, radio

John Sickel’s Top 20 MLB prospect lists for 2017- Minor League Ball

All thirty teams have been updated.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 07:34 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Minnesota Twins designate Byung Ho Park for assignment

To make room on their 40-man roster for newly signed reliever Matt Belisle, the Twins took the somewhat surprising step Friday of designating Park for assignment or release.

Still owed $9.25 million over the next three seasons, including a buyout on a club option for 2020, the South Korean slugger could clear waivers as he works back from August hand surgery and a disappointing debut season in the majors.

Dock Ellis Posted: February 03, 2017 at 05:02 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, dfa, minnesota twins, twins

Juan Lagares trade could give Mets the wiggle room they need

The former Gold Glove winner is set to make $4.5 million in his age-28 season, and is on the hook for salaries of $6.5 million and $9 million the following two years, with a $500,000 buyout on a $9.5 million club option for 2020.

The Mets could invest the salary savings from a potential Lagares trade in their bullpen, which is lacking in veteran setup men — especially a proven lefty. The Mets outfield boasts depth in Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. ...Read More...

Lassus Posted: February 03, 2017 at 01:30 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, ow my arm

Texas Rangers: Why a Valentine’s Day marriage makes sense for the Rangers flirtation with Mike Napoli | SportsDay

He makes a lot of sense.

Mind you, this is just theory. For now.

But here’s why I’m circling Feb. 14 as the day Napoli, the perpetual Bachelor, accepts millions of roses from the Rangers and comes back to play some first base, some DH and be part of the glue that holds the team together:

For insurance purposes, the Rangers must carry Prince Fielder on their 40-man roster during the offseason. In addition, Jake Diekman is out for at least the first half of the season while recovering from colon ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 12:57 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-3-2017

Chicago Eagle, February 3, 1917:

Bill Byron, the singing umpire, who says there hasn’t been a single kick against his decisions since October, tells a new story on himself.
...
He umpired in Newark one day and in the course of the game he called a man out at the plate on a close play. The player arose, dusted off his uniform, and then pointing to the chimney which towers high over the field, he said to Byron: “Bill, I ain’t sayin’ nothin’ to you. I ain’t makin’ no kick or nothin’, but I hope ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 03, 2017 at 12:31 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, umpires

Klapisch: Baseball’s 10 Most Interesting People

Pedro Martinez
No one matches Martinez for honesty and spot-on analysis on the MLB Network. The former-right-hander is the same person today as he was throughout his career. He’s still a gift to the game, even if it’s in a studio instead of the mound. In his prime, Martinez was the best big-game pitcher around – at the top of a list that included Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux.

It was more than just talent, it was ego, too. Pedro once told Sports Illustrated, “there are ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Does baseball still dig the long ball?

A lot of good stuff in Jayson Stark’s latest.

What’s happening now is something that smart sim players figured out years ago. That’s because when you play a sim, it was easy enough to quantify fielding. With the Statcast stuff, it’s now possible for teams to realistically quantify defense. As expected, this development fundamentally changes the way teams value players.

Regarding the conclusion of Stark’s article, home runs are great and entertaining, nothing drives revenues more than a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 08:08 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Astros plan to use Cardinal bounty to add starting pitcher

“We’re hoping that something will break,” Crane said. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that ... getting two picks from the Cardinals gives us more depth in the system. We’re still looking into it.

“The thing about pitching is that it keeps games under control. And you got to have someone who can slam that door.”

If the Astros land one more front-line starter, there’s nothing that should stand in their way of being perennial playoff contenders, culminating a renovation ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Greg Holland’s baseball fate closely tied to Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster

Where a player signs isn’t always completely about the money.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 07:47 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: greg holland, rockies

Orioles’ new pitching coach Roger McDowell is in mold of predecessor Dave Wallace-(AUTOPLAY WARNING)

The article was interesting but I hesitated a little before posting it because it autoplays video. I wish sites wouldn’t do this.

Should I post articles which autoplay with a warning or should I just ignore them? What do you think? 

When new Orioles pitching coach Roger McDowell was introduced in a conference call earlier this offseason, it didn’t take long for him to recite a commonly used phrase he learned from his predecessor and mentor, Dave Wallace.

“They don’t care how much you ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Royals believe Brandon Moss’ power will translate to Kauffman Stadium | The Kansas City Star

“I love this ballpark,” Moss said Wednesday afternoon, while donning a Royals jersey at his introductory news conference. “I think it’s one of the most unheralded ballparks in baseball. It’s beautiful. And as far as hitting goes, some hitters like hitting in small parks; some hitters like hitting in parks where you see the ball well. And this ballpark has always been a ballpark where I’ve seen the ballpark really well.

“I don’t know why that is. It’s just one of those special ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, royals

The new-and-improved Yoenis Cespedes: A workout warrior | New York Post

This is reaction a GM hopes for when he signs a player to a big contract. I hope he can stay healthy.

Barwis marvels at Cespedes.

“He has made an extra level of commitment and with being the world-class athlete that he is, the expectations are limitless,’’ Barwis said in a raspy, “you can do it, bro,’’ voice. “He wants to prove to everyone that the Mets made the right commitment to him. You’re talking about a man who has the potential that few people who walk this earth can ever ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, yoenis cespedes

Thursday, February 02, 2017


Hector Santiago is Not to be Trusted

“Hector Santiago is walking more batters and missing fewer bats than ever — and when he doesn’t miss bats, opposing hitters are wailing on the ball.”

DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hector santiago, minnesota twins, twins

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Josh Bell undergoes surgery on left knee, faces 2-4 week recovery | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Josh Bell was coming into Spring Training ready to challenge for the Pirates’ starting first base job. He may have to wait.

The Pirates’ third-ranked prospect underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove a loose body from his left knee, and will be sidelined two to four weeks. That leaves uncertain his status for Opening Day.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 02:09 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, josh bell, pirates

With Spring Training Looming, Top Players Are On The Mend | BaseballAmerica.com

That doesn’t sound promising.

Michael Matuella, rhp, Rangers

Injury: Right elbow ligament sprain

2016 stats: 0-0, 0.00, 1 GS, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 2 BB

The former Duke ace has pitched exactly once since the Rangers drafted him the third round in 2015. He was in the midst of Tommy John surgery rehab when the Rangers drafted him and didn’t make his pro debut until June 2016, a full year after he was picked. He pitched three scoreless innings for short-season Spokane while reportedly touching ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Shohei Otani, the player we all wanted to see at the WBC, will hit but not pitch - CBSSports.com

It’s worth noting that Otani could still appear in the tournament as a hitter. The odds of that are uncertain, however, given Nippon-Ham’s concern that Otani’s condition could require surgery if it worsens.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:25 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, shohei otani, wbc

Is this the year that Mike Zunino can put it all together for Mariners? | The Seattle Times

Being able to adjust is a necessity in MLB.

“There are a lot of smart people in the league and in the game and scouting and look at video and how they’re going to approach you,” Servais said. “So they made an adjustment on him based on the fact that he wasn’t casing the breaking ball anymore and now he’s got to continue make an adjustment back.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

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

Seattle Star, February 2, 1917:

Severance of diplomatic relations with Germany, in the opinion of President Weeghman of the Cubs, would not mean the discontinuance of organized baseball for a season.

But Weeghman believes it would be the signal for a general retrenching all along the line in the majors. Training camps might be abandoned, and players who have not returned signed contracts probably would face a further cut in salaries.

“Just at present, it looks like a tough baseball season,” ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 02, 2017 at 12:14 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

The A’s are just sad now - Beyond the Box Score

We’ve been putting off this summation for more than two years, ever since Josh Donaldson got shipped north of the border for Brett Lawrie and co. We’ve wanted to put this off repeatedly, since Billy Beane built winners in the team’s 2012-14 renaissance. We want to believe that the first mainstream sabermetric success of 2001-2006 could manage to always be one step ahead of everyone else, always innovating and unearthing the next great market inefficiency.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 11:40 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Marvels of Engineering, Monuments to Kitsch: Ballpark Wonders, Oddities and Attractions

The Bat. The B&O warehouse at Camden yards. ‘The Big A’ at Angel Stadium. Those special flourishes, details, or attractions that make each ball park unique and serve as local touchstone (the guitar-shaped scoreboard at First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds) or national icon (the ivy at Wrigley). Some are wonders of engineering (Safeco Field’s retractable roof); others are monuments to kitsch (the bobble head museum at Marlins Park). Some are awe-inspiring (the desert vistas ...

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gehrig97 Posted: February 02, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: books, bull durham, cleveland, green monster, mascots, miller park, wrigley field, yankees

Cuba, Mexico open Caribbean Series with wins | MLB.com

The Caribbean Series began Wednesday in Culiacan, Mexico, with games between Cuba and the Dominican Republic during the afternoon, and a Mexico-Puerto Rico matchup in the nightcap.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:45 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean series

Fadeaway: Episode 7: The Big Drabowski

This is a few months old, published around the World Series, but still a good listen. The latest from Primate Eric Enders’  baseball history podcast.

Born in Ozanna, Poland, at the start of the Third Reich, Moe Drabowsky escaped from Hitler and came to America as a toddler. He embraced life in America, becoming first the hardest-throwing young prospect in baseball, then its most notorious prankster. And in 1966, after arm injuries had caused everyone to write him off for good, he resurrected ...

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Don’t Quit on Byung Ho Park | FanGraphs Baseball

I watched a lot of his AB last season. I still think he can be a quality major league hitter. I hope the Twins give him more AB to prove it.

We’re familiar with what Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu have accomplished. Jung Ho Kang, when he’s on the field, has silenced questions about his ability to hit velocity. Dae-Ho Lee arrived with more modest expectations but was still a league-average bat (102 wRC+) last year in his first year in the majors, and Hyun Soo Kim posted a .382 on-base mark ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Best tools: Hitters on Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com

(Time for a quick disclaimer: Yes, we know that some tools matter more than others and there’s more to evaluating prospects than simply adding up their five tools. This is meant to be a fun look at some of the most talented players on the Top 100, not the most scientific of analyses.)

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

For Minor League Free Agents, Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose | 2080 Baseball

The plight of the six-year minor league free agent.

There are generally two types of minor league free agents: those with some big league or significant Triple-A experience whose resumes sell themselves, and those who have filled more of an “organizational” role with their original teams and have often not received much playing time above the Double-A level. The players with more upper level and MLB experience often have more than one organization to choose from, while the other group can ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2017 at 10:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league free agents

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