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Friday, March 08, 2019

A look at some spring training standouts

The item in this article that caught my eye:


The three-time Most Valuable Player started with seven hits in 12 at-bats, including a double and a home run. The 39-year-old’s production has declined over the past several seasons and he hit .245 with 19 homers in 117 games last year, a season cut short by knee surgery in August.

Small sample size at play, or a possible dead-cat bounce?


QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:10 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Brock Stewart to endure another option year with Dodgers

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 2019 season will constitute a fourth option year for Dodgers pitcher Brock Stewart. Teams typically have three option years with their players, meaning they can yo-yo the players between the minors and majors an unlimited amount of times. Because Stewart hasn’t logged five full seasons in professional baseball — he appeared in only 17 games in his rookie season in the minors — the Dodgers have a fourth option year as prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement.

Does this mean he’s been subjected to the dreaded Option J?


QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brock stewart, dodgers, options

Report: Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to Dallas Keuchel

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to free agent starter Dallas Keuchel. The offers, however, were not what the lefty is looking for. What Keuchel is looking for is not specifically known yet.

Keuchel, 31, finished with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings last season with the Astros. He’s been mostly terrific over the last five years, including winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. However, his age and a shaky 2016 effort in which he posted a 4.55 ERA may have teams balking at committing to him beyond one or two years.

They have also given Mr. Keuchel his choice of the box, or whatever Carol Merrill has behind the curtain.

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dallas keuchel, hot stove

Boston’s Pedroia plays 1 inning in first game since May

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Dustin Pedroia’s first game in nearly 10 months couldn’t have gone much better — even if it lasted just one inning.

Pedroia cleanly fielded a two-out grounder by Minnesota’s Jake Cave, then singled off Kohl Stewart leading off the bottom half of Boston’s 12-1 loss Thursday.

“It made me happy to run around the bases,” Pedroia said. “It was really fun out there.”



QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Statcast Game Preview: New York Mets at Washington Nationals - 2019-03-07 | |

More good stuff from the Statcast wizard.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics

Baseball Cop - Eddie Dominquez exposes trafficking, theft, fraud, and gambling in the major leagues

“Details the shocking revelations [Dominguez] discovered as a Resident Security Agent for the Red Sox and as a member of baseball’s Department of Investigations—gambling, age and identity fraud, human trafficking, doping, domestic violence and disturbing cover-ups at the top of baseball’s hierarchy.”―New York Daily News

Hall of Fame Pitcher Tom Seaver Diagnosed With Dementia, to Retire From Public Life

Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia, the Seaver family announced in a statement from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Tom will continue to work in his beloved vineyard at his California home, but has chosen to completely retire from public life,” the Seaver family said. “The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy. We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone.”

Former New York Mets teammate Art Shamsky detailed Seaver’s health issues in his book, After the Miracle. Shamsky, 77, wrote that Seaver was suffering from short-term memory loss.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 05:05 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: tom seaver

Former MLB Outfielder Jacque Jones Ordered to Pay $67,000 in Revenge Porn Case

Former MLB outfielder and Nationals assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones was forced to pay a San Diego woman $67,000 in late February after a judge ruled he violated California’s revenge porn law. The woman, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, filed against Jones in October 2017. Doe will also ask a San Diego court to have Jones handle her attorney fees, according to Deadspin.

“No matter how famous you may be, you will be held accountable,” Doe’s lawyer Rory Pendergast told NBC 7 in San Diego. “And when strong women, like Jane Doe, stand up for what’s right, despite getting humiliated, called a liar, a cheat, and all sorts of other names, justice can be served.”

Jones and Doe reportedly began an “intimate and sexual” relationship ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:50 PM | 226 comment(s)
  Beats: jacque jones

Would moving the mound back be baseball’s worst rule experiment?

They interview a guy who thinks that this would be good for pitchers.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 07, 2019 at 11:04 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: 1893, field conditions

The Separate Paths of Craig Kimbrel and the Red Sox | FanGraphs Baseball

Not even a mention of Darwinzon Hernandez? That’s a pretty big oversight. If he doesn’t break camp with the team, it won’t be too long before he’s making a real impact on their bullpen. Lakins and Shawaryn I expect will provide some depth as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 10:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen, craig kimbrel, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2019

Toledo News-Bee, March 7, 1919:

Bunny Fabrique, Toledo’s shortstop, got back in the majors on Thursday night. But it was in bowling and not in baseball. He rolled in Toledo’s major tenpin league, the All-Star, with the Navarre Hotels.

Bunny rolled in his street shoes and with an alley ball. He hit for games of 146, 156 and 153.

I guess that makes two sports in which he’s no Mookie Betts.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

KC Royals OF Alex Gordon enters what might be last season | The Kansas City Star

They signed the wrong guy.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, royals

Calm before the storm is key for J.D. Martinez at the plate – Boston Herald

Enjoy the calm but please get in the box.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, red sox

Here’s where Mets’ roster stands right now

Hechavarria instead of J.D. Davis or Jeff McNeil? Wait, maybe the writer is confused.

Third base (1): Adeiny Hechavarria
What changed? This doesn’t necessarily mean Hechavarria will start at third base, but injuries to Frazier and Jed Lowrie increased his chance to make the team. If neither Frazier nor Lowrie is ready to go by Opening Day, Jeff McNeil is the most likely candidate to start at third, with Hechavarria backing up both him and shortstop Amed Rosario. More on McNeil in a bit.
Utility (1): Jeff McNeil
What changed? The Mets’ plans to use McNeil exclusively in the outfield may not even last a month. If Frazier and Lowrie both remain sidelined into mid-March, the team intends to convert McNeil back to the infield, where he ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adeiny hechaverria, j.d. davis, mets

Jonathan Loaisiga’s case to fill in for injured Luis Severino

How many starts would he make before Severino comes back?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan loaisiga, yankees

What’s cooking in the Cubs’ Pitch Lab? Come with me and you’ll see… – The Athletic

I’ve been digging into this stuff a lot recently. It’s fascinating stuff. I was clearly born too early.

“That’s something I was told this offseason,” Maples said. “Some guys, it looks like their fastball has that extra gear where it just takes off. I’m not one of those guys that has that. It’s the spin rate and spin axis. With my fastball, I know the induced vertical break isn’t crazy good, so I gotta pick and choose times when to go up. … My thing is sliders and then the fastball when I need it. So I’m staying there.”

If what he’s doing ends up not working, then perhaps the data can help him adjust.

“It can get pretty crazy when you get into the analytics of it,” Maples said. “It’s a big thing, finding ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 07:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pitching mechanics

Royals among few clubs banking on speed to win ballgames

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Brett Phillips has always been the fastest player on his team, whether he was playing in Little League, starring at Seminole High School or climbing the rungs of the minor league ladder.

When he looks around the Kansas City Royals’ clubhouse, though, the fleet-footed outfielder was left to ask a very sobering and sincere question: “What am I, the 10th fastest now?”

Not quite. But just about.

You see, the Royals identified a market inefficiency a few years ago when it came to bullpen arms, stockpiling huge talents at low costs and effectively shortening games. The result was twofold: They won back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series, and every other team noticed what they had done and ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, speed

Danny Jansen poised to solve decades-old problem for Blue Jays

The phrase “catcher of the future” has plenty of sour connotations for Toronto Blue Jays fans.

Finding that player has always been difficult, and it seems like the franchise has gone through veteran after veteran at the spot after failing to draft and develop a player who could hold it down for a significant span.

Even Ernie Whitt, by far the greatest catching mainstay in team history, wasn’t originally a Blue Jays draft pick. Among the top 15 Blue Jays catchers by games played only three of them — Pat Borders, J.P. Arencibia, and Greg Myers — were drafted by the club. Those three combined for just 8.9 total WAR in their careers with Toronto. Although to be fair catcher performance is notoriously difficult to quantify with ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, catching, danny jansen

ESPN Taps New York Yankees Pitcher CC Sabathia As Analyst During His Last Season

In an unusual arrangement, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia will work as an analyst on ESPN TV and radio broadcasts during his final season in Major League Baseball.

Sabathia announced last month that 2019 will be his final season. A former Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion, Sabathia has pitched for the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians, breaking into the majors in 2001.

During the season, Sabathia will appear on SportsCenter, Get Up!, First Take, Golic & Wingo and occasionally Baseball Tonight, with several of those appearances planned to be in-studio. He will also periodically join ESPN Radio New York as a guest host on the Humpty & Canty show, which airs from 10AM to 1PM ET. Sabathia will make his broadcast debut ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, cc sabathia, espn

Phil Gosselin strives for a spot with Phillies, the team that ignited his love of baseball

CLEARWATER, Fla. — John Vukovich, the late, great Phillies coach who spent his entire big-league playing career battling to make teams as a utility man, once described the final days of spring training as a time he’d wake up in the middle of the night and see snakes.

Phil Gosselin knows all too well what it’s like to come to camp having to fight for the last spot on a roster.

But he doesn’t see snakes.

“I’m used to it,” he said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t know what to do if I showed up [in February] and they told me I was on the team.

Strange- usually Philadelphia is something that results in people losing their love of baseball….


QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phil gosselin, phillies

Where Giants players who are out of options stand in spring training

SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants had the day off Tuesday, which gave the staff a chance to step back and evaluate what’s been seen so far. Roster decisions won’t purely be made based on performance, though.

As always this time of year, it’s important to pay attention to the options game. The players certainly know all about it, and they talk about it often. Young players who are on the bubble and have minor league options remaining know they’re likely headed for Sacramento no matter what they do.

Those who have no options left know that they could be in for anything over the next three weeks.

A consideration of players on the verge of who-knows-what.


QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alen hanson, chris stratton, giants, mac williamson, options, steven okert, trevor gott

MLB ‘19: College draft picks on rapid rise to big leagues

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joey Bart already looks like a big league hitter in his first major league camp, especially when the San Francisco Giants catcher sends a misguided pitch soaring over the centerfield fence.

The same with White Sox shortstop Nick Madrigal every time he makes a spinning stab deep in the hole, or Tigers pitcher Casey Mize when he leaves an unsuspecting batter befuddled, or the four young arms the Royals selected among the first 40 picks of last year’s amateur draft.

All have a couple things in common: They played college baseball rather than turning pro out of high school, and they are all expected to help their clubs sooner than later.

That is, until the service-time manipulation begins….


QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, college baseball, joey bart, nick madrigal

Lineups will go to commissioner’s office first before being made public

Peter Gammons reports that, per MLB’s gambling deal with MGM Resorts International, each team’s lineup will first have to go to the commissioner’s office rather than the team’s own public relations office or to the media. MLB and MGM announced a partnership back in November. This development is presumably so MGM can set lines before everyone else gets access to the lineups. In the past, lineups have typically been posted a few hours before game time and sent out on social media by beat writers and/or the team.

According to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, lineups must be submitted to MLB for review at least 15 minutes before being released to the press and public. The league is citing integrity as the reasoning for ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner's office, gambling, lineups

Mariners can’t wait to see reaction for Ichiro in Japan

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Jerry Dipoto never met Ichiro Suzuki in person until the day he was reintroduced as a member of the Seattle Mariners during spring training in 2018.

Suzuki’s one request for the hoopla that surrounded his return to the Mariners was the news conference and ensuing activities be kept, in his words, “casual.”

“The entourage arrived, and it looked like the CIA arrival for the president. It was dark windows, suburbans, and Ichiro rolled out and he walked into my office in what I can only describe as something off the runways type of suit,” Dipoto, the team’s general manager, recalled. “It was like a $5,000 suit that looked as crisp and clean as you can imagine. Impeccable knot in his tie with the dark sunglasses. My ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, japan, mariners

New-look NL East suddenly baseball’s deepest division

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single.

Not anymore.

Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay inside the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. In addition to defending champion Atlanta, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all have enough firepower to potentially contend for the playoffs.

Mind you, the Marlins can by themselves make any division weaker just by being in it.

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Nationals make controversial backpack ban worse by charging fans for storage lockers

The Washington Nationals’ controversial plan to ban backpacks for the 2019 season was already met with anger from fans. The team somehow managed to make the issue worse Wednesday, announcing fans could pay a fee to store their backpacks in lockers at the park, according to the Washington Post.

A company called Binbox will install 500 medium to large lockers at the right field and home plate gates where Nationals fans can store their backpacks for either $2 or $3 per hour depending on which locker size the fan needs. Those prices will cap at $10 and $15 during games.

Fans will also be encouraged to download an app and pay for lockers using Stripe, according to the Washington Post.

For those of you who wish for a reminder as for why ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: backpack, dollah dollah bills, y'all, nationals

2019 San Francisco Giants Season Preview: How far has Madison Bumgarner fallen?

The San Francisco Giants are stuck between two competing ideas — embracing the rebuild and spinning off any valuable members of their championship core or trying to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres in the NL West.

It seemed pretty obvious what the Giants should do after their 89-loss season in 2018. Without a bright farm system, this Giants team screams tear down. They did bring in a new president of baseball operations in ex-Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. And then they chased Bryce Harper. But as opening day approaches, they’re not in tremendously better than shape than when last season ended. They only thing they got was more healthy.

While Giants fans can make a compelling case for ...

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, preview

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Sources: Luke Heimlich signs with Mexican league

Former Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, who was not selected in the Major League Baseball draft last summer, has signed a contract with a team in Mexico’s summer league, multiple sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The left-hander, who as a teenager pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old niece, signed with the Dos Laredos Tecolotes of Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB). The team begins play on April 5.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 06, 2019 at 10:18 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: luke heimlich

Josh Donaldson feeling healthy and confident |

I keep hearing the Braves haven’t done anything this off-season. Donaldson is nothing?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, josh donaldson

Derek Jeter wants Marlins fans to focus on the experience, not wins and losses

Derek Jeter knows the Miami Marlins aren’t going to be a good team in 2019. Instead of trying to go out and add talented players who are still sitting on the market, Jeter is opting for a bold, new strategy: Act like you’re a minor-league team.

Attending Marlins games shouldn’t be about who wins or who losses the game this season. It should be about whether you had a good experience, Jeter told WPLG in Miami.

“This is professional sports, and I feel bad for even saying this, but it’s impossible to win every single game. But one thing you always remember is the experience you had while you were at the park. We want it to be a positive experience. We want people to enjoy themselves, and look, a lot of times people come [and] they ...

Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 06, 2019 at 08:22 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, gift baskets, marlins

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