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Monday, December 05, 2016

Diamondbacks bring framing into focus with catching switch - SweetSpot- ESPN

“His defense has always been his calling card,” one major-league scout said. “His hands are excellent. His arm strength and accuracy are above average. He blocks pitches in the dirt well. He handles pitching staffs well and fulfills the pitching coach’s game plans ideally.”

The numbers back that up. Over the past nine seasons, Mathis ranks fifth among catchers in defensive runs saved. And on a per-inning basis, he rates batter than the leader—Yadier Molina.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, jeff mathis, welington castillo

Saturday, December 03, 2016

D-Backs hire Mike Fitzgerald as new analytics head

Which direction will Arizona change to when this plan doesn’t produce a World Series championship within two years? Fortune tellers?

“(Analytics) certainly has been an area of focus for us since coming over here; I know it’s been an area of focus for (owner) Ken (Kendrick) and (CEO) Derrick (Hall) when I was hired,” Hazen said. “We want to look to strategically build this department.

“He has a phenomenal reputation, very smart, impressed throughout the interview process. He’s the right guy to help really build our infrastructure in these areas. The game is changing in so many different ways, there are so many new areas of information to explore, and he’s going to help us do that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2016 at 08:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, sabermetrics

Friday, December 02, 2016

Free-agent catcher Jeff Mathis signs with Diamondbacks

Jeff Mathis signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, a source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel, ending his four-year tenure as Miami’s backup backstop.

The loss is a noteworthy one for the Marlins, who benefited from Mathis’ defense behind the plate and valued his veteran presence in the clubhouse.

“Thank you for all you did for me the last 4 years,” starting pitcher Tom Koehler wrote in a tweet about Mathis. “AZ is getting a hell of a teammate. Your presence will be missed.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2016 at 10:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, jeff mathis

D-Backs nontender Wellington Castillo, sign Jeff Mathis

What is this strange hold Jeff Mathis has on certain GM’s and managers?

charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 02, 2016 at 10:23 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can the Pirates find a trade partner for Josh Harrison? | FOX Sports

Team president Stan Kasten, however, said that the Dodgers are not facing any payroll restrictions or any pressure from baseball.

“There is no mandate. There is no problem with our debt,” Kasten said. “We are continuing to operate on the same program we have since the day we walked in here in 2012. That’s building through our minor-league system while continuing to aggressively put the best team on the field that we can each year.”

Baseball issued a statement:

“The Commissioner’s Office works with all clubs to monitor compliance with the Debt Service Rule. Non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance. Clubs are evaluated on an ongoing basis relative to that plan.

“The rule is intended to ensure the financial health of clubs relative to their ability to service their indebtedness, not to influence decisions on the player market. There are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, notes, pirates, twins

Monday, November 28, 2016

Was the Jean Segura Trade Really the Mitch Haniger Trade? | FanGraphs Baseball

Color me skeptical.

At last, there’s this part: Segura has two more years of team control. Haniger has the full six. And what sort of impact might be expected in 2017? We know that Segura is likely to play every day. With Haniger, that hasn’t really been decided. But to even things out, let’s consider the Steamer600 projection, which projects plays out over 600 plate appearances. Segura’s projection shows a 94 wRC+, with a 2.1 WAR. And Haniger? We see a 98 wRC+, and a 2.0 WAR. There’s plenty you could conceivably argue, but you could argue in both directions. You might really believe in Segura’s breakout, but it doesn’t seem fair to believe only in his. The same would go for just Haniger. So much of the optimism comes out of what happened in 2016, and both players had wonderful seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 05:47 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, mariners

Peter Gammons: D-backs are in a decent position on Black Friday - GammonsDaily.com

The D’Backs need some stability.

Players who were Diamondbacks may be unfair when they tell people that the D’Backs are the team that hates players, but it’s the reputation. Think about it, then just let the front office you hired run the baseball end, while you work on the stadium and television and marketing deals. I mentioned to one of the most influential Red Sox officials that several Cubs front office members had told me they think Theo Epstein could be the CEO of almost any Fortune 500 company, and he shot back, “so could Mike Hazen. He’s the closest to Theo of anyone who’s come through here.”
...
Kendrick and Hall have it right. Getting to the point where you consistently compete with the Giants and Dodgers—and now that they’re over the 24 hour hype makeover, the Padres—you have to allow the process they are putting in place to produce.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2016 at 08:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks trade Jean Segura to Seattle Mariners for Taijuan Walker

Mike Hazen’s reasons for the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2016 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, mike hazen

D-backs trade for Mariners’ Taijuan Walker | MLB.com

Segura gets traded again.

Mike Hazen made his first trade as D-backs GM on Wednesday night, acquiring right-hander Taijuan Walker and infielder Ketel Marte from the Mariners in exchange for infielder Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-handed reliever Zac Curtis.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2016 at 08:09 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, mariners, trade

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Miller—Going to WAR—The mystery of Robbie Ray

Speaking as someone who spent a couple years of his life working on a WAR system before WAR was cool, too many people put too much credence in WAR. Too many don’t put enough. It’s something nice to look at and works well for a lot of different questions. Despite what some think, even with the advances in technology, it will always be just a reflection of reality. And that’s OK.

“One might assume.” One might assume that, if Martin Perez’s WARs are 1.8, 1.8 and 1.9 (as they were in 2016), that Martin Perez is a 1.8- or 1.9-win pitcher. But we’ve already seen, with Ray, that one model of WAR can be wildly misleading. We’ve seen, in fact, that two can be. It’s not much of a leap to think even three could be, all at once, and in all the same ways, especially for unique players such as Zach Britton or Yadier Molina or David Ross or for players on the extremes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2016 at 08:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, robbie ray, sabermetrics, war

Monday, November 14, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks’ winter spending could be limited

A team can’t sign expensive free agents every year?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 06:41 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Friday, November 04, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks pick Torey Lovullo as manager

The usually reliable John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports is reporting that the team will name Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While there has not yet been an official announcement, the choice has since been confirmed by others, including Nick Piecoro and Jon Heyman, so it appears to be close to a done deal. Lovullo will become the 10th manager in team history.

This is no great shock: as soon as Red Sox GM Mike Hazen was appointed to the Diamondbacks’ general manager position, speculation immediately began that Lovullo would become Chip Hale’s replacement. The two men have a long relationship, going back even before Boston, to their time in the Cleveland Indians organization. Hazen also brought over Amiel Sawdaye to act as his assistant GM.

The team interviewed a number of other candidates for the position, and reports suggest the decision came down to a choice between Lovullo and Reno Aces’ manager Phil Nevin.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 04, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, torey lovullo

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks land Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye

The exodus of talent leaving the Red Sox over the last year does not fill me with hope.

The Diamondbacks’ new-look front office continued to take shape Monday with the addition of Red Sox executive Amiel Sawdaye, who will become the club’s senior vice president and assistant general manager, a source said Monday night.

Sawdaye, who has been with the Red Sox since 2002, will be the second in command to new General Manager Mike Hazen. The two overlapped in Boston for 11 years.

Sawdaye ran the amateur draft for the Red Sox from 2010 to 2014, during which time the club selected Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart and Matt Barnes, among others. He spent the past two years as vice president of amateur and international scouting.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 06:54 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general managers, red sox

Monday, October 17, 2016

Report: Tony La Russa opts to remain with D-backs in advisory role

He gets to keep his red stapler and can listen to the radio at a reasonable volume.

Former Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa has decided to remain with the franchise in an advisory role under new executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reported the news Sunday as the team announced the hiring of Hazen, the former Red Sox general manager.

The decision follows the D-backs’ firing of general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale on Oct. 3. Hired by La Russa, the duo spent two seasons on the job and led Arizona to a 148-176 record.

Before the firings, La Russa met with Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick and discussed taking on a new, non-decision-making role. Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro reported Oct. 3 that the team offered to retain La Russa in such an advisory role.

The former leader of the D-backs’ front office leader will report to Hazen and will “have a voice in the room, weigh in with ideas and opinions,” but not be the ultimate decision-maker, according to Gambadoro.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2016 at 10:35 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, tony larussa

Arizona Diamondbacks name Mike Hazen general manager

The Diamondbacks named Mike Hazen their general manager on Sunday, hiring him away from the Boston Red Sox, where he was serving as second-in-command to Dave Dombrowski.

Hazen, 40, spent the previous 11 seasons working for the Red Sox in a variety of roles, beginning as director of player development in 2006.

“Mike’s background is the perfect balance of scouting, player development and analytics, which will all play an important role going forward,” Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. “He’s a natural leader, who we feel fortunate to have been able to hire, and we welcome him and his family to Arizona.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2016 at 06:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, kim ng, mike hazen, red sox

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Heyman - Anthopoulos Turns Down D-backs

In his case, it looks like prudent judgement.

But while the ownership involvement and the obvious volatility (they’re about to hire their seventh GM in 13 years) are potential issues, the Arizona GM job is still seen as desirable by many. To reports about candidates being turned off by the seeming instability, one interested party who hasn’t been mentioned yet opined, “That’s BS. There are only 30 of these jobs.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2016 at 08:23 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, diamondbacks, general managers

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Kim Ng, Four Others Among D-Backs GM Candidates

The Diamondbacks appear to have compiled at least a preliminary list of potential general manager candidates to take over for the departing Dave Stewart, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). In addition to a quartet of men with ties to the organization, MLB senior VP Kim Ng is under consideration, per the report.

Ng has long been discussed as a front office target for organizations, and has interviewed for top baseball ops positions on several occasions. A former assistant GM with the Dodgers, Ng would become the game’s first-ever general manager if she is hired for this or another open job.

Additionally, Arizona is looking at current AGM Bryan Minniti and farm director Mike Bell — as has previously been reported. Minniti just completed his second season in that role for the D-Backs after previously serving in a similar capacity with the Nationals. Bell has held his post with Arizona for six seasons.

Former D-Backs’ scouting guru and current Brewers scouting director Ray Montgomery is also under consideration, as is former Arizona AGM Peter Woodfork, who currently works with Ng in the league office.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2016 at 01:44 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, kim ng, women in baseball

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Dave Stewart ‘relieved’ to be fired by Diamondbacks: ‘I’ve got better things to do’ | MLB | Sporting News

I don’t have anything bad to say about Ken Kendrick,’’ Stewart said. “I’m not mad at this guy. He’s different. I’m different. Really, we were oil and water.

He added: “When I left Toronto, I was angry. I’m not angry this time. It’s just different. Almost a relief. I just got to figure out what to do next, but really, I’ll be just fine.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2016 at 06:54 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks

Monday, October 03, 2016

Diamondbacks fire GM Dave Stewart, manager Chip Hale

Fresh off a very disappointing 2016 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have fired general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale, the club announced Monday afternoon.

Hopes were high for Arizona entering the spring of 2016. They were coming off a 79-83 season in 2015 and added ace pitcher Zack Greinke via free agency in addition to trading for 2015 All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller.

Instead, the second year with both Stewart and Hale couldn’t have been more of a disaster.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 03, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: chip hale, dave stewart, diamondbacks

Heyman - Tony La Russa To Meet Monday With Diamondbacks Owner

They can’t fire another leadership team again? Can they?

Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is expected to meet Monday with team owner Ken Kendrick, sources say, with a decision expected soon regarding the fates of La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart.

The decisions may even come at the high-powered pow-wow. If not, then they should come soon after.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Monday, September 19, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks to cut ties with De Jon Watson

The Diamondbacks informed De Jon Watson, the club’s senior vice president of baseball operations, that he will not have his contract option picked up for 2017, the first of what could be several dominos to fall in leadership positions within the organization.

Though Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa made the announcement Sunday evening, he stressed that the Watson dismissal in no way clarified La Russa’s own situation for next season, nor that of General Manager Dave Stewart.

Both La Russa and Stewart’s jobs are being “evaluated” by ownership and CEO Derrick Hall as the Diamondbacks are nearing the end of one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Even after beating the Dodgers 10-9 in 12 innings on Sunday afternoon, the Diamondbacks are on pace for 94 losses in a year in which they expected to contend for a division title.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 19, 2016 at 01:27 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The hypocrisy of Tony La Russa and the understandable fears of black baseball players

I might as well keep the “moralist” chain alive. Agree or be branded!

Tony La Russa, a convicted drunk driver who managed one of the most steroid-addled clubhouses in modern baseball history and today oversees an organization that at the trade deadline passed along to multiple organizations private medical information about a player it wanted to deal, spent Wednesday playing moralist, a role that suits him about as well as chief baseball officer for a major league franchise.

The impetus behind La Russa’s barrage of illogic was Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who called baseball a “white man’s sport” when asked why no ballplayer had emulated the protests of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Were La Russa not so fundamentally myopic, he may well have realized he is exactly the white man of whom Jones speaks. And the worst kind at that: an authoritarian happy to share his opinion but not respectful enough to allow others to use their platforms in the same fashion.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2016 at 06:08 AM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, tony larussa

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Groin injury puts A.J. Pollock’s season at risk

A.J. Pollock’s lost season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2016 at 10:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, diamondbacks, injuries

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Tipsheet: Suffering continues for Miller, D-Backs | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

I can’t wait until Miller gets traded for 10 cents on the dollar, has a great year, and people kill the Diamondbacks front office for making another horrible trade.

If there is anybody feeling worse than the shell-shocked Pittsburgh Pirates this morning, it’s poor Shelby Miller.

The former Cardinals pitcher absorbed still another loss Tuesday, falling 5-2 to the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Miller (2-11, 6.89 earned-run average) allowed those five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The reeling Arizona Diamondbacks are now 4-12 in games he started this season.

“I’m struggling with the loss a little bit,” Miller told reporters after the game. “I’m just kind of tired of losing. It’s just not going good right now. I’m not worried about stuff-wise, just more worried about the outcome. Just trying to go out there and give our team an opportunity to win every time and it hasn’t been going the way I’ve wanted it to.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 11:06 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, shelby miller

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Dodgers hit 5 home runs off Zack Greinke | MLB.com

odger Stadium had a healthy serving of boos reserved for Zack Greinke in his first start there since leaving for Arizona via free agency in the offseason. However, it was his former teammates who offered an even ruder welcome in a 10-2 Dodgers win on Monday night.

The Dodgers hit five homers off Greinke, a career high for the right-hander. Adrian Gonzalez got it started in the fourth with a two-run shot on a numbers-high fastball. Before the inning, Greinke had thrown three shutout innings, striking out five and allowing just a single.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 06, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, zach greinke

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