No current version of WAR accounts for framing, a catcher’s art of carefully receiving the pitch in such a way as to cause the umpire to call it a strike. That happens to be Posey’s most important defensive talent. Good framers turn pitches outside of the zone into strikes and keep pitches within the zone from being called incorrectly as balls. This ability, in turn, scares opposing batters into swinging at less-optimal pitches, making the impact of good framing significant. Our best estimates put a good framer as worth up to three or four wins per year.
So far this season, Posey has racked up 11.8 runs in value from his framing, more than an entire win’s worth to add to his total and putting him within a win of Trout. Catchers who consistently earn strikes where umps usually call balls are clearly good at manipulating the umpires, but there’s some mystery as to how good framers like Posey get those calls. I wanted to understand not just what Posey does when a pitch comes in, but also what he does that other catchers don’t do.
JULY 30: The Dodgers will indeed pay the final two installments of Olivera’s signing bonus, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That means the Braves are essentially taking on Olivera on a six-year, $32.5MM contract that began this season. He’s earning $2MM in 2015, of which about $754K remains, so their total financial commitment to him will be about $31.25MM over the course of five and a half years.
JULY 29: The Dodgers, Marlins and Braves have reportedly swung what appears to be one of the most complex three-team trades in recent history, though nothing will become official tonight. The “basic” structure of the deal (though there’s nothing basic about this move) is as follows: the Dodgers will receive right-hander Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Marlins. They’ll also add top prospect Jose Peraza and pitchers Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from the Braves. Atlanta, in turn, will receive Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, lefty Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird from the Dodgers. The Braves are also picking up Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A pick in next year’s draft (No. 35 overall). The Marlins will come out of this deal with three minor league pitchers — Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo — plus the financial relief of shedding the remaining $14.3MM that is owed to Latos and Morse.
“There’s a lot of baseball left, and there’s no point in looking at the standings because they don’t mean anything right now,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The game goes on through September, and there’s a lot of work to do. We’ve been through this.”
Three Giants—Bumgarner, Buster Posey (No. 3) and Hunter Pence (No. 6)—have their jerseys ranked in the top 10.
In less than three months in the league, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant ranks second. In fact, since making his debut, 15 signed cards of Bryant, who signed a memorabilia deal with Fanatics last week, have sold for more than $5,000 each.
1. Madison Bumgarner Giants
2. Kris Bryant Cubs
3. Buster Posey Giants
4. Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
5. Bryce Harper Nationals
6. Hunter Pence Giants
7. Mike Trout Angels
8. Matt Harvey Mets
9. David Ortiz Red Sox
10. Anthony Rizzo Cubsv
Youth continues to be a theme as six of the top 10-selling jerseys belong to players who are 26 or younger: Bumgarner (25), Bryant (23), No. 5 Bryce Harper (22), No. 7 Mike Trout (23), No. 8 Matt Harvey (26) and No. 10 Anthony Rizzo (25).
Some serious “Play The Game The Right Way Theatre” going on in San Diego last night, as benches cleared in the ninth inning of the Giants win over the Padres. The reason? These two teams like to throw gum at each other.
But even with so many teams still in contention, there will be impact players changing teams, possibly several of them. Reds ace Johnny Cueto could be the best, but there is a long list of others, including Cueto’s teammate Mike Leake.
My guess: The stalemate is going to continue, maybe right until the final days leading to the deadline. The buyers need a fuller picture of who exactly is available and how those pitchers are performing. The sellers, meanwhile, need the urgency of the deadline to spur action — and in some cases, more time to polish their goods.
I’m not talking about Hamels, who will return to his old self the moment he escapes the losing, angst-ridden environment in Philadelphia. But Cueto’s six-walk performance on Sunday likely renewed concerns for teams already worried about his elbow; his average fastball velocity of 92.68 mph was his second-lowest of the season, according to Brooksbaseball.net (the only game in which Cueto’s velocity was lower was on May 19, after which he missed a start due to stiffness in his elbow).
“The general manager’s job isn’t easy,” Duffy said, “and if you try to play GM, you’re going to go nuts.”
Last year Duffy was a shortstop in Double-A and, “I didn’t even expect to be called up last year. I thought I was capable of playing third and stepping in, but it wasn’t really on my mind at the time. I was just focused on being the best player I could be at Richmond, and whatever the organization saw fit for me next, my mind was always on the next level, Triple-A.”
“Prospect”? I think he should be running the organization!
The Giants have agreed to sign shortstop Lucius Fox to an approximately [$6 million] bonus, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Fox, who’ll officially sign out of the Bahamas, entered the July 2 period as a consensus top-five prospect.
This is a GREAT feature on Bobby Evans and his path to the GM job.
“In his sleep, he can do what’s needed as far as contracts and roster management,” Sabean said. “The next step is to become more immersed on the player personnel side. That’s acquired knowledge, and he didn’t come up through the field side. His biggest hurdle will be relationships — with Boch, with the major league staff, with players, because you are involved on a day to day basis. He has to be first and foremost plugged into the major league team, and I told him that. It’s incumbent upon him.”
Hunter Pence wasn’t sure if he’d need to go back on the disabled list. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is willing to wait a day.
This much is clear: Pence’s left wrist remained too sore to return to the Giants lineup Tuesday night as the club opens a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Pence felt more discomfort in his wrist when he tried to swing off a tee and take soft-toss batting practice.
As Pence himself noted, Tuesday would be the seventh day he hasn’t played. The Giants can backdate a player by as many as 10 days when they place them on the 15-day disabled list. And Pence wasn’t sure how much longer it would take his irritated tendon to calm down.
The mid-’80s were a terrible time for the San Francisco Giants. In 1984, the team lost 96 games and finished in last place — but no one on the roster had as horrible an experience as Wayne Doba. That season, the 33-year-old actor was selected to play the Giants’ first mascot. Well, not really a mascot, but an anti-mascot. The “Crazy Crab” was conceived as a satire of the mascot craze of the late ’70s that produced now-iconic characters like the Phillie Phanatic. The Giants’ Crab was not impressive to look at, and that was on purpose (they intentionally gave him a shabby foam costume and even went so far as to film a commercial in which then-manager Frank Robinson attempted to strangle him). When the Crab made his debut at Candlestick Park, the PA announcer would encourage fans to boo. It was an experiment unlike anything in professional sports
“A little sooner than we probably thought,” said Bochy, adding that the Giants decided to activate Pence “because of the way he feels, the way he’s been playing and swinging. He’s ready. The last couple of games have been really good for him. He said he never felt better, so he’s on his way.”
All-time home run king Barry Bonds is working on a lawsuit against MLB regarding his claim of collusion by teams that prevented him from obtaining a playing job following the 2007 season, people with knowledge of the case said.
Bonds has long contended that a collusion of MLB owners effectively ended his career following the ‘07 season, when he set the career home run record.
“Emotions are things you can somewhat control, especially since you can’t control when you get hit by a pitch in a certain way. So I tried to stay in positive spirits. I think I have some unrealistic expectations of coming back, but I don’t think it hurts to dream big. But the process, I just try to take it each moment, each day. Whatever they need me to do, whatever we can think of to intelligently get it going again. A lot of times you have to hold back because I want to push through a little more than it will allow you to.”
Burkett, an accomplished bowler for most of his life, is not a stranger to bowling in PBA competition, having bowled in a handful of Tour events since making his debut in 1990 in Pinole, Calif. He also competed in several regionals along the way, and most recently, he competed in PBA’s 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Resort Summer Swing and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as part of the process to get ready for PBA50 competition.
On April 12 he will join a field of approximately 120 players 50 years of age and older in the Pasco County Florida Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla.
George Plimpton observed that the smaller the ball, the better the writing about a sport. There is no great literature of bowling, but maybe this thread can be a start.