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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects: Conforto Coming? - BaseballAmerica.com

1. Michael Conforto, of, Mets

Update: Conforto raked at high Class A St. Lucie and has been even better since a promotion to Double-A Binghamton, slashing .317/.401/.518 in 43 games.

Prognosis: Drafted No. 10 overall just a year ago out of Oregon State, Conforto is forcing the Mets’ hand into considering a callup quicker than they would like. An inept offense and an injury to Michael Cuddyer have Conforto on the precipice of a major league stint and scouts believe his lefthanded bat and power to all fields will play.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2015 at 11:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, dodgers, mets, prospects, rangers, yankees

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dodgers’ Brett Anderson exits with injury | MLB.com

He has interesting injuries. I will give him that.

odgers starter Brett Anderson is no stranger to injuries. He’s had three surgeries throughout his Major League career and can list problems to his back, fingers, ankle, forearm and knee among his ailments.

But in the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night, the 27-year-old lefty felt discomfort in an area he’s never injured before: his left Achilles.
Anderson had to leave the game in the third inning after tweaking the tendon and feeling further discomfort as he came off the mound to field his position. He initially felt it on a chopper from Andrelton Simmons in the first inning, but the breaking point came in the third, when he went to field a swinging bunt from Jonny Gomes.
...
Even with Anderson’s injury history, there’s optimism that a DL stint won’t be necessary. Anderson said a doctor examined him after the game and found the tendon to be “intact” with no tear.
“There wasn’t a pop or anything like that,” Anderson said after the game, boot on his left foot. “It’s kind of a sketchy area, but hopefully I caught it soon enough where it’s not going to be a big issue. We’ll know more [Wednesday], but the level [of concern]—at least right now—is not too concerned.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, dodgers, injuries

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Robinson Cano more production fewer grounders | MLB.com

Baseball is a game of adjustments.

That’s the kind of solid contact that ought to lead to production, but confoundingly for Cano, it didn’t. But over the past 30 days, Cano has looked like the star we saw in New York. You might expect that he has been hitting the ball harder, and indeed he has. But perhaps just as important, Cano has changed his average launch angle. That is, he’s stopped pounding the ball into the ground, or pumping out low and easily-caught liners, and managed some elevation behind those hard-hit balls.

April 6 through June 19
.245/.284/.337   2 home runs
Average exit velocity: 88.74 mph
Average launch angle: 6.79 degrees

June 20 through July 20
.280/.318/.540   7 home runs
Average exit velocity: 91.54 mph
Average launch angle: 9.14 degrees

What’s “launch angle,” you ask? It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s simply measuring the angle that the ball comes off the bat. A negative exit angle means a grounder or a very low liner; a positive one is higher in the air. A launch angle of zero degrees would be directly back at the spot where the pitcher released the ball.
That’s important because for the first few months, Cano was hitting grounders like he’d never done before, which is part of why that solid contact wasn’t leading to extra-base hits. Excessive grounders may work well for low-power speed demons like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon, but for Cano, it just meant that he was depriving himself of his highest-value hits. Let’s go back to that same date range, this time showing his splits between liners, grounders, and fly balls.

April 6 through June 19
Line drive %: 23.6
Grounder %: 52.8
Fly ball %: 23.6

June 20 through July 20
Line drive %: 23.5
Grounder %: 43.2
Fly ball %: 33.3

As you can see, the line-drive rate didn’t change, but Cano has dropped 10 percentage points from his ground-ball rate and put that toward his fly-ball rate, confirming what launch angle is showing. Since Cano is hitting just .182 on grounders, this look suits him much better.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2015 at 02:57 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano, sabermetrics, statcast

Monday, July 20, 2015

Full Count: Trade deadline looming | FOX Sports

Robothal’s latest.

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).


Sunday, July 19, 2015


Video: Kershaw strikes out 14 | MLB.com

He was nasty last night.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chairman Mark Walter backs Yasiel Puig, says yes, Dodgers can improve - LA Times

I wonder if a trade would light a fire under Puig?

While there is increased skepticism within the organization as to whether Puig’s production will ever match his talent, Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter remains optimistic.

“I wouldn’t give up on him now,” said Walter, the team’s controlling owner.

Walter said his backing of Puig is based not on the player’s marketability, but on how he thinks Puig will develop as a player.

“I think he’s just going to be a great player,” Walter said.

Walter pointed to a groundout by Puig last week in a home game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

“If you watch him, he’s playing hard,” Walter said. “Did you see that squibbler? He ran his butt off. He almost got there too.”

Walter continued, “Puig clearly, clearly has incredible potential and talent. And I think he’s got a big heart and wants to play hard. So I think that will show up.”

However, Walter said that if the front office decides it should trade Puig, he wouldn’t prevent it from doing so.

“It’d be dumb for me to hire them and tell them what to do,” Walter said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 17, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seattle Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson smacks fifth career grand slam for Jackson Generals | MiLB.com

Who is the Mariners’ minor league hitting instructor?

Just two levels shy of the Major Leagues, D.J. Peterson made some tweaks to his swing this offseason to try take those final steps. After a disappointing first half, he was left trying to clean up his own mess.

...

“I think maybe in the offseason, I was trying to do a little too much,” he said. “I tweaked something and built a bad habit and took a long time to get out of it.”

Peterson has attempted to bust out of the slump in the video room. He’s studied video of his college days at New Mexico and from earlier in his professional career, noting that his hand positioning and other mechanics were different this season.

The 12th overall pick in the 2013 Draft set a season high with three homers in June and has a .259 average in July. The improvements have been small but steadily for the 6-foot-1 infielder.

“I had to figure out where I’d been with my load, where my hands were, to get back to where I was then,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to find my swing, where it was. I think the last couple months ... I’m starting to feel it a little better, find my swing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 16, 2015 at 11:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: d.j. peterson, mariners, prospect

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why MLB Can’t Stop the Dodgers From Spending Truckloads of Money on International Free Agents: A Guide

When MLB first implemented these rules, the expectation was that we’d see no more than a few million go into the league’s kitty, since the penalties would discourage teams from going over their budgets. After this most recent July 2 period, the penalty fund since the new system was put in place has now exceeded $80 million — and might even be considerably higher. Since nobody planned for this, nobody knows what to do with all of that cash. For now, it just belongs to Major League Baseball, and it’s more or less just sitting there.

...

The stated benefit of an international draft will be that lousy teams stand to gain (as they do in the amateur draft). An international draft — coupled with the kind of stiff penalties that exist in the amateur draft — would likely curb the ability of rich teams like the Dodgers and Yankees to run roughshod over their poorer rivals, thus helping competitive balance. But the main reason for the draft would be to put more money back into teams’ pockets.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 11, 2015 at 01:48 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jonah keri

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw does not belong in the All-Star game

This take is so hot it might melt your computer.

Oh, please, stop your whining. Clayton Kershaw was not selected to be a National League All-Star. The sporting world still spins.

Here’s a real news break for you — he shouldn’t be.

It’s supposed to be a game featuring the players having the best first halves of the season, not having really good seasons. There shouldn’t be any free pass based on past excellence. It’s an All-Star game, not a lifetime achievement award.

This is about 2015. And in 2015, Kershaw has been really good, which is not good enough to be invited to Cincinnati.

His earned-run average is good, but not special. His WHIP — walks plus hits per innings pitched — is very good, though not approaching the numbers he put up the last two seasons.

Then, of course, there is his win-loss record, 6-6 after Wednesday’s game, which we’re just supposed to discard because sometimes pitchers pick up cheap wins or underserved losses. And because, you know, the sabermetric people told us we should do so.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Robinson Cano’s trying year: Lingering illness, grandfather’s death test him

I see an endorsement for Prilosec in his future.

In a Spanish-language conversation with USA Today Sports, Cano provided some previously undisclosed details about a stomach ailment that has sapped his energy. He also spoke of the impact of losing his paternal grandfather, Ovidio, who died of lung cancer in March, calling him, “like a second father to me.’‘

Cano, 32, said he was especially reluctant to talk about the stomach problem because it might be perceived as making excuses for his poor performance. Nobody likes to hear excuses from a player earning $24 million a year.

If nothing else, though, his revelation sheds light on the challenges that come with playing at the elite level Cano established for the majority of his previous 10 seasons.

“When things go well, people like everything you do,’’ Cano said. “When things don’t go well, people look for 1,001 explanations, and they don’t understand you’re a human being.’‘

Cano was in the midst of his sixth All-Star season last year when he started experiencing stomach discomfort in August. With the Mariners in the playoff chase, he didn’t get it checked until their season was over, in October. Cano said he was told he had a common parasite, which was treated with antibiotics, but he was left with acid reflux to this day.

“It still affects me,’’ Cano said. “Sometimes you drink water and it makes you feel like vomiting. I can’t eat the same way I did. It’s hard to deal with, especially being the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I eat only once a day before playing, because I feel full. And you just don’t have the same energy.’‘

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 12:16 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Justin Turner cites philosophical differences for Mets departure

Former Mets utilityman and current Dodgers star Justin Turner cited philosophical differences as a reason why he and the Mets’ front office did not always get along. Turner, who played for the Mets from 2010-2013, says that his approach at the plate clashed with the organizational philosophy promoted by General Manager Sandy Alderson.

“[Alderson] is a ‘Moneyball’ guy,” Turner said to ESPN Los Angeles. “I don’t know if ‘Looking to walk’ is the right way of saying it, but he talks about on-base percentage. I’m never looking to walk. Sometimes when you miss pitches you should hit, you end up walking. I wasn’t worried about on-base percentage or anything like that. I was just trying to have good at-bats.”

The 30-year-old third baseman was non-tendered by the Mets in December 2013 after the team’s front office reportedly felt that Turner had not hustled during his tenure with the team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner, mets, moneyball, sandy alderson

Notes: Rangers will need to get creative to move Choo | FOX Sports

I don’t think he’s representing Kenny’s beliefs but maybe I’m not reading Kenny right. Intangibles are real. They are just really difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Some sabermetricians — I’m talking to you, Brian Kenny — dismiss the significance of intangibles, contending they are impossible to quantify and insignificant to winning.

Well, I wish Kenny could have heard Mets manager Terry Collins talk about the lift that David Wright gave his teammates upon meeting them at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Wright had been away from the club while rehabilitating from spinal stenosis in Los Angeles. But he remains the Mets’ biggest star, the face of the organization, and his absence has left the team with more than just a void on the field.

Collins described the mood as “completely different” with Wright in the room, saying the players were laughing more, talking louder. No one would suggest that Wright’s presence is the reason the Mets won two of three from the Dodgers. But these things matter, more than some people think.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2015 at 07:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, marlin byrd, mets, notes, rangers

Monday, July 06, 2015

The stories behind Dodgers’ deep-seated Yasiel Puig resentment | New York Post

So a few of the arguments were with Zach Greinke. Huh.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 06, 2015 at 07:35 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Friday, July 03, 2015

Say hey, baseball: The Dodgers don’t care about your dumb spending limits - SBNation.com

The Dodgers had a budget of $2,020,300 to spend, the fourth-lowest in the game. On Thursday alone, they signed two players who would have busted that budget by themselves, and a third who would have come close: Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez signed for $16 million, while Starling Heredia and Ronny Brito agreed to bonuses of $2.6 million and $2 million, respectively. What’s even better about all this is that the Dodgers signed nine players total, but we don’t yet know the bonuses for four of them. Oh, and there are 11 months left in this signing period: the Dodgers are already $20 million over budget, and guaranteed to go higher than that. And that doesn’t count the 100 percent tax on their spending that they’ll owe. Yup, the Dodgers casually dropped over $40 million yesterday, from a starting point of just over $2 million.

You have to appreciate the audacity of it all, though, especially since Los Angeles used a portion of their allotted budget to trade for other players yesterday as well. The $2,020,300 allowed for them is actually broken into smaller chunks, which can be dealt to other teams. So, since the Dodgers were over budget anyway and there is no extra penalty for being even further over, they sent more than half of their assigned budget elsewhere to teams trying to follow the rules. One wonders if the owners who were trying to cut spending/hoard their money regret their lack of foresight right about now.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 03, 2015 at 10:06 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, international players

Monday, June 29, 2015

This is Vin Scully’s 66th season broadcasting Dodgers games. Really.

He’s seasoned enough that he fields one question before it’s asked: “If anybody asks me about longevity, I would say I have my mother’s genes, and she lived to be 97. So that’s the only idea. I mean, I don’t have any secrets like, ‘Well, I’ve lived this long because I eat tapioca every day.’ No.” He’s seasoned enough that he once played center field in a Fordham-Yale game during which George Herbert Walker Bush, who turned 91 this month, played the opposing first base. “Mr. President,” Scully once said to Bush during a golf round, “as long as you’re in the White House, remember, you can say anything you want about your baseball career, but remember the day that we played each other, we both went 0 for 3.”

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 29, 2015 at 07:58 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, dodgers

Mattingly challenges Puig to adjust to pitchers

I don’t know what Mattingly is on about.  Puig had a 159 OPS+ in year 1, 143 last year, 141 so far this year.  His K-rate has improved every year (16.5% in this year’s small sample), the walk rate is high.  OK, he probably won’t see that first-year HR rate again but in the article, Mattingly says he’s not a HR hitter anyway.  Puig’s 1200 PA into his career and if pitchers haven’t found the solution yet ...

Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, yasiel puig

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Brett Anderson Pitches Dodgers Past Slumping Marlins 7-1 - The New York Times

Brett Anderson has made 15 starts without exploding!

Brett Anderson tied a career high with 10 strikeouts and allowed only one fly ball in seven innings Friday night to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-1 victory over the Miami Marlins, who lost their fifth straight game.

Giancarlo Stanton may be hurt, though.

Stanton winced as he swung and missed for strike three in the ninth. He said he hurt his hand earlier in the game, and the injury progressively became more painful.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2015 at 07:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, dodgers

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chris Perez suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

Chris Perez, former All-Star closer for the Indians, was charged with misdemeanor drug possession back in 2013 when a package of marijuana turned up at his house in Ohio addressed to his dog.

Perez is a free agent now, having been released from the Brewers’ Triple-A team in late April. But the 29-year-old right-hander just got popped again for drugs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2015 at 11:28 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, chris perez, dodgers, drugs, indians, marijuana, suspensions

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lookout Landing: Mariners reassign Howard Johnson, name Edgar Martinez hitting coach

The greatest hitter in franchise history is now charged with turning around the team’s struggling offense.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dodgers pitcher complains about heat at Rangers’ park; is lack of roof a problem?

Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson doesn’t like the Texas heat.

“No clue why you would ever want to pitch for the Rangers,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “The climate is beyond awful.” …

The lack of a retractable roof at Globe Life Park is the one big issue that could force the Rangers to seek out a new home, whether in Arlington or elsewhere.

The Dallas Morning News spins the pitcher’s comment toward the factor that may make the Arlington ballpark “obsolete” after just 20 years: no AC. 

Oddly enough, it was a very mild couple of nights here for the Dodgers series, seasonably quite cool.  These guys oughta try a day game in August.

BDC Posted: June 18, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hades, rangers, stadium renovations, weather

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

FBI probe of Cardinals makes it fair to question series with Dodgers - LA Times

So, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about in two sports.

Just call them the New England Cardinals … or maybe the St. Louis Patriots … or maybe just call them phonies in the wake of a New York Times report that they are being investigated by the FBI for hacking computer networks and stealing information about the Houston Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 17, 2015 at 06:47 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

September 9, 1965: ‘A million butterflies’ and one perfect game for Sandy Koufax | SABR

Includes a link to Vin Scully’s call of the last three outs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, no hitters, sandy koufax

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bryce Harper a future Yankee? Dodgers may have something to say about that - LA Times

He won’t be a free agent for another 3.5 plus seasons. This speculation is more than a little premature.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2015 at 07:56 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, nationals, yankees

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