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Hideo Nomo, Kaz Sasaki, Dodgers, Mariners Newsbeat

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik

This could be the sixth-best job that opens up this year.

Here’s the statement from Mariners president Kevin Mather:

“We have reached the point when change of leadership of our baseball operations is needed for the Seattle Mariners to reach our goal of winning championships. We are very disappointed with the results this season, and are not satisfied with the current operation. The search for a permanent general manager will begin immediately, and while there is no deadline, we expect to have a new GM in place as soon as practical.”

“We have great respect for Jack and his work ethic. He was an excellent representative of the Mariners both within the game of baseball and in the community. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish him and (his wife) Debbie all the best, and thank him for all his efforts.”
 
Assistant general manager Jeff Kingston will serve as the interim general manager for the remainder of the season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 28, 2015 at 12:33 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: jack zduriencik, mariners

SI: Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik

The Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001 and never finished a season higher than third place in the division under Zduriencik’s direction.

Entering Friday, Seattle sits 12 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West division with their 59-69 record.

But what about the weight room?

Monty Posted: August 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Los Angeles Dodgers can hit and get on base—so why can’t they score? | FOX Sports

The way I figure, it comes to four things. Very slightly, the Dodgers have underachieved with men on base. They’ve been a bad baserunning team. They’ve very infrequently reached on errors. And then some of this is probably just simple bad luck. Combine those and I imagine you can account for the missing half-run a game. You at least get close. That’s why the Dodgers haven’t scored as many runs as you’d think.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 10:25 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, sabermetrics

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Schoenfield: Trying to figure out Don Mattingly and the Dodgers

I agree with Schoenfield: Absent a World Series ring, Mattingly is going, going, gone.

That brings us to the latest maneuverings of manager Don Mattingly. After Mattingly spent a few weeks screwing around with Yasiel Puig by occasionally sitting him to get Carl Crawford some at-bats, the manager has now benched rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, with Enrique Hernandez—who had been filling in at second due to the injury to Howie Kendrick—moving to center so Chase Utley can play second. The Dodgers, who emphasized better defense with their offseason acquisitions (although that hasn’t worked out as planned, since the Dodgers are 23rd in the majors in defensive runs saved), arguably weakened their defense at two positions, right when they’re playing a crucial stretch of baseball. (I don’t say that with certainty; Pederson is probably average-ish defensively and Hernandez may be as well, despite limited experience at the position. Utley’s diminished range is almost certainly a drop from Hernandez at second, however.)

It’s easy to see why Mattingly benched Pederson. The rookie hit .169 in July. He’s hitting .122 in August. Pederson, however, has drawn 20 walks in August and has a .413 OBP. He told Mark Saxon that he understands the demotion. But ... well, I’ll turn it over to Joe Sheehan, who wrote yesterday:

“What makes Mattingly’s decision all the more incomprehensible is his continued commitment to Jimmy Rollins at the top of the lineup. Rollins has been a replacement-level player this season, batting .223/.275/.361 with below-average defense at shortstop and an abysmal 9/7 [ratio of stolen bases to caught stealing]. It’s Rollins who replaced Pederson atop the Dodgers lineup, leading off in 21 of the last 22 games. In that time, he’s batting .269/.299/.398—a performance inferior to Pederson’s in that time. A leadoff hitter with a .299 OBP is actively hurting your offense. It’s 2015, and there’s an MLB manager unable to see past batting average to build his lineup.”

That’s what’s most stunning to me: The Dodgers, with like 26 general managers in the front office, are watching Mattingly bat his worst hitter leadoff. How does that make sense? As he did with Puig, Mattingly seems to get easily frustrated with young players, and can’t look past a small sample size to see long-term production trends. The roots of Pederson’s recent struggles with his batting average and his current benching go back in some fashion to spring training, when the Dodgers were concerned about his violent, all-or-nothing approach at the plate.

Of course, keep in mind that Mattingly’s style as a hitter was basically the exact opposite of Pederson’s. Mattingly rarely walked and rarely struck out. Pederson waits and waits and waits for his pitch and tries to jack it out, but he pays the price with a high strikeout rate. Mattingly’s swing was smooth and effortless. Note: Even with his recent struggles, Pederson has a .357 on-base percentage on the season. Mattingly’s career OBP? .358.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, on-base percentage

Monday, August 24, 2015

Joc Pederson of Los Angeles Dodgers loses spot in lineup

Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments.

Joc Pederson was a rookie of the year front-runner and the starting center fielder for the National League All-Star team, but a protracted slump has cost him his starting job with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manager Don Mattingly said Enrique Hernandez will take over the center-field job until further notice. Hernandez was in the starting lineup against the Houston Astros for the second straight day and will face right-hander Lance McCullers on Sunday.
...
Pederson, 23, is hitting .163 with a .333 on-base percentage and .293 slugging percentage since the All-Star break. For the season, he is batting .214 with a .798 OPS and has struck out in 29.4 percent of his plate appearances.

Of his 23 home runs, 20 came before the break. Pederson finished as the runner-up to Todd Frazier in the home run derby the day before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, joc pederson

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Astros, Dodgers try to be smart, but mistakes more affordable for L.A. - Houston Chronicle

At the core, being better at player evaluation than your opponent is the most important attribute of any great organization. Having a lot of cash, though, let’s you wallpaper over mistakes, at least in the short-term.

When Boston was in town in July, Ben Cherington was still its GM. In a long session with reporters, he made an observation related to his own failures.

“Every team’s talent is more evenly distributed,” said Cherington, who has since left the Red Sox. “Every team has access to information. It’s a very sort of flat world, so you have to find ways to build advantages any way you can. Obviously, we haven’t done a good job of that the last two years.”

Friedman surveyed the landscape similarly.

“I do think that competitive balance is at its apex as you look back at least over the last 20 years,” he said. “I think things are at least becoming more efficient, and as things become efficient, it’s more difficult to find an advantage. What’s exciting about what we do on a daily basis: trying to figure out different advantages and different benefits, even on the margins.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, astros, dodgers, general managers, jeff luhnow

Mariners designate Rodney for assignement | MLB.com

Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, who lost his closer’s role in Seattle two and a half months ago, was designated for assignment after Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the White Sox, as the Mariners made a flurry of moves to shuffle their beleaguered bullpen.

Rodney, 38, didn’t pitch Saturday, but has struggled all season and was 5-5 with a 5.68 ERA and six blown saves in 22 opportunities this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando rodney, mariners

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Madden: Who’s the boss now? Helter-skelter dealing and spending by Dodgers and Red Sox make Yankees

Unbelievable.

As for Castillo (.286/.318/.415, three steals, three doubles in 46 games entering Saturday), he spent most of the season either at Triple-A or on the disabled list, obviously falling far short of the 2015 projections (31 doubles, 22 HR, 32 steals) by Bill James, Red Sox owner John Henry’s resident sabermetrics fraud. James, who ought to be Dombrowski’s first “exit velo” candidate, also projected Allen Craig — whom Cherington acquired last summer from the Cardinals with pitcher Joe Kelly for John Lackey in one of the worst trades in Red Sox history — to hit .280 with 30 doubles, 15 homers and a .280 average. Craig ($5.5M) is at Triple-A Pawtucket and Kelly was pitching to a 6.11 ERA through Aug. 1, while Lackey, earning just $502,000 due to a special covenant in his contract, is having one of his best seasons (10-7, 2.87 ERA/1.201 WHIP) for the Cardinals.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2015 at 08:12 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, red sox, yankees

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chase Utley Agrees to Dodgers Trade.

Chase Utley, whose 13-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies included five All-Star appearances and the club’s first World Series championship since 1980, agreed to a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has been agreed upon, but not finalized. The Phillies will receive a pair of mid-level prospects from the Dodgers, who will also receive $2 million to help offset the remainder of the $15 million Utley is paid this season.

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: August 19, 2015 at 07:57 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, trades

Clayton Kershaw Slams Ball on Field, Throws It into Dugout in Frustration | Bleacher Report

I assume time was already called. I am surprised the umpire didn’t even come out to talk to him.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 19, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Prospect Purgatory: How Seattle’s Inability to Develop Talent Doomed a Once-Promising Season «

But the biggest reason the M’s have fallen on their faces this year is the same factor that has essentially torpedoed the entirety of GM Jack Zduriencik’s tenure and the same one that makes their outlook so murky: They’re terrible at developing prospects.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 15, 2015 at 11:14 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Friday, August 14, 2015

Early returns haven’t been good for Dodgers - True Blue LA

Break up the Dodgers front office.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, trade deadline

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kuma KO’s O’s, Joins No-No Club.

Hisashi Iwakuma tossed the fifth no-hitter in Mariners history in a 3-0 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday at Safeco Field, becoming just the second Japanese pitcher (Hideo Nomo was the first) in Major League history to throw a no-no.

In the process of throwing his first career no-hitter, it was also the first complete game of Iwakuma’s career. Iwakuma fanned seven and walked only three batters in tossing the first American League no-hitter since his teammate, Felix Hernandez, threw a perfect game against the Rays on Aug. 15, 2012.

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: August 12, 2015 at 09:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, no hitters

Casella: Best MLB Rotations of Past 30 Years

Who would have guessed that all of the best pitching staffs came from the NL?  Have fun beating up on opposing pitchers while the real teams face line-ups with 9 guys who can hit.

Chris Fluit Posted: August 12, 2015 at 09:13 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nationals, phillies, roy halladay

Keri: How Seattle’s Inability to Develop Talent Doomed a Once-Promising Season

Poor results from the #6 organization.

Pinpointing why, exactly, the M’s have failed to usher top prospects into big league prominence is a tougher task. In hindsight, trying to emulate the big-bat/bad-defense approach that got Zduriencik players like Fielder and Weeks looks like it was a bad blueprint in spacious Safeco Field, where slow, unathletic players like Smoak and Montero became bad fits. A lack of viable alternatives led to rushing players like Zunino. And banking on positional nomads like Franklin and Ackley was already a risky play, one made much worse when both players forgot how to hit.

One of the hidden advantages among the best organizations in baseball is that they all have a collection of ace minor league instructors and coaches. These people serve as key cogs in the development machine, and they can be hired and retained for relative pennies compared to the eventual impact they have on the big league squad. Granted, it’s nearly impossible to isolate Seattle’s minor league staff and put all the blame on them. Plus, bad luck and subpar scouting could be playing a big role, too.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2015 at 01:10 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: jack zduriencik, mariners

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dodgers fast-tracking a ‘speed camp’ to develop designated runners - LA Times

They won’t be Herb Washington.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 02:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, herb washington

Mariners notebook: McClendon says rookie can shake off shaky start by not shaking off catcher | The News Tribune

A day after Lloyd McClendon gave a blunt evaluation of Mike Montgomery’s start against the Rangers — “a bad outing,” the Seattle Mariners manager called it, adding “I’m very disappointed” — no words were minced in the skipper’s office Sunday morning.

At issue isn’t so much Montgomery’s pitches but his demeanor between throwing them.

“One of the things this kid’s got to understand is that when he came to the big leagues, the catcher put down a sign and he threw a pitch,” McClendon said. “Now he’s thinking too much — too much shaking off. That’s not acceptable.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike montgomery

Fruits of Los Angeles Dodgers’ trades haven’t been promising so far - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report - ESPN

A week after the deal is certainly enough time to judge a deal. Or not.

Apparently, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi was a big believer in Johnson’s recovery from that career low, because—six months after leaving Beane’s umbrella—he traded for Johnson again. It’s fair to say Johnson has not been a walking billboard for the efficacy of the Dodgers’ new general manager. Not that Zaidi didn’t have reason to believe in Johnson again. Many of his numbers—including strikeout-to-walk ratio and fielding independent pitching (FIP)—had returned to his 2012 form in Baltimore, where he saved 51 games.

Asked if Johnson was the same guy who put up those numbers in Atlanta, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, “I think it is. Obviously, he was really good in Atlanta this year, which tells you you think he’s going to be really good with you. I think we still believe that, we still have confidence in that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: deadline trades, dodgers

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Jamie Moyer going into Mariners Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Crazy.

At the age of 30, with a 34-54 record in the big leagues and having spent the bulk of the 1991 and ‘92 seasons in the Minor Leagues, Moyer thought it might be time to get on with life outside of baseball. Digger Phelps, his father-in-law, didn’t agree.
....
Moyer finished his career with the Rockies in 2012 at the age of 49, and he compiled a 269-209 career record, 35th on the all-time wins list. And he did the heavy lifting after turning 30.

His 235 victories tie him with another former Mariners pitcher, Randy Johnson, for fifth on the all-time list for wins at the age of 30 and older, which is three behind Gaylord Perry, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He’s the only member of the Top 10 on that list not enshrined in Cooperstown.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 09, 2015 at 11:51 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: jamie moyer, mariners

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Seattle on a roll, wins 3rd in row | The News Tribune

The Mariners may be hot and may be *only* six games back. They also have *seven* teams between them and the spot.

Wild card standings

Jim Furtado Posted: August 05, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, wild card

Monday, August 03, 2015

Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten knows not to rush to judgment after trading deadline - The Orange County Register

Some trade deadline perspective from Stan Kasten, a guy who has been around forever.

“Every stock that has ever been sold in the history of the world has been sold by someone who thought it was going down to someone who thought it was going up,” Dodgers team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “It’s always a function of an intersection of needs and plans.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, trades

Friday, July 31, 2015

With money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t - Yahoo Sports

The Dodgers are very smart.

By absorbing about $15 million from the Marlins – the struggling Morse is owed $8 million next season – Los Angeles paid more than $40 million in contracts for which it has no use. This is where money is best spent, because swallowing others’ problematic contracts or fronting money for valuable players allows the Dodgers to ask for premium talent in return, and in Wood and Peraza, it got just that.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2015 at 03:45 PM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lookout Landing: Ackley Traded to Yankees for Flores and Ramirez

There’s no way to dress this up: That Dustin Ackley’s career as a Mariner ended with him being traded for one fringe 4th OF and a relief pitcher with a horrendous walk rate and iffy health history is a real shame.

Oop Ackley, as Bill the Cat might say.


Dodgers To Acquire Latos, Wood, Jim Johnson In 3-Team Deal; Olivera To Braves - MLB Trade Rumors

Another interesting late night deal.

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 08:57 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, giants

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


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