Jonah Keri Newsbeat
Thursday, September 24, 2015
A look back at the big three pitchers of the Oakland A’s.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
“Everyone was so focused on the rotation and bullpen,” Anthopoulos said. “But we felt we could still get better defensively and offensively. You can make a case that certain position players are worth more than starters, and Tulo is one of those players.”
Anthopoulos checked in with Bridich in May. At that point, the Rockies GM said he’d be open to taking Jose Reyes back in the deal if Colorado could nab a few of Toronto’s many quality pitching prospects. Talks continued for a few weeks, and once the All-Star break ended, concrete trade proposals and counterproposals began to form. Finally, on July 28, the two sides agreed to the deal that shocked the baseball world. In addition to Reyes, the Rockies landed top pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman and two other talented young arms, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco. The Jays got Hawkins and their white whale.
“I looked at it like this: This is one of the best players in baseball,” Anthopoulos said. “Players like that don’t become available. They sign 10-year contracts and become the face of a franchise. It wasn’t an easy decision. It was weird, the process was long and stressful … but it was also a lot of fun.”
Saturday, July 11, 2015
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.
Friday, May 15, 2015
I WANT TO BELIEVE
More broadly, Hosmer is hitting the ball harder and killing worms less often than ever before: His ground ball rate sits at 46.8 percent, and he’s on pace to hit into fewer double plays than in any previous season. Meanwhile, he’s been a line-drive machine, whacking liners at a career-high rate of 26.1 percent.3 Not coincidentally, he’s hitting the ball harder than he has in three years,4 and he’s pulling the ball more than ever before (38.5 percent of the time).
Even though Hosmer is tearing the cover off the ball and pitchers are scared to pitch to him, we still can’t quite assume he’s turned the corner for good and become the perennial All-Star everyone expected when the Royals drafted him seven years ago. For one thing, he’s homered on 23.3 percent of the fly balls he’s hit this year. While a stronger, more experienced, more disciplined hitter would be expected to convert more fly balls into homers, that figure is so far above Hosmer’s career average of 11.8 percent5 that we should probably expect some pullback there.
Still, given all the progress in Hosmer’s skill set, you can start to get at least a little excited.
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