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Friday, April 29, 2016

Pipeline Inbox: 2016 MLB Draft questions | MLB.com

The Draft is just six weeks away and we’re kicking up MLBPipeline.com’s coverage a few notches today by updating and expanding our Top Prospects list to 100. I also wrote an overview of the top talent available, and Jonathan Mayo will break down options for the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick Friday. On Monday, we’ll both speculate as to how the first 10 choices could unfold. Then on Tuesday, I’ll detail the prospects whose stock has risen and fallen the most since the start of the year.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 01:48 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, prospects

Minor League Baseball Toolshed: Big week for pitching prospect promotions | MiLB.com

Some good guys on the way. After seeing him pitch a couple of times, I’m very high on Cody Reed.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 11:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Someone stole a 14-foot Royals player off a billboard - SBNation.com

Please put it back.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Rough start for MN Twins’ John Ryan Murphy

Murphy’s line-drive rate had dropped to just 7.4 percent, well off his career average (22.1 percent). His flyball rate was 48.1 percent, well above his typical 35.0 percent, and his hard-contact rate had dropped to 17.1 percent from a career mark of 27.1 percent.

This, too, it seems he’d rather not know.

“The way the game is now, there’s probably an overload of information,” he said. “I think every player is a little bit different. You have to understand what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: john ryan murphy, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-29-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 29, 1916:

Charles Wagner laid down his tools in the riveting department of the Hale & Kilburn plant and munched an apple. The proximity of the Athletics’ ball park stirred him to action.

“Play ball,” he said to a fellow-workman, Daniel Dougherty, as the latter assumed a Ty Cobbesque pose with a hammer as a bat.

He threw the core of the apple toward Dougherty, who, in attempting to single to right, let the hammer slip from his hands. It struck Wagner in the head, necessitating his removal to the Samaritan Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull.

Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t play baseball with an apple and a hammer. It may seem like a good idea, but I assure you it is not.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 29, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, stupid ideas

Miami Herald: MLB has suspended Dee Gordon for 80 games after he tested positive for PEDs

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, the National League’s reigning batting champion, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The suspension is effective immediately.

An email with the news was sent out at 1:17 a.m. by the commissioner’s office – not long after the Marlins completed a four-game sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles with a 5-3 win Thursday.

The statement said Gordon, who signed a five-year, $50 million extension in January, tested positive for “for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, performance-enhancing substances, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”

Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: April 29, 2016 at 02:02 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, oops, peds, suspension

4-29-16 OMNICHATTER

A OMNICHATTER of Crows

Gamingboy Posted: April 29, 2016 at 12:15 AM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Perry: Quintana is Emerging as Second White Sox Ace

In each of the last three full seasons, [Jose Quintana]‘s topped 200 innings and put up a K/BB ratio of 3.41. He’s done that despite over his career pitching almost half his innings in homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field and ceding the platoon advantage to 73.7 percent of the batters he’s faced.

As well, Quintana is in his age-27 season at present, so it’s possible his peak has not yet been realized. (His slight bump in fastball and sinker velocity this season, during a month when gun readings tend to be down, is something to watch on this front.) If that’s the case, then the White Sox may well have a pair of aces under contract through 2019.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 28, 2016 at 01:06 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, pitching, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2016

Bemidji Daily Pioneer, April 28, 1916:

BIBLICAL BASEBALL.

Abel made the first hit; Adam and Eve retired on the first double play; Adam was the first man up. Noah on deck; Abel made the first sacrifice; Noah issued the first rain checks; Eve displayed the first curve; Moses took the first team to a training camp; Elijah’s bears were the original cubs; Reuben was caught stealing by Joseph; Joseph was the first player sold; Lazarus died at first; Laban was the first contract jumper; Elijah’s chariot was the first coach; the dove was the first foul out. When you make a home run after the game, refresh yourself with golden grain juice. Try it. It “satisfies.”

Zacchaeus had season tickets next to Bob Uecker. Julio Franco was Methuselah’s first manager. The serpent was the first to turn two.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Meet Ronald Herrera, the Yankees’ pet pitching prospect | New York Post

And it is not just the Yankees who appreciate him. This is from an opposing scout: “He is a medium-body right-hander who looks generic as hell. The stuff is not overpowering, but the pitchability and command are both so good. He is so poised, especially for his age. I love his makeup. I love how he mixes pitches. He is a big-league starting pitcher.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ronald herrera, yankees

Silverman: Red Sox should stick with Steven Wright in rotation | Boston Herald

Steven Wright is the real deal.

Let’s not lose our shirts just because Steven Wright joined Rick Porcello and David Price in the “I, too, shut down the Braves lineup” club last night.

Let’s, however, start banging the drum for Wright to establish permanent residency in the Red Sox rotation.

For a guy who described himself as a starter “by default” just because Eduardo Rodriguez got hurt during spring training, Wright has seized the opportunity to become the most consistent, reliable and arguably the best starter on the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, steven wright

Ted Cruz the latest victim of politicians trying to talk sports | NBC SportsWorld

I don’t care about a politicians’ sports opinions. I care even less about the political views of sportswriters.

And no, this isn’t another OTP thread. Frankly, just like I’m sure you don’t care about mine, I don’t care much about your political views either.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Jake Arrieta sounds off on Cubs future, PED rumblings: ‘Some people are idiots’

A little late on this story.

Sorry about the paucity of links the last few days. A family member has been dealing with a medical issue the last few days and I’ve been busy providing support. Luckily she’s now fine and her prognosis is good.

I’ve heard players, and I’m talking about some of the best players in the league,’’ Arrieta told USA TODAY Sports, “question whether I’ve taken steroids or not. Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly.

“I’ll see on Twitter, ‘My close source revealed to me he’s on steroids.’ Well, the 10 tests I take a year say otherwise. I eat plants. I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way.

“If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way.

“There are so many people that are counting on you, and leaning on all of us in this clubhouse to do some special things for the city of Chicago. To jeopardize that by taking banned substances, would be a ridiculous mistake.’’

He laughs at the cynicism and innuendo, without displaying the slightest hint of anger.

“Hey, that’s one of the best compliments you can give a guy,’’ he says. “I appreciate the fact that you think I’m pretty good, but taking steroids, that’s pushing it.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, peds

The Most and Least Generous Strike Zones | FanGraphs Baseball

Not that it’s helped the Astros much.

A big chunk of this is about catcher framing. But you also have run-of-the-mill luck, and plus there’s pitcher identity to take into account. Some pitchers just earn better zones than others, typically because they possess better command. Now, these numbers aren’t perfect, because the PITCHf/x system isn’t perfect. So this isn’t gospel, but below are my results. To this point, the Astros have pitched to the most generous zone. The White Sox have pitched to the least generous zone. That already tells you this isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it’s definitely a thing in the world.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Cooperstown Confidential: Baseball’s Facebook Phenomenon – The Hardball Times

As someone who spends a good deal of time on Facebook, I can tell you full well the benefits that it provides for someone who likes to spout opinions on our National Pastime. If something catches my attention, particularly if it is a current day issue that annoys me (like the recent Adam LaRoche affair), Facebook is a quick and ready outlet that allows for some candid venting. I used to host a sports talk show, which gave me a nightly forum for such ranting, but that’s something from the long ago. Facebook has filled that talk show gap for me, even if on a smaller scale.

So if you’re on Facebook, and you get a friend request from someone named Jim Gosger, do something smart and don’t turn it down.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: facebook, history

Let’s just put the coronation of the Cubs on hold a minute | FOX Sports

We interrupt the coronation of the Cubs to remind you that that the NL Central features two other contenders with powerful offenses.

Yes, the Cubs already lead the Pirates by three games and the Cardinals by 3½; neither of the trailing clubs is pitching as well as expected, while the Cubs rank second in the NL in ERA.

The race, however, remains intriguing.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

4-28-16 OMNICHATTER

A OMNICHATTER of Swords

Gamingboy Posted: April 28, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 270 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fehr (BLS): Noah Syndergaard Tours New York City as Thor

Thor could crush somebody in Times Square and he wouldn’t lose fans.

The Mets flamethrower has teamed up with SportsNet New York for a segment where he hits the street of New York City dressed as Thor.

JEe (Jason) Posted: April 27, 2016 at 07:05 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york, noah syndergaard, thor

How Teams Can Get Around International Bonus Pools

The most obvious route, especially in the first year of the international bonus pools, was a package deal. Take a player for July 2 you want to sign for $2 million, but give $1.5 million to him on July 2 and give $500,000 to another player from the same trainer before July 2. Prior to July 2, 2012, there were no bonus pools, so you save half a million dollars from your 2012-13 bonus pool.

While the decision should ultimately be up to the player and his family, the reality is that the trainers often hold the ultimate decision-making power in these deals. Maximizing the money that goes to the chief decision-maker is what gets a deal done.

Before July 2 that year, we asked Major League Baseball what the league would do if a team tried that type of package deal. The response was that the commissioner’s office would view it as a circumvention of the bonus pools and would respond with strict penalties.

Except, they didn’t. Teams did exactly what we wrote that they would do, and MLB did nothing. I’m not saying MLB necessarily should have done anything either, but it at least set a precedent that the commissioner’s office was fine with teams signing players that way.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 27, 2016 at 04:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bonus pools, international free agents

Minors 4.26.16: Sizzling Amed Rosario leads St. Lucie to win

ST. LUCIE 10, CHARLOTTE 5: Amed Rosario went 3-for-5 and drove in four runs. He smashed a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. It was Rosario’s third long ball of the season and second in three games. Rosario added a two-run triple in the eighth to put the Mets ahead by four runs. Rosario has two four-RBI performances in the last three games. He was seeking a double for the cycle, but was stranded on deck in the ninth.

Rosario is off to a very good start with the bat in the FSL, .321/.345/.590 as a 20 year old SS there.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 27, 2016 at 01:41 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leaguers

OMNICHATTER 4-27-16

A Clash of OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: April 27, 2016 at 11:24 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-27-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 27, 1916:

FUTURE GIANT HURLS NO-HIT GAME

Erasmus Hall High School won another baseball game by defeating Manual Training High School by a score of 4 to 1…Waite Hoyt, who is under contract with the Giants and who pitched a no-hit game Saturday, relieved Davidson and repeated his feat of holding his opponents hitless. Hoyt went into the box in the second inning, and during the remainder of the game was never touched for even a scratch hit. He struck out seven of the opposition.

Say, I think this Hoyt kid is going to be pretty good.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 27, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, waite hoyt

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

FG - Rate Your MLB Broadcaster

Recently, the present author began the process of process of reproducing the broadcaster rankings which appeared on this site roughly four years ago. The purpose of those rankings? To place a “grade” on each of the league’s television and radio broadcast teams — a grade intended to represent not necessarily the objective quality or skill of the relevant announcers, but rather the appeal those announcers might have to the readers of Fangraphs.

I have a feeling I know how CFB will vote on the Cardinals broadcasters. This looks like it could be gravy.

Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: April 26, 2016 at 10:50 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, broadcasters, poll

When Athletes are left to their own digital dating devices

Tinder’s location-specific search makes an athlete’s road game easier, and longer stays increase the chances of consummating a match, so for MLB players, in particular, scores come in bunches. “Tinder is better for an area you’re not familiar with, so that’s how a lot of guys meet people,” says Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who’s off the market but estimates that a third of his single colleagues are right swipers. And that number spikes during spring training, when regulars can punch out by the fifth inning. The taken might kill that time with golf and pool parties. The single guys? “They’re having lots of sex out here, and at least half are using Tinder to do it,” says a Cactus Leaguer with the Giants. “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”


A’s RHP Sean Murphy Dies

“The Oakland Athletics announced that righthander Sean Murphy, a member of the organization since 2010, unexpectedly died on Monday in Arizona.

The 27-year-old had not pitched in an official game since 2014 as he rehabilitated from Tommy John surgery. He was suspended for 50 games in February after testing positive for a drug of abuse.”


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