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Friday, July 01, 2016

How to strike it rich in baseball without ever playing | New York Post

You’d better hope your mommy and daddy our loaded because the weight of student loans won’t look so great when you are making minimum wage *if* you ever get a job in baseball. 

Syracuse University has become the first school to award a bachelor’s degree in sports analytics. It will welcome freshmen to the discipline this fall, with the first graduates set to hit the job market in the spring of 2020.

“I think it’s a great idea,” says Billy Beane, the former A’s general manager for whom the term was coined. “I smile to myself, especially thinking about the reactions when the book came out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 04:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: education, jobs, moneyball

July 2 Scouting Reports, Prospects 1-10 | FanGraphs Baseball

1. Kevin Maitan, SS/3B, Venezuela (Video 1, 2, 3, 4)

Where to begin? How about at age 12? That’s when scouts started to identify Maitan as this class’s top overall player. By age 14, Maitan already had everything scouts are looking for in a baseball prospect. A picturesque build, good defensive actions at shortstop with plenty of arm for the position and not just usable but potentially impactful swings from both sides of the plate — as well as power projection to accompany it. The Braves have been all over Maitan for a few years and are expected to sign him for about $4 million.

I have a 55 FV on Maitan, the same future-value grade as Kiley McDaniel placed on Yadier Alvarez last year. But Alvarez was three years older than Maitan is now and risk/proximity to the majors factors in to future value. There’s a chance that Maitan develops a plus hit tool and plus raw power from both sides of the plate. His left-handed swing is of the traditional, low-ball variety and has a beautiful high finish. The bat is quick into the zone and long through it, producing gap-to-gap contact right now that should move toward and over outfield fences as Maitan matures.

From the right side, Maitan’s wrists are a little looser, his hands more surgical and his bat control more advanced. He looks more comfortable from this side right now but will get more reps in pro ball from the left side because most opposing pitchers will throw right-handed.

Defensively, I’ve had scouts put anything between a 55 to a 70 on Maitan’s arm. Grades on players like Maitan, who are locked into deals early, are often more volatile than they are on other players because, once they’ve agreed to deals, they show up at workouts and showcases less frequently. This is likely why grades on Maitan’s arm are so disparate and I’ve split the difference and assigned his arm a 60. His actions at short are solid and confident but there’s a chance he outgrows the position, slows down and has to move to third base. There are some evaluators, especially the ones highest on his arm strength, who think Maitan might remain at shortstop even if he does slow down because some of his other skills will hide a lack of range.

This is the best 16-year-old international free agent since Miguel Sano and he has a chance to be very special, especially if he can remain at shortstop.

Edit: Keith Law’s take on ESPN Insider ($$)

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 04:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents, kevin maitan

Source: Red Sox banned from signing international amateurs for a year - Yahoo Sports

On MLB Radio they were saying the ban is for the next two years. Has anyone seen anything definitive?

The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 02:40 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents, red sox

MLB must permanently retire ‘God Bless America,’ a song that offends everyone

It’s time for God to stop blessing America during the seventh-inning stretch.

Welcome to the July 4 holiday weekend — when once again, baseball fans will be assaulted by the saccharine-sweet non-anthem “God Bless America” at stadia all over this great land.

But no matter which home team you root, root, root for, “God Bless America” should be sent permanently to the bench.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 01, 2016 at 11:28 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: god bless america, offensive logos, retirement

Hartman: Pohlad affirms support for Molitor as Twins’ woes continue - StarTribune.com

Last year’s team overperformed. It happens. Instead of recognizing it as such, some people thought the team had turned a corner. This led to unrealistic expectations for this season. With the team’s play this season, people are now talking about what a mess the team is when, in actuality, it’s probably underperforming. It’s true talent level is somewhere in between. From where I sit, the team is on an upward slope overall but still not progressing as quickly as its fans want. 
Now some people are shocked the team is playing so badly.

Pohlad added that he, along with a lot of other people in the organization and around baseball, didn’t expect a team that went 83-79 last year and challenged for a playoff spot to fall off so badly.

“No, nobody did,” he said. “I know that sounds trite to all the fans out there, and any time there’s a season that doesn’t go well you can always say that. But I think everybody would agree that we all had, certainly the organization had, high expectations for this year and they clearly have not come to pass.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 10:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: paul molitor, twins

Michael Fulmer’s workload closely monitored | MLB.com

After essentially having his start skipped last week, Fulmer will start Friday night, then return on his regular four days of rest Wednesday afternoon. That will be his final start before the All-Star break. He won’t pitch again until they need a fifth starter for the fifth game out the break, currently scheduled for July 19 against the Twins.

Each of the other four rotation members will start twice in between then.

Manager Brad Ausmus’ predecessor, Jim Leyland, did something similar with Rick Porcello during his 2009 season as a 20-year-old rookie. He ended up going 16 days between starts, and pitched just three times that July. From there, Porcello stayed in the rotation the rest of the way, albeit with a quick hook that allowed Leyland to take him out of games after five or six innings if the game was out of hand. The plan left Porcello at 170 2/3 innings at season’s end, up from 125 innings at Class A Lakeland the previous year.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: michael fulmer, tigers

Jose Reyes and the Question of Responsibility | VICE Sports

Here’s an excellent take on Jose Reyes and the domestic violence problem.

As hard as it is to acknowledge, if Reyes was not in professional baseball he would simply be somewhere else—likely somewhere where he is held less accountable for his actions, and somewhere that lacks the necessary resources and systems to ensure that his abuse doesn’t happen again. Rehabilitation and prevention are important things to keep in mind when faced with the knowledge that close to five million women in the US will experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year, and one in four will become victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

The painful reality is that there is no satisfying, tidy resolution to be had here, but there are ways forward via ongoing, open dialogue. There is also our very human responsibility to create a space where education, change, and the prevention of violence are finally possible in sports. And despite how much fans just want to turn away, have a good time, and win some games, there is a real onus on all of us to keep talking, and never forget what has been done.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 10:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic violence, jose reyes, mets

Steven Matz feeling good after pitching through bone spur | New York Post

He shelved the slider and used his changeup more. He’s a better pitcher with the slider but he can still be very effective without it.

“It felt good. I was able to go out there and pitch with no issues,” Matz said. “I would say [it gave me] a little relief, but this is something I’ve been dealing with. I knew what to expect.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 10:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-1-2016

Pittsburgh Press, July 1, 1916:

A row between Capt. McBride of the Washington team and Mays, the Boston pitcher, precipitated a clase in the third inning of yesterday’s game [in Washington] that threatened for a time to develop into a general fight among the players of the two clubs.

The police restored order and after Agnew, a Boston catcher, had been arrested and Capt. McBride and Manager Griffith of the Washingtons put off the field, the game was resumed and Boston won, 6 to 1.

The trouble started when Mays hit McBride with a pitched ball. McBride responded by throwing his bat at the pitcher, who almost immediately was surrounded by a score of Washington and Boston players.

Then the police got into action, but did not reach the angry knot in the center of the diamond until Agnew had hit Griffith a blow to the face. Agnew was taken to police headquarters, where he put up $60 to guarantee his appearance in court to answer a charge of assault.

He punched the opposing manager! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of somebody doing that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fights, history

It’s Bobby Bonilla’s payday ... and every July 1 through 2035 - Mets Blog- ESPN

A gift that keeps on giving.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby bonilla, mets

Heyman - Yankee Intrigue Over Trades And A-Rod - TKB

Jon Heyman’s latest notes column.

Word going around the game is that while team honchos Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine, the managing partner and president, don’t even want to think about selling, not yet, and not when they’re so close (3.5 games) to the wild card, perhaps not everyone feels exactly that way. Despite the Yankees’ uninspiring standing and their overt flaws, the two at the top are advocating a wait-and-see approach. But word going around is that not everyone in Yankeeland is quite so sure that’s the way to go. Word among rivals is that general manager Brian Cashman may be less convinced that staying the course is the way to go and more receptive to the idea of a rare sale of stars (though Cashman himself doesn’t exactly admit that that’s the case).

While folks around the league and team seem convinced Cashman sees the harsh reality of the situation, Cashman doesn’t stoke that potential fire. He says he’s merely “doing his job” by engaging teams for potential sales and buys. (And indeed, one rival mentioned the Yankees as one of a dozen teams at least looking at starting pitchers to buy).

“We are not sellers. We are not buyers. We have not had discussions with anyone,” one Yankees official insisted.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, yankees

MLB Penalties For Red Sox International Signings Could Come Soon - BaseballAmerica.com

Major League Baseball could penalize the Red Sox over their 2015 international signings before this year’s signing period opens on Saturday, international baseball sources have told Baseball America.

The penalties being considered, according to those sources, include signing restrictions for the upcoming 2016-17 international signing period, and possibly making several of Boston’s top 2015 international signings free agents, who would then be available to sign with any team.

The timing of the disciplinary action is significant. Several Venezuelan players were expected to sign contracts with the Red Sox on July 2, but if these penalties are imposed, those players would no longer be able to sign with Boston. That includes 16-year-old outfielder Roimer Bolivar, the No. 31 international prospect on Baseball America’s Top 50 international prospects list.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 07:54 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents, red sox

Heyman - Bruce Would ‘Very Likely’ Waive NTC For Indians

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce has the Cleveland Indians listed as one of eight teams on his no-trade clause, but according to a friend of Bruce, he only added the Indians as the eighth team as a late replacement for the Blue Jays after hearing Toronto was interested (he apparently liked the idea of going to the Jays).

The friend says Bruce has no negative feelings toward Cleveland or the Indians and would be very likely accept a deal there.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 07:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, reds

Can You Tell Which One of These Baseball Stories Was Written By a Robot?

If it’s not all Robothal all the time, I’m not interested.

The Associated Press announced today it will begin using automated software to write stories for 10,000 Minor League Baseball games not previously covered by the news organization.

In order to get the stories written, the AP is working with technology company Automated Insights, which builds software capable of analyzing data, deducing the most important information, and turning deductions into readable stories.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 07:42 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Mad hacks: SF ace makes case vs. DH

>OAKLAND—The Giants ditched the DH and allowed their pitcher to hit Thursday night against the A’s. And the decision paid off quickly, as Madison Bumgarner hit a double in his first plate appearance in the top of the third, sparking a rally in which the Giants scored six runs before an out was recorded.

...
>The Giants became the first Major League club since the Chicago White Sox in 1976 to forgo the opportunity to use a designated hitter. The only other time it occurred was in 2009, when the Tampa Bay Rays forfeited the designated hitter due to submitting an incorrect lineup card.

zenbitz Posted: July 01, 2016 at 12:25 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter, insanity

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Omnichatter

Just trying to see if I can get this started.

cardsfanboy Posted: June 30, 2016 at 04:59 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Clayton Kershaw placed on DL

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw received an epidural shot in his lower back and will go on the 15-day disabled list, manager Dave Roberts said Thursday.

Kershaw had his second-worst outing of the season Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up four runs on nine hits. A day later, as the Dodgers finished a four-game series in Pittsburgh, he was being examined in Los Angeles for what was then labeled as minor back discomfort.

Hopefully, it’s not a huge deal. In other news, the Dodgers have traded for Bud Norris, who’ll start in place of Kershaw until he returns.

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:31 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Report: Marlins trade for Fernando Rodney

The Miami Marlins have been a somewhat surprising contender this season, and now, they are trying to improve their chances. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post,  the Marlins have struck a deal with the San Diego Padres to acquire reliever Fernando Rodney.

The 39-year-old has been nothing short of spectacular this season, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28.2 innings of work. He has recorded 33 strikeouts and boasts a minuscule 0.872 WHIP. Rodney strengthens what is an already solid Miami bullpen that features power arms such as A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando rodney, marlins, trade

Dodgers acquire Bud Norris from Braves

The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Bud Norris from the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports two minor-leaguers will go to Atlanta in the deal.

Norris, 31, will provide immediate starting depth for a Dodgers’ rotation that has dealt with injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Brett Anderson so far this season. He has posted a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts, becoming a viable trade chip for a rebuilding Atlanta squad.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:07 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bud norris, dodgers, trade

Phillies prospect Matt Imhof suffers serious eye injury, has surgery

Awful news.

A Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher suffered a potentially career-threatening eye injury in a freak training accident in the Class A Florida State League late last week, his agent confirmed to ESPN.com Monday.

Clearwater Threshers pitcher Matt Imhof, the Phillies’ second-round pick in the 2014 MLB first-year player draft, suffered a “significant injury to his right eye’’ during postgame arm care band work, agent Adam Karon said.

Imhof, 22, was taking part in a routine stretching regimen after a game at Brevard County when a piece of equipment malfunctioned and he was struck in the right eye, a baseball source told ESPN.com. Imhof has undergone surgery and is likely to need further procedures, the source said.

Imhof, a 6-foot, 5-inch left-hander out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, received a signing bonus of $1,187,900 from the Phillies as the 47th overall pick in 2014.


Congress and MLB are working together to screw minor leaguers

The way MLB treats minor leaguers is bad enough without Congress expressly enabling them. Fortunately, despite the headline, this is only a bill submitted in the House, and one of the Representatives introducing the bill has already withdrawn her support (due to overwhelming negative reaction).

Hank G. Posted: June 30, 2016 at 01:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers

Firing Farrell Will Satisfy Bloodlust, Fix Nothing

I said it a week ago, and I’ll say it again—Farrell may be part of the problem, but he’s certainly not the reason the floundering Red Sox are suddenly in a virtual tie with the Blue Jays for second place in the AL East. And firing him would let his players off the hook when they don’t deserve it.

No manager is blameless when his team plays .385 ball for a month, but Farrell’s sliver of blame pie could barely feed a waif compared to the 1,600-calorie slab that is his roster.

A new manager won’t magically fix David Price’s 4.74 ERA or propensity for allowing deafening contact. A new manager won’t reach October with the bottom two-thirds of the rotation pitching like John Wasdin. A new manager can’t win with a Triple-A bench or Marco Hernandez, Deven Marrero and Ryan LaMarre getting key at-bats because there’s nowhere else to turn.

Farrell’s not the reason Koji Uehara hangs half his splitters, and he’s not the reason Craig Kimbrel keeps triggering heart attacks. He’s not why Clay Buchholz can’t get out of his own way, Jackie Bradley hasn’t hit in a month, or Travis Shaw once again resides below sea level.

Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 30, 2016 at 11:49 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, red sox

Willson Contreras won’t be Kyle Schwarber 2.0 - Beyond the Box Score

Contreras may not have the impact Schwarber had in 2015 as an all-around offensive force, but defense considered, the Cubs have essentially replaced Schwarber with a slightly different version of himself. It’s just that this version trends toward contact and more advanced defense behind the plate, with the same versatility options the Cubs and Maddon love to have available.

The question moving forward for the rookie backstop is whether his bat will keep him in the lineup when he’s not catching, or if his eventual regression lands him in a platoon role with David Ross and Miguel Montero. Looking at rest of the season projections, the case trends more toward a platoon.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2016 at 11:01 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber, willson contreras

New ‘sub-max’ training technique aids Gerrit Cole’s rehabilitation from triceps injury | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Very strong praise.

Pitching coach Ray Searage already swears by the rehabilitation program. He called Tomczyk “a ... genius” for implementing it. The problem in typical rehab, Searage said, is pitchers rely on long toss, stretching out to 150 feet or more, and they can pick up bad habits that way.

Searage said sub-max was “an epiphany.” If Cole throws at 75 percent intensity from 90 feet, using the same delivery he would use on the mound, his mechanics stay sound — his release point isn’t altered by tilting back and throwing deep in long toss — and he’s not breaking down his arm.

“I’m telling you, I’m all in on this,” an animated Searage said Sunday. “You’re building up the volume at those increments, but not to the point where you’re breaking them down. ...

“I’m telling you, this is major. This is major. We could do this with the young kids that just came over from high school or college that want to impress everybody and throw the crap out of the ball. Have a guy back there saying, ‘Uh uh, back it off.’ “

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2016 at 10:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, injuries, pirates

The Sonoma Stompers are set to make more history by signing two women to their roster | MLB.com

Only one question really matters to me, are they good enough to compete? If they aren’t, it’s just another stunt.

“This isn’t a one-day event. That’s been done a dozen times. Let’s give women a chance to be part of a team, let’s give women a chance to play against men. What will they learn? What have they not been coached because they haven’t had the same coaching as boys? I remember being really disappointed with my sister’s coaches because they coached the girls a lot different than how I was coached.”
...
“Both of these girls are on the roster,” Fightmaster said. “They’re gonna play however much they earn. They are not gonna be in the starting lineup every night so we can sell more tickets. It’s a big game on July 1 and they’ll both be in the lineup and after that we’ll see what their performance dictates.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league promotions

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