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Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Kyle Farnsworth is a defensive lineman now, and he leads his team in sacks

Good news everyone!

Kyle Farnsworth is ... listen, there are a lot of descriptions that walk a fine line between libelous and accurate, so let’s just say that he’s different. He could take your nose off with one well-placed karate chop, and then he would probably do something weird with the nose.

So it’s completely bizarre and perfectly logical that 321 days after throwing his last major league pitch, the 39-year-old Farnsworth is leading his Florida Football Alliance team in sacks and tackles.

We’re talking real, minor league, tackle football with with big dudes. Of course Farnsworth is thriving. Of course he is.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2015 at 04:29 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, football, kyle farnsworth, royals, tigers, yankees

Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby suspended 14 games

Blue Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby has been suspended 14 games for his postgame conduct toward the umpires following an April 29 game at Boston.
Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, announced the suspension Monday.

After Russell Martin was called out on strikes by Adrian Johnson for the final out of Toronto’s 4-1 loss, members of the Blue Jays coaching staff traded words with the umpiring crew as they left the field.
At Fenway Park, the umpires exit through the visitor’s dugout and share a tunnel with the players to their respective locker rooms. Following the runway incident with the Toronto coaches—of which no details have been provided—baseball sent a memo instructing visiting teams to remain in the dugout until the umpires have passed through.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2015 at 02:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brook jacoby, suspensions, umpires

After 2-year grind, Chad Billingsley is ready for Phillies debut

Billingsley went 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA in 219 games (190 starts) for the Dodgers before he went down with the elbow injuries. He’s still young enough to get his career back on track and pitch for many years — if he stays healthy.

Billingsley is healthy now and all that’s on his mind is giving the Phillies a chance to win Tuesday night. He will oppose Atlanta right-hander Shelby Miller.

“I’m not thinking about the past, just the future and being a big-league pitcher again,” he said.

Another potential deadline trade chip for Ruben?

eddieot Posted: May 05, 2015 at 01:15 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, tommy john surgery, starting pitching, phillies

Tyler Tumminia Has Baseball In Her Blood

Growing up, little Ty wasn’t allowed to watch TV. But she got to hang out with big league ballplayers.

Robin Ventura gave her his spring training jersey, Ozzie Guillen an autographed picture. She has had dinner with baseball royalty such as Earl Weaver, Rocky Colavito, Jim Palmer, and Bob Feller. She even got up the nerve to talk to Rapid Robert, telling him he had really big feet.

“He put them up next to mine and said, ‘Well, I guess, kid, I do,’ ” she says.

Tumminia yearned to play catch with her father, but he’d usually come home after dark. One night she cried after a ball clocked her in the face. Her father told her to suck it up.

“You want to be able to catch, you catch in the dark,” he said.

He launched another night fly ball, and she fearlessly squeezed it in her mitt.

“She caught that one ball in the dark and that was it,” says John Tumminia. “We’re connected. She’s a four-tool daughter.”


Ortiz, Vlad Jr. lead Top 30 International Prospects list | MLB.com

Here’s some players to keep an eye on.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 12:07 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents

Jered Weaver: “I’m not hurt … I’ve got no answers”

Weaver never threw particularly hard and his velocity has been trending in the wrong direction for a while now:

2010: 89.9 mph
2011: 89.1 mph
2012: 87.8 mph
2013: 86.5 mph
2014: 86.3 mph
2015: 83.3 mph

However, while a decent number of pitchers are able to thrive with high-80s fastballs once the velocity dips into the mid-80s consistently the tightrope they need to walk becomes incredibly thin. Weaver won a league-leading 18 games last season with a 3.59 ERA, but at age 32 there’s definitely reason to worry about his ability to return to that level.

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:40 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mysteries

Getting The Most Out Of Batted-Ball Data: The Basics | FanGraphs Baseball

Tony Blengino parses the data.

Batted-ball data can easily be misinterpreted, but once you understand its nuances, it is an exceptional aid in talent evaluation. Just looking at a player’s average exit speed on all BIP types can be very misleading; hitting a bunch of 90 MPH fly balls doesn’t get you much of anywhere. Being able to weave together the intricacies of frequency and authority, while taking into account pull tendencies, park effects, etc., enables one to combine such new-school information with older-school traditional scouting to create a more complete, valid portrait of the modern ballplayer.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

New Way to Judge Hitters? It’s Rocket Science, Sort Of

Good stuff.

For months, their front-office executives debated the merits of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Davis was a former first-round pick whose career had been stymied by injuries and a plummeting batting average. Duda, a lower-round pick, had worked his way into the lineup but did not have a great batting average, either, or an extensive track record.

Both were left-handed power hitters, and they were close in age. But one clear advantage Duda had over Davis was better exit velocity when he connected. Given regular playing time, the Mets projected, Duda could develop into an elite slugger.

So a year ago they kept Duda and traded Davis, and Duda flourished. In 2014, he hit 30 home runs, drove in 92 runs and established himself as one of the team’s core players.

The challenge now for teams is how to consistently use exit velocity in a smart way. The challenge for fans is to become familiar with yet another of the advanced statistics that are rapidly changing the way people think about the game. Exit velocity is already being mentioned during game broadcasts.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ike davis, lucas duda, mets, science, statcast

Nationals Baseball: Anthony Rendon - what it costs the Nats

Why don’t you tell us?

Anthony Rendon, is now down with an oblique strain. What does that mean? What does THAT mean? What does that MEAN?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:21 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, danny espinosa, nationals, yunel escobar

Mike Moustakas’s great 2015 start is a result of him staying the same, improving, and getting worse - Beyond the Box Score

The major change for Moustakas has been his approach. He’s been going the other way a lot more this season. It’s tough to see in the the chart but if you look at the hit location for his line drives you should see the pattern. This is one of those things, however, that clearly stand out when you watch him hit.

FanGraphs Batted Ball Graphs

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 11:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mike moustakas, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-5-2015

Pittsburgh Press, May 5, 1915:

Players of other clubs say the [Red Sox] are a long way from harmonious and they intimate that Tris Speaker is the cause of friction. The Washington men even have gone so far as to say that unless “Spoke” is traded or sold, there is no danger of Boston’s winning the pennant.
...
It is hard to believe that Speaker would deliberately stir up strife…There is not a pleasanter fellow to meet in the world and the writer hesitates to accept as true the report that he is making trouble.

He may not have made the trouble, but he was in the middle of it. According to his SABR bio, Speaker, Joe Wood, and Larry Gardner were part of the Protestant clique on the Sox, which often clashed with the Catholics (including Duffy Lewis and the manager, Bill Carrigan).

As for the 1915 Red Sox? They kept Speaker and they did just fine.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: May 05, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, red sox, tris speaker

Rockies’ Adam Ottavino facing Tommy John surgery on right elbow - The Denver Post

Cut him if you got him.

The season is about to close on the Rockies’ newest closer. Adam Ottavino revealed Monday he probably will have season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair an injured right elbow.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: adam ottavino, rockies

In firing manager Ron Roenicke now, Milwaukee Brewers bring decisions they made in past into question, and now must act fast to avoid prolonging the current downward spiral, Ken Rosenthal writes | FOX Sports

You can’t fire all the players.

I asked Melvin: Did Roenicke lose the players?

“I don’t think he lost them,” Melvin said. “But he and I sat down a few weeks ago. I said, ‘Ron, how do we stop these losing streaks, going 2-8, 1-9?’ I don’t know why that is. That’s what we’re going to find out, what Craig is going to find out. I know we don’t have a No. 1 starting pitcher like a Kershaw. But there is no reason we shouldn’t be better than 7-18.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, ron roenicke

For Hanley Ramirez, health has always been easy come, easy go - Boston Red Sox Blog - ESPN

Day-to-day? It will take a minor miracle for Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez not to miss extended time after reinjuring his left shoulder, which he has already had surgically repaired twice since 2007. The most recent fix required open surgery in 2011, a considerably more invasive procedure than an arthroscopy.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

5-5-2015 OMNICHATTER

The “Happy Birthday, Mike Redmond” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 05, 2015 at 12:03 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, May 04, 2015

Two Dudes Smooch On Dodgers’ Kiss Cam, To Hearty Applause

Its Koufax and Drysdale, not Adam and Steve!

Back in 2000, two women were kicked out of Dodger Stadium for kissing. The team and the world have changed since then. Between innings of Saturday’s game, the stadium’s Kiss Cam team found two men, not as a joke, but a couple. (It’s at the 0:28 mark.)

It’s cool that this wasn’t the still-prevalent homophobic gag of forcing two platonic male friends to awkwardly recoil at the thought of kissing another dude. It’s also cool that the reaction from the crowd was a genuine cheer. Reader Steven, who was in the ballpark (but didn’t film this video), says he was “proud of the loud, enthusiastic response from the crowd. Not one person around me groaned or made derogatory remarks, and seemed genuinely pleased with the moment.”

The Dodgers have held LGBT nights in recent years, and while it’s great to publicly announce that everyone’s welcome, there’s nothing quite like being normalized by dorky in-stadium entertainment to make everyone feel included.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2015 at 03:44 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, gay rights, kiss cam

Jeff Karstens announces his retirement

#HanginEmUp Just would like to give a huge thank you to all my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for all the support you’ve giving me on and off the field over the years. I will forever cherish all of the special moments and memories. #ThankYou

Few men have done more with less of a fastball.

Enjoy your retirement, Jeff.


Twinsights: Danny Santana is making history with his refusal to walk - Twins Now

He’s just doing his best to shorten games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: danny santana, twins

Hanley Ramirez and Batted-Ball Data | FanGraphs Baseball

Data and your lying eyes.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 02:33 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hitfx, sabermetrics, statcast

Yadier Molina Forgot How To Frame A Pitch

Yadier Molina is terrible and the Astros will play the Cardinals in the World Series.

Since 2008, Molina has been the fifth-best framer in the league. In that time frame, Molina has saved more than 114 runs by flipping pitches that would have been close calls to strikes (worth about 11 wins, in aggregate). Since pitch framing isn’t yet accounted for when sabermetricians project a team’s statistics, Molina’s secret skill helps to explain the Cardinals’ outdoing their projections for the past 10 years and some of their perpetual October success (though to a lesser extent).

But this year, Molina’s framing is no longer even average. Already in 2015, Molina has cost his team about four strikes, while the best framers have gained more than 15. That may not sound like much, but over the course of a season, it could add up to a gap of more than 150 strikes, worth something like 25 runs. In his best year (2013), Molina acquired roughly that many extra strikes for his team, equating to an extra couple of wins per year for the Cardinals. This is no small-sample fluke, either. Unlike hitting and pitching, whose outcomes we still measure in the dozens this early in the season, Molina has seen 800 pitches this year. That sample size is plenty big.

It’s hard to know why Molina has lost his mojo. Some of Molina’s apparent decline may stem not from his own skill diminishing, but rather from other catchers becoming better. As front offices have become convinced of the importance of framing, we’ve seen many light-hitting but exceptional-framing backstops be promoted to full-time roles. Since Molina is always being compared to the average, if the average moves up, it may appear as though Molina is falling.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2015 at 01:00 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, framing, yadier molina


10 Degrees: Jered Weaver’s fastball can’t even break a Texas speed limit, and what it means for his future - Yahoo Sports

Only here we are, in May, four full weeks of the baseball season past, and Weaver – 20-game winner and Cy Young runner-up within the past half-decade – is averaging around 83 miles per hour with his fastball. Considering the biggest in-season leap from April to the end of the year last year was 1.2 mph, the prospect of the 32-year-old Weaver regaining his velocity grows unlikelier by the day.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jered weaver

How Contact Ability Might Influence a Hitter’s Transition to the Majors | FanGraphs Baseball

Is it really shocking that being able to put the bat on the ball translates better in the major leagues?

Bat-to-ball ability is obviously a great tool for a hitter to have. We already knew that. But these data suggest that — for whatever reason — it might be even more important when facing major league pitching. If true, this could help explain the downfalls of recently highly-touted prospects like Mike Olt, Jon Singleton and Jackie Bradley Jr., who are already flirting with the “bust” label. It could also be the reason why contact machines like Brock Holt, Scooter Gennett and Jordy Mercer managed to sneak up on many of us.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 10:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics

Scripts for the inevitable ‘Milestones Press Conference’ | FOX Sports

I didn’t know Ken Rosenthal was this funny.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2015 at 10:01 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, rob manfred, yankees

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