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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dodgers A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal caught up in framing a pitch for strikes

[A.J.] Ellis has ranked among the worst framers (catchers who get fewer strike calls than they should as measured by, again, Pitch f/x) in the majors the past few seasons. That put him in an uncomfortable situation this past winter with the Dodgers’ front office now in the hands of a coterie of highly sophisticated, analytically inclined decision-makers who believe strongly in the value of the pitch-framing metrics.

“I’ll be honest – I was motivated by the realization that that aspect of catching was becoming highly valued by this new wave of analytical front-office types,” said Ellis, who spent time during the off-season working to improve his pitch-framing skills with Milwaukee Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel. “And I knew that deficiency in the long run could affect my future employment.” ...

They have a very smart group of people upstairs. [Ellis said] They can isolate it… when they explained that to us in spring training, ran us through the process and laid it out for us, it strengthened my understanding of it and my commitment to what they’re doing – because they’re doing it the right way. It got me on board, is what I’m saying.” ...

Yasmani Grandal was already on board – without really knowing it.

Grandal does not have a reputation as a good defensive catcher. But he ranks very high as a pitch framer and that was a big factor in the Dodgers’ desire to acquire him from the San Diego Padres this winter…

Bad news for Ellis, though. While there are techniques that can improve the way a catcher receives the ball, pitch framing appears to be an innate skill that you either have or you don’t.

“The really interesting thing about framing for me is – it is pretty much one of, if not the, most persistent skills in baseball,” [GM Farhan] Zaidi said. “A batting average will fluctuate, a pitcher’s ERA will fluctuate way more than this metric of catcher framing will fluctuate… Obviously, Yasmani is working with an entirely different set of pitchers. He was a top-five framer last year. He’s a top-five framer now.”


A-Rod connects twice, within 2 of Mays on HR list

Do dead centaurs bounce?

In other all-time HR list news, Trout passes Drew.

cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 18, 2015 at 11:19 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, centaurs, history, yankees

Can Mets make playoffs with 4s up the middle? |

Although I play Dynasty League Baseball now, I still think the same way when I watch a good (or bad) defensive play.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, strat-o-matic


Bartolo Colon Hit Tracker: The quest for three hits | MLB.com

He’s poetry at the plate.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, mets

Studious Metsimus: Bartolo Colon’s Hitting Prowess Is A Recipe For Success

Will Colon move to the AL to DH when his pitching days are over? He’s clearly a winner at the plate.

Bartolo Colon’s teams are 11-1 whenever he collects a hit.  They’re an unblemished 6-0 when he drives in a run.  Nobody’s perfect.  But Colon’s teams are close to perfect whenever he puts on a batting clinic, even if that clinic has been closed most of the time.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, mets

Robin Ventura makes controversial decision not to challenge key play in White Sox loss - Chicago Tribune

Everyone was in a tizzy!!!

There was no hypothetical man in the bleachers with binoculars causing controversy in the White Sox game against the Tigers on Friday at Comerica Park.

It was a hypothetical challenge that had everyone in a tizzy after a 2-1 Sox loss to the Tigers.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:07 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, white sox

Ichiro Suzuki’s Hitting Remains Constant Amid Changes - NYTimes.com

He has 2,849 hits in the majors and is closing in on 3,000. He probably needs another season to do it, but Suzuki is exceptionally fit, and motivated. Asked how badly he wants to reach 3,000, he responded this way:

“That question is really similar to ‘Do you want to get a hit this at-bat?’ or ‘Do you want to go to the World Series?’ ” said Suzuki, who is 5 for 21 this season. “You want to get a hit every time you get up there, and everybody would love to go to the World Series. And I also know in one at-bat, you can’t get two hits. Of course that’s something I would want to do; that’s a given.”

The team, the league and the bats have changed. The pursuit rolls on.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, marlins, michael morse


Angels teammates say Josh Hamilton is physically ready to play - LA Times

If he’s physically ready to play, I would think his agent would be pushing to have him activated. If he is, it looks like the Angels need to either activate him or release him.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton

4-18-15 OMNICHATTER

The Kris Bryant 0-4 Memorial OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: April 18, 2015 at 12:44 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Friday, April 17, 2015

Top 50 Draft Prospects: April Update - BaseballAmerica.com

It sounds like the draft is a jumble.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 09:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

The Obvious, Hidden Value of Roberto Perez « Major League Bastian

Apparently, Roberto Perez can catch the ball.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, roberto perez

The Rays’ Radical Reliever Experiment | FiveThirtyEight

The job of sabermetricians is done.

This unconventional strategy is emblematic of the cutting edge of modern, in-game sabermetrics. With every team from the small-market Rays to the moneyed Dodgers now employing a host of analysts, all the obviously beneficial tactical techniques are already in use. All that remains are the scraps. So even as the tactics have become unconventional, the margins have become thin and the advantages minute. For clever front offices like the Rays, negotiating the brave new world of saber-equality may mean relying on subtle, trifling tweaks like reliever-first outings.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 07:53 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Statcast breaks down Jones’ homer off CC | MLB.com

Bryant went hitless with three k’s in his first game. He did make some nice plays in the field and cured cancer during infield warm-ups in the 5th inning.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 07:47 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Elite Daily: What if players played for their hometown states?

When it comes to producing MLB stars and Hall of Famers, in particular, some states have a leg up. So just which of the best ball player-producing states could claim the best fantasy lineups of all time?


Eater: Craft Beer Line-Ups at All 30 MLB Stadiums

Well done, Mariners.

Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners)

Some of the craft beers available:

Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis Stout
Northwest Brewing Joker Amber Ale
Black Raven Trickster IPA
Black Raven Session IPA
Fremont Interurban IPA
Iron Horse Brewing Irish Death
Spire Dark & Dry cider
Stone Brewing Company IPA
Schooner Exact King Street Brown
Pike 5X Stout
Pike Kilt Lifter
Pike Naughty Nellie
21st Amendment Watermelon wheat
7 Seas Port Royal stout
Full Sail Amber
Victory Prima Pils
Bale Breaker Top Cutter IPA
Rogue Hazlenut Brown Ale
Two Beers EVO IPA
Diamond Knot IPA

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 17, 2015 at 01:14 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: beer

Giancarlo Stanton becomes Marlins all-time HR leader

Longoria is also the franchise leader in HR.  Braun and Wright need 21 to catch Yount and Strawberry.

bbmck Posted: April 17, 2015 at 01:06 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, marlins

Kris Bryant and Floor Versus Ceiling | FanGraphs Baseball

Here are some realistic expectations.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 11:29 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

The future is now: Bryant gets callup to big leagues | MLB.com

I will surely watch the game. Just so I don’t miss it, which inning will he walk on water?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 11:18 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant


U.S. Supreme Court asked to overturn baseball’s anti-trust exemption

Leading off…..Roberts…..John Roberts….

For the first time in four decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will have an opportunity to reconsider baseball’s notorious exemption from antitrust law. On Wednesday, the city of San Jose, California filed an appeal with the nation’s highest court, asking it to overturn professional baseball’s nearly century-old immunity from the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The appeal is the latest step in the litigation surrounding the Oakland A’s proposed move to San Jose. Back in 2013, the city sued Major League Baseball claiming that the league’s failure to approve the A’s relocation violated federal antitrust law. The district court dismissed the lawsuit later that same year, concluding that baseball’s exemption shielded MLB’s relocation decisions from antitrust scrutiny. That decision was upheld earlier this year by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While these lower courts were constrained by a series of Supreme Court precedents exempting baseball from the Sherman Act, the Supreme Court itself is not bound to follow the prior rulings. So San Jose is asking the Court to seize this opportunity to overturn baseball’s highly controversial antitrust immunity. Like any appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, the odds that the Court will agree to take San Jose’s appeal are rather slim.


San Jose is hoping to convince the Supreme Court to take the case by arguing that baseball’s antitrust exemption is an outdated doctrine that is harming the public interest in a variety of ways. In its Petition for A Writ of Certiorari – the formal name of an appeal to the Supreme Court – the city argues that none of the original legal justifications for the exemption remain.

 


How new baseball stadium will use grassy berms, underground… | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

How much is the taxpayer on the hook for in this deal?

Don’t expect the new $135 million spring training complex for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros to be a carbon copy of Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, ballparks, nationals, spring training

Craig Stammen has flexor tended tear, headed for surgery

Rafael Soriano is available.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2015

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, April 17, 1915:

The Brooklyn club will celebrate tomorrow its twenty-fifth birthday, as it was on April 18, 1890, that the Dodgers played their first game in the National League, losing to Boston by a score of 15 to 9. This was a bad start, but the Brooklynites copped the pennant their first year out.

The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers: April 18th’s Birthday Team.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2015 at 08:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, dugout, history

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