Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Not Thurman Newsbeat

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Brian Bannister and the art of making pitchers better - The Boston Globe

“I’m not afraid to break out of the norms of pitching theory,” he said. “Just because everyone has a unique body, everyone has a different arm action, their pitches break different ways. When you try to put everyone in a box, it only works for the guys who fit in that box.

“The most exciting part of pitching to me is figuring out how to maximize every guy. I believe so many guys can be big leaguers if they’re just given the right information and the right approach.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian bannister, pitching, red sox

A wild pitch from Montreal: Split the Rays with Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times

This is not a great idea. Why not just give Rays fans money to stop following the team?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, montreal, rays, stadium, tampa

Nolan Ryan predicts who will pitch no-hitter | MLB.com

Dallas Keuchel?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: no-hitters, nolan ryan

Dusty Baker survived ruin and humiliation. With the Nationals, he can go out on top. | The Washington Post

He seems like a likable guy. He shouldn’t talk about things which he doesn’t know much about, however.

“He’s like everybody ought to be,” said Bishop, the songwriter and blues guitarist who befriended Baker after they met years ago at John Lee Hooker’s house. “He treats everybody with respect and an open mind. He’s just a beautiful person. If the Martians ever land here, this is the guy I want to send to go talk to them — to represent the human race.”
(snip)
“My biggest [role] was to tear down the negativity people have about him,” Miller says. “He was very open to ideas from the front office [in Cincinnati] — as much as we wanted him to be. He’s still an old-school guy, and he’s still going to go by his gut and listen to his players.

“But he believes in sabermetrics more than the sabermetrics people believe that these are humans playing the game and that some things can’t be measured.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:18 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, managers, nationals

These teams are talking trades later than usual this offseason | FOX Sports

The latest Rosenthal.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Red Sox should be better than last year ... but are we sure they’re going to be good? - Red Sox - Boston.com

There is a reason they play the games.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:11 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

CC Sabathia: Alcohol rehab couldn’t wait until after postseason | Newsday

Let’s hope he’s successful in his battle.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: c.c. sabathia, yankees

Friday, February 12, 2016

Top 100 Prospects - BaseballAmerica.com

Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List.

Rank, Player, Position, Organization
1. Corey Seager, ss/3b, Dodgers
Hit: 70. Power: 60. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60. ETA: 2016. Age: 21
2. Byron Buxton, of, Twins
Hit: 70. Power: 60. Speed: 80. Fielding: 70. Arm: 70. ETA: 2016. Age: 22
3. Yoan Moncada, 2b, Red Sox
Hit: 60. Power: 55. Speed: 65. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55. ETA: 2017. Age: 20
4. Julio Urias, lhp, Dodgers
Fastball: 60. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 60. Control: 70. ETA: 2017. Age: 19
5. Lucas Giolito, rhp, Nationals
Fastball: 80. Curveball: 70. Changeup: 55. Control: 60. ETA: 2016. Age: 21
6. J.P. Crawford, ss, Phillies
Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60. ETA: 2016. Age: 21
7. Alex Reyes, rhp, Cardinals
Fastball: 80. Curveball: 65. Changeup: 50. Control: 45. ETA: 2017. Age: 21
8. Orlando Arcia, ss, Brewers
Hit: 65. Power: 45. Speed: 65. Fielding: 70. Arm: 70. ETA: 2016. Age: 21
9. Trea Turner, ss, Nationals
Hit: 60. Power: 40. Speed: 75. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55. ETA: 2016. Age: 22
10. Joey Gallo, 3b/of, Rangers
Hit: 50. Power: 80. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 70. ETA: 2016. Age: 22

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 10:25 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Athletics acquire Khris Davis from Brewers | MLB.com

The A’s have acquired outfielder Khris Davis from the Brewers in exchange for Minor League right-hander Bubba Derby and Minor League catcher Jacob Nottingham, the team announced Friday.

To clear a spot for Davis on the 40-man roster, left-hander Sean Nolin was designated for assignment.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 08:18 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brewers, khris davis, trades

Jennry Mejia permanently banned by MLB for third PED test

He won’t be on my Hall of Fame ballot.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2016 at 04:50 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jennry mejia, mets, peds, suspensions

MLB, players’ association work together to develop more protective pitching hat

It doesn’t look comfortable.

Early in spring training, 20 big league pitchers are expected to receive newly designed protective headwear resulting from a collaboration between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

“A hybrid of a cap and a helmet” is how MLB vice president Patrick Houlihan describes the customized hats that weigh 10 to 12 ounces, depending on head size, have a carbon fiber shell and roughly resemble sun visors with extended forehead and temple coverage and single earflaps like batting helmets. The average thickness is about 0.7 inches and is greatest in places most susceptible to catastrophic injury, according to Boombang, the company hired to design and produce the headwear.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 03:29 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment, pitchers

Deadspin: Kansas City Star Baseball Writer Publishes Same Column He Wrote A Year Ago

Jonathan Papelbon should have choked Lee Judge instead.

Just what the hell is this?

On May 27, 2015, the Kansas City Star’s Lee Judge wrote a column headlined “Are RBIs a worthless statistic? Ask Rusty Kuntz.” It is a spirited defense of the RBI as a statistic, and it’s just as bad as you’re imagining it is. But we’re not here to discuss the content of an old and bad baseball column; we’re here to talk about how Lee Judge is the laziest ############ on earth.

Today, Judge published a column under the headline “Does it take skill to drive in runs? Rusty Kuntz says yes.” Hey, that sounds familiar. Maybe Judge just really cares about the RBI, though, and has come up with all sorts of other reasons why it’s a great statistic in the last year. No way he just reprinted what is basically the exact same column, right? Let’s check just to be sure a professional sportswriter isn’t really that breathtakingly lazy.

JEe (Jason) Posted: February 12, 2016 at 02:35 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: douchebag, kansas city, lee judge, media, newspapers

Wrigleyville - What a Slutter Does, Has Done, and Might Do for Jake Arrieta

Some interesting stuff but you need to read the whole thing.

But could the very thing that helped bring about the transformation from washed-up-prospect to Cy Young winner lead to his eventual downfall? (I mean, of course, the end is inevitable for us all.) By that, I mean the usage on his best pitch; the one that Arrieta calls a slider, grips like a cutter, and manipulates like something possessed by the spirit of Dennis Eckersley. To even begin to explore that question, we would need a better understanding of the pitch, itself. A little digging showed me that Eno Sarris, of Fangraphs and Fox Sports, had done the most work on the specific topic.

The most interesting part of Sarris’ work on the topic is differentiating between the two different types of cutters thrown by pitchers, and how they can affect your arm differently. There’s the cut fastball, which is a version of a fastball thrown by a lot of pitchers and, most famously, by Mariano Rivera. But then there’s the cutter, which is actually a form of a slider. There’s been little consistent data to show that the cut fastball causes arm injury or decreases velocity, but the feeling about the slider-style cutter is quite different:

“Dan Haren admitted to throwing the slider-grip cutter, and felt that it “absolutely” led to velocity loss (he just didn’t care because he was already losing velocity). Zack Greinke threw a cutter and a slider and felt they morphed into the same pitch… Jesse Chavez showed the slider grip on his cutter, admitted that he’d heard it led to lower velocity, but said he made sure not to “manipulate” the ball. Ben Badler at Baseball America found that scouts also felt that cutters led to velocity loss.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 02:22 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, pitching

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-12-2016

Ogden Standard, February 12, 1916:

Jimmy Callahan, new manager of the Pittsburg Pirates, says he may have his players practice without gloves in the spring.

Callahan says some players, after a winter of rest, are too enthusiastic and cut loose before they are ready, running risk of putting their arms out of business.

If players are forced to play without gloves they will slow down, says the Pirate chieftain.

If players are forced to play with ten broken fingers, they will slow down.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 12, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

The BtBS guide to analytics tools and resources - Beyond the Box Score

More stuff to help you get your geek on in that dying area of study called sabermetrics.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 06:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Miguel Sano leads best MLB mistake hitters | MLB.com

RTFA.

Batting average on “mistake pitches” in 2015

1. Miguel Sano, .500
2. Eric Hosmer, .490
3. David Peralta, .486
4. Joey Butler, .480
5. Ryan Zimmerman, .476

Batting average is a flawed stat that ought to be avoided in most advanced analysis, but since we’re not really interested in walks for this exercise, it’ll do to start with. Sano had 44 plate appearances where he saw a meatball pitch as we’ve defined it, and 22 times that turned into a hit, including seven of his 18 homers. We profiled Sano here in September as “living in the line drive zone,” so this makes sense—despite the fact that no hitter in baseball saw fewer fastballs.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Klawchat 2/11/16.- Top 100 Prospect List

Keith’s stuff just keeps getting better. Some great prospect insights in this chat, including this one.

Ed: Jon Gray (40 IP) meet service time to miss the list or he’s just fallen that far in a year?
Klaw: He’s gone backwards. Someone altered his delivery, so he’s lost a lot of power. His fastball is down, his slider went from a 70 to a 50, and he has zero deception. That’s why he got whacked around in the big leagues – hitters see the straight four-seamer and hit it. Back in college, he finished way more over his front side, got more tilt on the slider, was touching 99, and even had a better changeup. I don’t know what caused the alteration, but I saw it and so did every scout I asked about Gray for these reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jacob deGrom to Mets: ‘Willing’ to do long-term deal now

Though Matt Harvey may be impossible to keep for a variety of reasons, Jacob deGrom made it clear Wednesday that he is willing to listen to a long-term contract plan.

“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that,’’ deGrom told The Post at Mets pre-camp. “You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with it.’’

There has yet to be any movement by either side on any such deal.

It would be in the Mets’ best interests to keep deGrom around as long as possible. He is not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2020 season. He will be arbitration-eligible after either 2016 or 2017, depending on his Super-2 status.

“I haven’t thought that much about it, and I have to talk to my agents and stuff and look at the numbers and decide what was favorable,’’ said deGrom, who turns 28 in June.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 11, 2016 at 05:49 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

MLB New data results show high school baseball similar to MLB

Fewer pimples in the big leagues though.

I asked GameChanger to separate the high school baseball numbers to remove it from any noise from Little League baseball or softball. The data revealed that pitchers throw a first-pitch strike 56.9% of the time. If the first pitch is a strike, the batter’s on-base percentage is .320; if it’s a ball, the OBP shoots up to .432.

How do such numbers compare to first-pitch numbers in MLB?....

While ERA is lower in high school, it’s easier to get on base because of walks (and easier to score because of unearned runs), so the OBPs are higher in high school. But when you examine how the first pitch influences the outcome of the at-bat, the two brands of baseball that otherwise are a world apart look very similar. A first-pitch ball in high school yields an extra .112 in OBP, or a 35% increase. A first-pitch ball in the majors yields an extra .109 in OBP, or a 41% increase. And major league baseball pitchers aren’t that much better than high school pitchers at throwing first-pitch strikes—only one extra strike for every three times around the batting order, or one strike every 27 batters. The game appears to have a kind of innate equilibrium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2016 at 12:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: gamechanger, high school, stats

Lorenzo Cain and A.J. Pollock Sign Atypical Contracts | FanGraphs Baseball

I would think at least one of these judgments will be wrong.

For Donaldson, the Toronto Blue Jays are paying for an expected increase due to his MVP season this season, but in the case of the other three players, the teams are paying more in case of an even further breakout for these players. The teams did not receive the typical discount given for two-year contracts, and the only way the team ends up ahead is with an MVP-like season. Given the caliber of these players and the salaries they’re receiving, the team is unlikely to end up behind with these contracts, but they are a departure from the deals that have been made over the past few years.


Developing The baseballr Package For R – The Hardball Times

Here’s some help to get your geek on.

Late in 2015 I wrote a piece here at The Hardball Times that walked through some of my favorite R packages for gathering and analyzing baseball data. Like all things, no single package has everything I need, nor should it. Following that article, I started collecting various functions that I’ve written and routinely use and decided to compile them in a formal package that anyone can easily load and use.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Keith Law: 2016 ranking of all 30 farm systems (INSIDER)

1. Atlanta Braves
2015 rank: 6
Players in top 100 (2016): 7

This system was among the bottom five just two years ago after several bad drafts and questionable player development, but a series of trades—including several fleecings of the Diamondbacks—has stocked the system with pitching depth that is the envy of the industry. They tied for the most players in my top 100 and had a couple of other players who could make cases for inclusion, and their 11th- to 20th-ranked prospects still include a lot of prospective major league value. It has been a remarkable turnaround for general manager John Coppolella and his front office, and the future is even brighter with the team having the third overall pick in June’s draft. The team’s agreement to sign Venezuelan prospect Kevin Maitan on July 2 is the worst-kept secret in the industry….

30. Los Angeles Angels
2015 rank: 27
Players in top 100 (2016): 0

I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen. They traded their top two prospects in the Andrelton Simmons deal and had no one remotely close to top-100 status. They need a big draft this year to start to restock the system or we’re going to start talking about whether it’s time to trade Mike Trout.

His Top 100 prospect list is here (INSIDER)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2016 at 09:55 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: keith law, minor leagues, prospects, rankings

Prospects Bell, Guerrero have MLB pedigrees | MLB.com

Another great article by Jesse Sanchez. Nobody touches him on the international free agent market.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents, international players

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-11-2016

Washington Times, February 11, 1916:

The [Baltimore] fans, or, at least, many of the more determined, have set their hearts on a major league team and insist they will not be happy with anything else. In an effort to get what they demand cards are being spread broadcast calling on all lovers of the game to boycott the International League team as representing “tank town baseball.”

Here’s the card:
STAND UP FOR BALTIMORE!
We want BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL or nothing.
...
We can’t compel the moguls to give our city major league Baseball, BUT they surely can’t make the fans support their tank town flag station league.
DON’T Patronize the Internationals.

I know they were angry, but that seems…counterproductive. I do like the phrase “tank town flag station league”, though.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 11, 2016 at 06:53 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore, dugout, history

Tim Flannery is fed up with Padres fans, writes lengthy statement

For a quick history lesson, Flannery spent the entirety of his 11-year playing career in San Diego, even playing on their first World Series team back in 1984. Flannery was also a part of Bruce Bochy’s coaching staff in San Diego from 1996-2002. After Bochy was allowed to leave San Diego for the managerial job in San Francisco, Flannery rejoined him on the coaching staff until his retirement in 2014.

Based on Flannery’s rant, it’s apparent there are some fans who feel he turned his back on San Diego to join the rival Giants. And it’s very clear he’s tired of hearing from those people.

Meatwad wont hit were you tell him Posted: February 11, 2016 at 02:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, giants, padres, tim flannery

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Traderdave
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogDusty Baker survived ruin and humiliation. With the Nationals, he can go out on top. | The Washington Post
(23 - 4:17pm, Feb 13)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogTop 100 Prospects - BaseballAmerica.com
(12 - 4:16pm, Feb 13)
Last: Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - February 2016
(759 - 4:09pm, Feb 13)
Last: billyshears

NewsblogOTP - 2016 February 8: There’s baseball, politics … and real problems
(1862 - 4:00pm, Feb 13)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogJennry Mejia permanently banned by MLB for third PED test
(20 - 3:41pm, Feb 13)
Last: PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth)

NewsblogCC Sabathia: Alcohol rehab couldn’t wait until after postseason | Newsday
(4 - 3:39pm, Feb 13)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogRed Sox should be better than last year ... but are we sure they’re going to be good? - Red Sox - Boston.com
(4 - 3:36pm, Feb 13)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogDeadspin: Kansas City Star Baseball Writer Publishes Same Column He Wrote A Year Ago
(8 - 3:26pm, Feb 13)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogA wild pitch from Montreal: Split the Rays with Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times
(7 - 3:25pm, Feb 13)
Last: bobm

NewsblogWorld Baseball Classic Qualifier (Sydney) Day 1 OMNICHATTER
(19 - 3:23pm, Feb 13)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1990 Discussion
(31 - 2:21pm, Feb 13)
Last: dlf

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread - February 2016
(169 - 2:12pm, Feb 13)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogWrigleyville - What a Slutter Does, Has Done, and Might Do for Jake Arrieta
(13 - 1:44pm, Feb 13)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogAthletics acquire Khris Davis from Brewers | MLB.com
(16 - 1:43pm, Feb 13)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogBrian Kenny: HALL OF FAME'S ANTI-RECENCY BIAS
(79 - 1:24pm, Feb 13)
Last: DanG

Page rendered in 8.1231 seconds
165 querie(s) executed