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Friday, February 27, 2015


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2015

Washington Times, February 27, 1915:

Six major league ball teams are today en route to their training headquarters, and within a few days you fans will have the greatest kind of a feast over the news which is coming from the various camps regarding the development of the players.
...
The Athletics will [train] at Jacksonville, while the Brooklyns will proceed by rail to Daytona, and the Phillies to St. Petersburg, Fla.

The other teams which are traveling south today are the Chicago Cubs, who left the Windy City last night, the Indians, or Cleveland American League team, which goes to San Anton [sic], Tex., and the St. Louis Cardinals, which are guided to Hot Wells, Tex., by Miller J. Huggins.

Interesting to note that even though the locations of Spring Training camps have changed, the length of camp has stayed about the same. They started camp a bit later in 1915, but the season also started later.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

What Rick Porcello learned while surrounded by aces in Detroit - WEEI | John Tomase

Rick Porcello talks about what he learned from the other starters in Detroit.



A-Rod circus taking pressure off Gregorius at Yankees camp - NY Daily News

Jeter isn’t playing for the Yankees anymore?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Johan Santana gets another chance, signs with Blue Jays

Santana has agreed to join the Blue Jays on a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league spring training. It’s the first step in either a feel-good comeback story or another stalled attempt by Santana to reclaim his MLB glory.

Santana, 35, didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 2013 and 2014, but not for lack of trying. Shoulder surgery prevented him from taking the field in 2013 with the New York Mets. He signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles last year, but tore his Achilles tendon in June when the O’s assigned him to extended spring training. Santana also missed the 2011 season because of shoulder surgery. He returned to pitch with the Mets in 2012, throwing a no-hitter but posting a 4.85 ERA in 29 starts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2015 at 10:12 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, johan santana

The Cuba Diaries: The Last Day of the Caribbean Derek Jeter, Carlos Tabares

What is the Cuban equivalent of a gift-basket?

Tabares has been on five of the Industriales’s 12 championship winning teams. He is considered one of the best postseason players in league history, and holds the record for most postseason hits. His career batting average (.308 at the moment of our conversation) will likely stay above .300 for the remainder of his career, barring a total collapse in his predicted final two seasons. He is a media and fan favorite, and a certain Hall of Famer. And he’s been the captain of the Industriales—considered the Yankees of Cuba—for more than 10 seasons.

“You could say that I’m a little bit like Derek Jeter,” he says. “I’m well liked by fans, I have a good reputation within the game. You could make those comparisons I suppose.”
But there is a void. Now well past his prime, Tabares will almost surely never play in the Major Leagues.

“That pain will always probably exist,” he says. “It was always a dream to be able to measure yourself against some of the best. I had the opportunity to participate in the first Classic and there I was able to measure myself a bit. And we proved that we were capable of competing against everyone. But yes of course, I would have loved to have been able to play in those big leagues either in the Major Leagues or in Japan or even in Korea. It would have been great to learn from them, and for them to learn from us about our style. And I’ll always feel a bit of pain about that. But maybe not as much anymore. I realize where I am in my career now. I’m just trying to focus on staying physically capable to play.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2015 at 10:11 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos tabares, cuban baseball, vice sports

Ex-big leaguer (Jim) King, 82, dies

Former professional baseball player Jim King of Elkins died Monday in Fayetteville.

He was 82.

An outfielder, King played 11 seasons with six major-league teams. He began his major-league career in 1955 with the Chicago Cubs where he played two seasons. His first at-bat came at Wrigley Field, where he had a pinch-hit double against eventual Hall of Famer Robin Roberts.

King went on to play a year for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. He didn’t play in the majors in the 1959 and 1960 seasons.

King’s longest professional stint came with Washington where he played six years. He started the 1967 season with the Senators before wrapping up his career later that year playing a combined 42 games with the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians.


Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders injured, out until all-star break

The Blue Jays announced early Thursday morning that left-fielder Michael Saunders suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in a freak accident at the Mattick Training Centre on Wednesday.

Saunders, a native of Victoria B.C., stepped on an exposed sprinkler head in the outfield during batting practice and heard a pop.

Bad luck for Saunders and the Jays. Not much left in free agency - maybe Andy Dirks would make sense?


MLBTR: Mets Not Expected To Talk Extension With Daniel Murphy

Though second baseman Daniel Murphy has been one of the Mets’ most consistent offensive performers over the past few seasons, the team has no plans to negotiate an extension with the 29-year-old during the season, reports ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. While that wording would seem to leave open some possibility of a Spring Training extension, Rubin writes that the expectation is for New York to let Murphy walk as a free agent next offseason. ...

If an extension isn’t in the cards, Murphy will be one of the most attractive second base options on the open market, assuming a typically strong season. Entering his age-30 season, he’ll be younger than competitors Howie Kendrick (32) and Ben Zobrist (35), and he has a better track record than comparably aged players such as Asdrubal Cabrera. Over the past four seasons, Murphy has batted .294/.333/.414 and averaged 10 homers and 15 steals per 162 games.

JE (Jason) Posted: February 26, 2015 at 03:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel murphy, free agency, mets

Brewers To Re-Sign Francisco Rodriguez

Apparently last season, he had 44 saves, a WHIP under 1, and made the All-Star team. Not even joking!

(That’s 348 saves going into his age 33 season…)

The Brewers have reached agreement on a two-year, $13MM deal with reliever Francisco Rodriguez. The team also holds a club option for the 2017 season over the Boras Corporation client.

The total guarantee is expected to include just $3MM this year and $6MM next season. That would appear to suggest that the contract includes a significant option buyout that would effectively function to backload its structure (and, potentially, make it more likely that the option will be a reasonable pick-up when the time comes)...

Rodriguez, 33, has spent most of the past four seasons in Milwaukee. All said, he owns a 3.11 ERA over his 193 2/3 frames with the Brewers. He has maintained double-digit strikeout-per-nine rates over the last two years in addition to an excellent K%-BB%. Though FIP has been down on Rodriguez’s work in recent campaigns, other ERA estimators like xFIP and SIERA view him as a 3.00 or better performer.

The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2015 at 11:23 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, francisco rodriguez, free agents, transactions

Lindbergh: Has Baseball’s Minors-to-Majors Jump Really Gotten Harder for Hitters?

I do feel like the people who say “Get rid of this guy who hits mediocrely in the NL! This other guy has been hitting great in AA for over a year!” were more often correct 15 years ago.

On the other hand, every prospect who can’t make the leap seems to be countered by a prospect who succeeds in the majors after nobody noticed he got promoted, like Khris Davis.

Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 26, 2015 at 10:55 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-26-2015

Pittsburgh Press, February 26, 1915:

[During a team jogging drill, White Sox pitcher Reb] Russell repeatedly lagged behind the others and once when passing the home plate, where the manager stood the boss called: “Show some speed, Tex. Where’s your ‘pep’?”

“What do you think this is, my birthday?” was the rather sarcastic reply of the bulky athlete.

“Well, it isn’t any holiday,” came the answer from the manager. “This isn’t a vacation trip. You’re out here to work.”
...
The affair was whispered about among the other boys rather apprehensively after the practice was over.

Russell is a pretty fascinating player, often overlooked when people talk about the best two-way players in baseball history. He pitched in the majors for six years, put up a 121 OPS+ in 1291.2 innings, led the league in fewest walks per nine innings twice, and allowed a total of two home runs in his final 807.2 innings.

After an elbow injury made it impossible for him to pitch, Reb converted to the outfield and hit .323/.377/.568 (142 OPS+) in two seasons with the Pirates as a position player. He wasn’t much of a defensive outfielder, so those gaudy hitting numbers weren’t enough to keep him in the majors. Russell headed to the American Association and continued to put up eye-popping hitting numbers. He retired with a lifetime minor league batting average north of .320.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: February 26, 2015 at 10:03 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, reb russell

Braves insist it’s a ‘remodeling,’ not a ‘rebuilding’

You don’t?

The reality is the Braves didn’t believe they could be a World Series team if they kept the team intact. To be honest, they were actually thrilled the Nationals and Miami Marlins got even better during the winter, reinforcing their belief they were not going to contend for the division title.

At the same time, you don’t bring in veterans A.J. Pierznyski, Jason Grilli, John Buck, Kelly Johnson, Jim Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Gomes and Markakis, and expect to go out every night and lose.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Hedges shrugs off rankings, focused on Majors | padres.com

Austin Hedges is the most overrated prospect in baseball.

“I don’t blame them. If you look at my numbers last season, they weren’t great,” said Hedges, who hit .225 last season with Double-A San Antonio. “Those guys weren’t in the Texas League every day and didn’t see what wasn’t on paper, which was a lot of quality at-bats and hard-contact outs.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: austin hedges, padres, prospects

O’Brien turning heads at D-backs camp | dbacks.com

He may have big-time power. His defense has big-time problems, however.

“I think he’s on a different level,” Gosewisch said. “Sometimes there’s guys in BP where you see them hit a few home runs and you might yourself try to hit some home runs to match them, but he’s on another level and it’s fun to watch. You can hear [it], [the ball] just sounds different coming off his bat. There’s a few guys in the game that have that sound, and he’s one of them. He’s got some kind of power.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, pete o'brien

Yankees confident they can avoid paying A-Rod milestone bonuses - CBSSports.com

This situation can get even uglier than it is already.

Yankees people are said to be confident A-Rod wouldn’t prevail in the expected skirmish over the $30 million, not only because of their belief that his drug missteps have rendered his marketing value nil, but also because of the phrasing in the agreement that requires that the Yankees “designate” the historic home runs as milestones. Perhaps even more important, the potential to call him to the stand under oath should he challenge their decision to refuse to pay, as is his right.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Slowly, Phillies enter analytics era

This article is all over the place. David, you missed a decade and a half. The sabermetrics/scouting dichotomy is so 2000.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 06:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Hal Steinbrenner: ‘Cheap’ shots at Yankees are way off base | New York Post

Why is Hal Steinbrenner so cheap?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 05:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hal steinbrenner, yankees

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia reports to Spring Training at 305lbs.

He’s in the best-worst shape of his life!

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia has reported to spring training at 305lbs, about 30lbs heavier than he was last year, according to a New York Daily News report.

But Sabathia, who is coming off back-to-back underwhelming seasons, said the weight gain was intentional and believes it could help restore some of the lost velocity off his fastball.

The 34-year-old lefthander has logged a 4.87 ERA in 257 innings pitched since the start of 2013. His fastball – which once topped out at 95mph – ranged between 85 and 89mph last year.

He pitched just eight games in 2014 before hitting the disabled list in May and undergoing season-ending knee surgery in July.

“I lost a bunch of weight drastically, pretty quick, two years ago, and was kind of off-balance,” Sabathia told the Daily News. “I didn’t know really how my body was working.”

CC also took the time to thank Dr. Nick Riviera for his dietary and nutritional assistance ...

 


Lucchino: No ‘palace intrigue to report’ - Boston Red Sox Blog - ESPN Boston

Right. Sure. Nothing to see here.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, echoing the comments of principal owner John W. Henry the day before, also said that Lucchino’s place in the pecking order remains the same as always, calling it a “mistake” that a masthead on the team’s website listed Gordon above Lucchino. The team’s media guide will list the top three names as unchanged, even though FSG is the parent company of the Red Sox and Gordon is the second-biggest shareholder in the team, behind only Henry.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

An Interview With Voros McCracken: DIPS Pioneer — Uncle Charlie’s WheelhouseUCW

An interview with old buddy Voros McCracken. Looking good Voros!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:38 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: interviews

Report: Josh Hamilton meeting with MLB about ‘disciplinary issue’

Maybe he spoke out in favor of the Fan Cave…?

It sounds like trouble and Josh Hamilton might have found each other again.

The Los Angeles Angels acknowledged Wednesday that their injured outfielder has been summoned to meet with MLB officials at the league office in New York City. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports Hamilton’s trip is regarding a “disciplinary issue.”...

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds:

Asked a baseball executive if Hamilton’s discipline was for PEDs. His response: “Worse.” The executive declined to elaborate.

The District Attorney Posted: February 25, 2015 at 05:32 PM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton

David Ortiz Goes Off In Epic, Expletive-Filled Rant On Speed of Game Changes - Extra Bases - Boston.com

David sounds like he’s getting a bunch of fines.

Edit: Embed removed because autoplay could not be turned off. Jim.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 05:30 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

ESPN: Mark Teixeira: ‘Feel like a kid again’

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is now gluten free, sugar free and dairy free, which he hopes will keep him injury free.
Teixeira’s belief in his new diet and renewed weightlifting program makes him believe that he can stay fully healthy for the first time since 2011. If he does, Teixeira thinks he can be a 30-homer and 100-RBI player again.

...Teixeira, who turns 35 in April, hasn’t played more than 123 games since that 2011 season but thinks that with his new diet he will cut down on the inflammation in his body. He said he will use the diet, which consists of no bread and a lot of buffalo meat, the rest of his playing career. He said he reconfigured his body, adding 13 pounds of muscle, while losing fat.

buffalo meat? no dairy/sugar/glutenin-gliadin?

His GI tract is in the best shape of its life

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 25, 2015 at 03:29 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: buffalo meat, gluten-free, yankees

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