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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christian Yelich starting to hit for power | MLB.com

Yelich hits the ball hard. Everybody has just been waiting for him to start putting a little more loft into his swing. Maybe he’s starting to do that.

Yelich has long been considered a “pure hitter” who works the gaps, and he’s living up to that reputation. With two hits on Friday, his slash line is now .320/.396/.499.
The past couple of years, Yelich has ranked at the top of all players in ground-ball percentage. Last year, for instance, his ground-ball percentage was 62.5 percent, compared to his fly-ball percentage of 15, according to FanGraphs.

This year, his ground-ball percentage has lowered to 58.9 percent, with a fly-ball increase to 16.7 percent.
“I know he’s working on some things,” Mattingly said. “If that continues, he turns into a really, really, scary guy from the standpoint of if he starts hitting for that kind of power, then the RBIs will start piling up.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 10:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, marlins

(*) MASTER NOTES: Statcast and me, part 1 of many (I hope) | BaseballHQ.com

Give us the defense!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 10:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast


Moe Berg: Catcher, Lawyer, Horndog, Spy - Twinkie Town

Why did Berg, who could have done anything, choose to do nothing?

Nicholas Dawidoff wrote a fascinating biography of Berg, from which I stole all of this. And I don’t care: “The Catcher Was A Spy” is being made into a movie starring Paul Rudd, so Dawidoff has that Hollywood cash cash money money now, I can steal with a clear conscience. Dawidoff writes:

Berg ... ever on the move, always avoiding sustained relationships where people might get a get clear look at him. And he was equally determined to skirt situations where he might be forced to look at himself. Berg suffered from an insecurity so severe that at times it debilitated him completely. More often, his lack of self-esteem banished all tranquility from his life.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: moe berg

Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly weighing change at manager

Who else can be blamed?

Sources indicated on Friday that the club was considering making a change, not exactly a stunning revelation in a season that ranks among the most disappointing in franchise history. Triple-A Reno manager Phil Nevin, who was a finalist for the managerial job two years ago, is expected to be a candidate if Hale is fired.

Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart would not answer specific questions.

“I don’t want to comment on rumors,” Stewart said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chip hale, diamondbacks

Up close and personal with Mike Piazza and his post-baseball life | New York Post

“My career and my life is a miracle,’’ Piazza told The Post. “I always want to give thanks and appreciate what I feel has been a blessing for me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hall of fame, mets, mike piazza

#MLBRank: Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb make Stark’s all-time top 10

Jayson Stark’s all-time top ten.

1. Babe Ruth

My buddy Schoenfield ranked the Bambino fourth, based on the supposition that Ruth wouldn’t have been the same player in our time that he was in his time. Fun argument. But I’m not here to even attempt to rank Ruth in any alternative universe. So let’s just ask what he was in the universe he existed in. Answer: Oh, only the most important and transformative hitter/pitcher/larger-than-life character ever. That’s all. In that brief period when he was pitching for a living, he was the most unhittable left-handed pitcher in baseball. (Look it up sometime.) Then he found other stuff to keep him busy. And once he grabbed a bat full time, he was so much better than anyone else at hitting a baseball over a fence that he had a season in 1920 in which there was only one team in the entire sport that hit more home runs than he hit. So has there ever been anyone like that in any sport? Best pitcher. Best hitter. Best personality. Best gate attraction. Best headline generator. Best nickname. Best reason for his team to build a ballpark tailored pretty much for him. All I know is, if he were alive today, he’d definitely host the ESPYS. So I’ll be happy to listen to any and all arguments for other guys as the No. 1 player of all time. But here’s how I’d describe those arguments: Wrong!

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings

Russell Martin suffers an injury after staying in the sauna too long - CBSSports.com

On top of that, his skin was very pruney.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, injuries, russell martin

Heyman - Welcome To Worst Starting Pitcher Market Ever - TKB

Jon Heyman’s weekly notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 08:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Yankees beat Giants on 8th-inning error | MLB.com

It’s tough to be a seller when your team keeps winning.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 08:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Texas Rangers: Rangers, Chicago White Sox appear to be circling one another in trade dance | SportsDay

I can’t see the White Sox dealing Sale. That said, every player should be available in the “right deal”.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, trade rumors, white sox

Baseball Prospectus | DRA 2016: Challenging the Citadel of DIPS

Baseball Prospectus updates its pitching metric.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 08:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

OMNICHATTER 7-23-16

What is this, some kind of OMNICHATTER?

Gamingboy Posted: July 23, 2016 at 12:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Friday, July 22, 2016

Kansas City Royals add ultrasound system MuscleSound

Looking for an edge.

Kenney says the players remain divided on the new technology, with some fearing that any information—the technology does read the quality of a muscle—will get used against them in future contract talks, but others stay “very, very interested to see where their body is taking them.”

“We are trying to get guys to optimal levels and increase performance levels,” Kenney says. “That is our intended use.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, science

OMNICHATTER 7-22-16

It’s chatterific!

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 10:01 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

MLB Scores Big Win in Minor-League Wage Lawsuit

Last October, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Major League Baseball’s minor-league pay practices scored an important, albeit preliminary, victory when the court tentatively certified the case as a collective-action lawsuit. As I noted at the time, this meant that rather than have to file individual lawsuits for every player allegedly denied the minimum wage or overtime, current and former minor-league players could instead opt-in to the existing litigation and have their claims against MLB tried together in the existing case (a much more efficient and less costly proposition).

As I also noted at the time, however, this initial victory was potentially short-lived. Under the applicable legal rules, even though the court had preliminarily certified the minor leaguers’ case as a collective action, the court withheld a final judgment on the matter until after the parties had gathered more evidence regarding the extent to which the players’ legal claims were “similarly situated” to one another’s (i.e., whether the work experiences and legal claims of the plaintiffs already named in the lawsuit were roughly equivalent to those of the rest of the players who might join the case).

That additional evidence has now been collected and, on Thursday evening, the judge in the minor-league wage lawsuit ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to show that their cases were similarly situated. Thus, the judge “decertified” the case as a collective action.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 22, 2016 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2016

Milwaukee Journal, July 22, 1916:

Hans Wagner, holder of diamond records galore during twenty-one years of big league ball, has added another mark to his string in the form of home run No. 106.
...
His total of 106 probably never will be equaled.

Certainly there’s no chance it could ever be equaled by anyone playing big league baseball in 1916, right?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2016 at 09:13 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, honus wagner

Rockies’ Mark Reynolds crushes 484-foot homer | MLB.com

This is a giant-sized homer.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 08:18 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mark reynolds, rockies

Ichiro Suzuki records 2 hits, 4 shy of 3,000 | MLB.com

It can happen any day now.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2016 at 08:17 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: 3000 hits, ichiro, ichiro suzuki, marlins

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ted Berg: I badly wanted MLB to adopt replay before 2014. Now I find it boring and dumb

I get that it’s a complicated thing and there are a million factors I haven’t considered. But the way it is right now kind of stinks, and I can’t imagine it’s actually improving MLB’s on-field product even if it’s technically making it more fair.

Like sports talk radio, it starts more arguments than it solves.

Bote Man makes baseball fun again Posted: July 21, 2016 at 02:01 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: replay, replay sucks, rules

Souhan: Does Pohlad have enough savvy to hire the right GM? - StarTribune.com

Souhan thinks Pohlad is a bumpkin.

Hiring the next big thing is an exercise in research and perceptiveness, and it is difficult. When MacPhail left the Twins after the 1994 season to run the Cubs as one of baseball’s most respected bosses, he wanted to hire a general manager to work below him. On the flight to Chicago, he showed me a list of potential candidates that included Sabean, who has won three of the past five World Series with the Giants. Then he hired Ed Lynch.

On Monday, Pohlad did not sound like someone who is ready to hire the next big thing. He sounded like someone who would need a lot of help to avoid hiring the next Ed Lynch.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Heyman - Stewart Defends D-backs From Unnamed Accusations

The best way to answer the critics is to win.

The trade of Brad Ziegler incited some unexpected controversy when unnamed executives complained to a couple reporters that their teams offered a better package (or packages) for the reliever. And one exec even told Peter Gammons that he suspected that Tony La Russa only did that allegedly bad deal with the Boston Red Sox’s Dave Dombrowski because those two worked together with the White Sox three decades ago.

Seems like an unlikely reason to make a deal, but that’s what they allegedly said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 11:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks, general managers


Pokemon Go craze hits Chicago Cubs clubhouse—sort of - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

You don’t really have to catch them all.

Has the Pokemon Go craze found its way into the Chicago Cubs clubhouse? That was the question put to players this week, as their ability to travel the country and catch Pokemon make them prime candidates for the addicting and popular game.

“I’ve caught two so far,” pitcher Jason Hammel said. “The first one might be a gimme so they can hook you. I’m going to show it to my son, and he will love that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

The Physics of Catchers’ Knees – The Hardball Times

My knees hurt just from reading the article.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 10:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers

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