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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Bryce Harper Hits 3 HRs in 3 ABs Before Grounding Out - NYTimes.com

I can’t believe he grounded out!!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 07:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals


How far will Statcast’s reach extend? | MLB.com

How much of the defensive stuff will be made publicly available? I can’t see how the availability of this data won’t make all the current defensive metrics obsolete.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 09:23 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statcast

Baseball Prospectus | BP Ballpark Night

So there is still a chance…

Of course, the 2015 version of Ryan Braun does appear to be different than the pre-injury Braun. Some may ascribe his struggles to a lack of performance-enhancing drugs, but the batted-ball velocity suggests the power in his swing hasn’t subsided in any meaningful manner. Instead, the 2015 Braun is different because he’s exploitable. He’s pitchable. Opposing hurlers can challenge him early with hard stuff in on the hands and then work out of the strike zone with breaking balls and changeups. It has proven effective for the past two years.

All in all, the data suggest two things: (1) Braun seems to be fighting bad habits he developed last year while dealing with a nerve injury in his thumb; (2) if he cannot close the hole in his swing on the inner third of the plate, he should still be effective and hit for power but will likely struggle reach the elite pre-injury levels of production.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, ryan braun


Cubs young core envisioning playoff run

“They’ve (the Cardinals) created this culture, this method,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Then, you layer that with this fan base, baseball fans who support this team and know the game. So bully for them.

“We’re in the process of doing the same thing with the Cubs.”

Who knows when it will happen? But Chicago is convinced there will come a time when the Cardinals no longer bully the Cubs, and it might be now.

“It feels like this is just the beginning,” Epstein said. “Even though we haven’t accomplished anything yet, I think they will stay together and continue to get better, year after year.

“We’ll see what we’re made of. The hard part begins now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-6-2015

New York Evening World, May 6, 1915:

The Red Sox are here for the first time to-day and the shooting ought to be good. They have just shut out the Senators two games in succession, but are far behind their schedule of cinching the pennant before the Fourth of July. As yet they have not beaten our new Yanks.

This was the closest thing I could find to a preview of the May 6, 1915 Boston-New York game, a 13-inning affair with a pitching matchup that saw Yankee right hander Jack Warhop face off with a Boston rookie named George Ruth. Young Ruth had a memorable day, and it had nothing to do with him having a 12.1 inning complete game, a wild pitch, a hit batter, and an error in the same game.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: May 06, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

When hitters pitch, and other out-of-position classics. | SportsonEarth.com : Andrew Simon

There has to be some better picks.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding

Rosenthal’s Emmy a product of dedication the viewer never sees

The only way you wouldn’t know Ken Rosenthal is nice guy, who works really hard, is by not paying attention. We don’t call him Robothal for nothing.

Congrats!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: ken rosenthal, media

Miller proving his worth with each great start | braves.com

The Heyward trade is working out for the Braves, so far.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, shelby miller

Angels’ debuting rookie records walk-off rarity | angels.com

This is how to make a good first impression.

“It’s hard to find catching,” Angels assistant general manager Scott Servais said prior to the game. “We needed it in our system, and Carlos had spent well over 100 games at Triple-A already and held his own. He had a really good winter ball, our reports were good on him, so, why not?”

Perez always had a plus arm—he’s thrown out 36 percent of would-be basestealers in his Minor League career—and the Angels saw him make big strides in other aspects of his defense throughout Spring Training, from pitch framing to blocking to carving out a game plan. They sent him out on Tuesday for Garrett Richards, one of the toughest pitchers in baseball to catch, and came away impressed.

“He’s ready for this challenge, and he had a great night tonight,” said Scioscia, who insisted that Iannetta will continue to get a fair share of playing time. “If he can catch with that consistency, he’s going to be in the Major Leagues for a long time, because he looked really good behind the plate.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angeles, carlos perez

After bouncing around, Jimmy Paredes gets his chance with the Orioles - Baltimore Sun

The guy has some skills on offense but can’t field. He needs to keep taking advantage of his opportunity if he wants a career, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jimmy paredes, orioles

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg of Washington Nationals leaves start after three innings

Best laid plans…

“He’s got a little issue under his shoulder blade. Had it last start,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said after the game. “Could be an alignment issue, but as he finishes pitches, it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse. So we’ll have to have the chiropractor look at him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:11 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Confirmed news on Rays’ Alex Cobb: Partial tear in elbow, will try to pitch through it | Tampa Bay Times

Cobb received PRP therapy, in where platelet rich plasma is injected to speed healing, during a visit to see noted specialist Dr. James Andrews.

Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said the team was still in “a wait-and-see mode’’ and it was “premature” to speculate about surgery. “He has had some tests performed and we’re awaiting results,’’ Silverman said.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:06 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cobb, rays

Reds notes: Injury has Mesoraco in Catch-22 situation

Is this really a difficult choice?

Devin Mesoraco is facing a bit of a Catch-22: If he has surgery to repair the impingement in his left hip, he’ll miss pretty much the rest of this season.

If he continues to try to rehab the injury without surgery, he might be reduced to pinch-hitting and 10 games as designated hitter when the Reds play interleague road games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2015 at 06:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: devin mesoraco, reds

Growing up Ted

Great article, well worth the time to read.

THIS STORY BEGAN two years ago, when I reached out to Claudia about meeting at her home in Hernando. The timing never worked for her because she struggles to look past her obsessions: nursing school and a book she wrote about her father, which started as a stocking stuffer about lessons she learned and turned into a cathartic exploration of the person she’s still trying to be. Finally she said yes. The first visit lasted a week in the fall of 2014, and we made paella and she told funny stories about her dad—he’d call the public phone in European hostels and boom at unsuspecting travelers, “Is CLAUDIA WILLIAMS there? This is her FATHER! OL’ TED WILLIAMS!”—and she got melancholy later and said, “We need to laugh more.”

 

Meatwad misses Vincennes Posted: May 06, 2015 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fatherhood, red sox, ted williams

5-6-15 OMNICHATTER

Friendly Neighborhood OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 06, 2015 at 12:09 AM | 163 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Battering the Batter

MLB can also look at the National Hockey League, which has a rule that’s always enforced regardless of intent. The NHL gives a player a two-minute delay of game penalty if he shoots the puck over the glass out of his own end. It’s irrelevant if the delay of game occurred because the player was trying to stave off an offensive rush, or if he just ran into some bad luck.

MLB can follow the same process, though it would be far more controversial: automatic ejections of any pitcher who hits a batter above the waist. Doing so removes umpires’ inability to measure intent from the equation. Hit a batter above the waist, hit the showers early, no exceptions. Ask Giancarlo Stanton’s jaw if it mattered that Mike Fiers wasn’t aiming at his head—the injury is the same. An ejection isn’t the same as a suspension—the team would only be without its pitcher for the duration of the game in which the hit-by-pitch occurred. A subsequent suspension would still be under the purview of the league office; it would still determine intent when assessing whether a longer punishment was necessary.

To be sure, this would have a profound impact on the game. Many pitchers rely on pitching inside—sometimes high and inside—to remain effective. Were automatic ejections the rule, offense would increase, as batters would no longer need to fear the inside pitch. Yet that might prove a blessing in disguise, as the new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has stated that he’s looking for ways to increase offense in the sport. Severely penalizing dangerous pitching will improve offense while at the same time mitigating the risk of a gruesome or fatal injury. The sport has survived profound changes to offense over the last two decades; a player’s career may not survive a fastball profoundly changing the structure of his skull.



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 | 28 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 | 56 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

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