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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Notes: Mike Rizzo and the Nats’ Analytical Wavelength

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Are big-money managers being minimized?

It’s not new. What’s new is the ability to quantify the impact of a player’s mechanical adjustments.

3. Amazing that launch angle is now a popular concept. Isn’t that what Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, and countless others did? Some people make it sound like a new phenomenon.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Inside Baseball | 7 Burning Questions For The MLB Offseason

Jon Heyman asks the big questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 10:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, November 17, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Yankees Still Looking To Shed Salary

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2017 at 03:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, November 06, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Who are MLB’s biggest names to follow this offseason?

Boston Sunday Globe’s baseball notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2017 at 08:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Tigers Prospect Isaac Paredes Loves to Hit | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, November 03, 2017

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Could Yankees Restructure With Tanaka?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 03, 2017 at 06:15 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Brian Cashman and the Yankees followed the Red Sox’ blueprint — and may have done it better

“I tried to take what successful franchises like the Red Sox and Indians did and what Theo and Ben and [Indians president of baseball operations] Chris Antonetti were doing and how they handled their young players with their amateur scouting and drafting and building a farm system. I looked at everything,” said Cashman, who has won five championships.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox, yankees

Friday, October 13, 2017

Inside Baseball AL Notes | Time Its Now For Mike Trout Extension

Jon Heyman’s latest.
NL Notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2017 at 05:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, October 09, 2017

Sunday Notes: The Astros Changed Alex Bregman for the Good | FanGraphs Baseball

Earlier this week we ran a Players’ View that asked the question: Are Today’s Analytically-Inclined Players tomorrow’s GMs? Recently-retired outfielder Sam Fuld wasn’t among the people quoted, but he does have an opinion on the subject. Fuld shared the following shortly after the article went up:

“I do see an increasing role for former players in front offices. Over the last five to ten years, most teams have embraced the role of advanced metrics/big data/creativity, but this change has been met by a lot of cynicism from players and coaches. However, as this approach continues to seep into baseball culture, the notion of having front office, coaches and players all on board with the same ideology is fast approaching.

“Now there exists a first real wave of former players who were both exposed to, and believe in, this sort of ‘new school’ thinking. With a player’s perspective, coupled with an understanding of the team’s philosophy, their role in connecting all members of the organization will be integral.”

There’s a decent chance we’ll see the Stanford-educated Fuld in a front office in the not-too-distant future. Asked about his interest, he said he’s definitely exploring the possibility now that he’s hung up his cleats.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Torey Lovullo brought love — yes, love — to the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse

“I wasn’t afraid to talk about the word ‘love,’ ” Lovullo said before the NL wild-card game on Wednesday. “You know, in baseball and sports we’re very macho people. We’re afraid to talk about it. So you’ve heard me say the word ‘love.’ I think that the guys use the word ‘love,’ and I think that we’ve developed a really special bond. So that was the first thing that I set out to do through my own actions and my own relationships, and I think that the guys caught on. I’m proud of that, and I’m honored by that.

“And I think that they felt that it fit for what we were walking through day by day. And then the players played pretty good. So it was a perfect storm of delivering the message to try and change the culture, and then the players went out and executed every single day. They did that on their own. They performed. They grew. They cared about one another. And you could see where that landed us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2017 at 08:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Sunday, October 01, 2017


Sunday, September 24, 2017

The case for Jose Altuve as the American League MVP, and a look at the rest of the contenders

Nick Cafardo embraces WAR.

WAR numbers can also vary based on the formulas used to calculate them. Defensive metrics are also getting more refined and accurate. And there are these things called your eyes. If you’ve followed a player all season you understand his value regardless of what the numbers say. Usually the numbers back up the eyes and the instincts.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Travis Shaw and the Brewers are Sneaky Good | FanGraphs Baseball

When I first wrote about Matt Olson, he was 20 years old and wrapping up a season where he led the Pacific Coast League with 37 home runs. Three years later, he’s showing off his prodigious power in an Oakland uniform. Since being called up by the A’s in mid June, the sweet-swinging first baseman has gone deep 24 times in 210 plate appearances. His slash line is a McGwire-esque .262/.357/.667.

The bridge between those aforementioned seasons included an impactful mechanical adjustment. Olson has always been strikeout prone, and last September he went just 2 for 21 in his first taste of big league baseball. Some tightening up was in order.

“When I got up here last year, they wanted to address some issues, and my way of addressing them was to move my hands out in front of my body more,” Olson told me recently. “Before, when I would get loaded, I would tuck them back. That was causing me to cut myself off — I was swinging against my body — so I moved them out to where I can go directly to the ball, as opposed to having to kind of spin off to get my barrel there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Inside Baseball AL Notes | Young Yankees Re-Writing Record Books

Heyman’s latest. You can find the NL Notes here.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 21, 2017 at 11:33 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Sunday Notes: Oakland’s Chris Smith Rides a Rollercoaster | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2017 at 03:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bryce Brentz hung in there and the Red Sox hung in there with him — until they didn’t

I’ve seen enough of Bryce Brentz to believe he can be a serviceable major leaguer in the Jonny Gomes mode. I’m sure he’ll be able to catch on with another team. 

Among other things in the piece, the Commissioner speaks:

Q. Are the rumors about the new Marlins ownership slashing payroll by 50 percent true, and are you concerned by that?

A. “I talked to [new Marlins owner] Bruce Sherman this morning. I think that the Marlins, the new ownership, once they are approved, are intent on putting a competitive product on the field and improving the financial performance of that club in the market. I don’t think there has been any predetermination that they are going to X, Y, or Z payroll level. And in fact, Mr. Sherman told me he had no idea where those press reports were emanating from, and that it was not reflective of any discussion that he had internally with his group.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 10, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce brentz, notes, red sox

Sunday Notes: Zack Littell Knows a 20-1 Record is Relative | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Marte came over from the Mariners in last winter’s Taijuan Walker–Jean Segura trade, which means he received Hall-of-Fame-quality hitting tutorials before arriving in Arizona.

“Edgar Martinez was my hitting coach in Seattle last year, and he taught me a lot,” Marte told me in late August. “He would tell me that every time he would go to home plate, he would be looking to hit the ball to right field. He said if you’re thinking middle away, you’re going to be more closed and maybe you’re going to have a better swing. If you’re thinking middle away and they throw inside, you just react — you hit the ball to left field.”

Marte is suddenly showing an ability to hit balls over fences. The Dominican infielder had just 13 professional home runs coming into the season, and he’s nearly doubled that total. After totaling six in Triple-A Reno, he has five with the D-Backs in just 185 plate appearances.

Where is the power coming from?

“I don’t know, “ answered a smiling Marte. ‘I think I had the same pop last year, but I just have a better swing now. I try to put my best swing on every time. I just see the ball and swing hard.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 10, 2017 at 07:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Inside Baseball NL Notes | David Wright Wants One More Shot

Heyman’s latest.

AL Notes here.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2017 at 02:20 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Monday, September 04, 2017

Giancarlo Stanton is just what the Red Sox need

Have to be?

If Stanton is made available, the Red Sox have to be in on him. Whether they would have enough to satisfy the Marlins’ demands and whether the Marlins would eat some of Stanton’s contract remains to be seen. But at age 27 and with 60-homer potential, Stanton is a player the Sox must inquire about.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 04, 2017 at 07:31 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Inside Baseball AL Notes | Justin Upton Has Tough Decision Coming

He’s also written NL Notes and Which managers are on the hot seat?. With Rosenthal behind a paywall now, it looks like Heyman will assume the Gammons’ mantle. Too bad, I used to like reading and linking to Rosenthal.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 12:34 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, August 27, 2017

As the Red Sox have surged, ratings have bounced back

Just in time to listen to the horrible Jerry Remy fill-ins and the snooze inducing Dave O’Brien.

And more caterwauling about the Houston decision to not retain some scouts.

That may be the case, but the reality is scouting as a way of evaluating players is dying. So many great baseball people who have devoted their lives to discovering talent no longer work in the game. This is very disturbing to Dave Dombrowski, who says, “You’ve got to have both.”

The roll call in Houston includes Paul Gale, Tim Moore, Tucker Blair, and Mike Wickham (who is the husband of MLB Network’s Heidi Watney). The list on the amateur side includes Zach Clark, John Martin, Nick Venuto, and Mark Ross, all longtime respected evaluators. The Twins let go the estimable Wayne Krivsky and his 40 years of experience. Also gone are veteran evaluators Marty Esposito, Alan Sandberg, Ted Williams, and Mark Wilson, who produced Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins for the Twins.

I don’t know the exact reason these scouts were let go, and neither do the complainers. I suggest, however, a team’s *employees* must fit within an organization’s culture and team-building philosophy. If these scouts don’t, and what they bring to the table is actually of value, letting them go will eventually be beneficial to the fired scouts as their opinions will be better appreciated by teams which share the scouts sensibilities. At the same time, the Astros will end up hiring people who better fit their objectives.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Sunday Notes: Blue Jays Prospect Danny Jansen is Opening Eyes | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

“Being a nice guy doesn’t necessarily help you get that base hit,” responded Lovullo. “Being a nice guy doesn’t necessarily help you make that big pitch. What it helps do is develop trust. If you have a tough moment, your team is going to back you. They’ll make you understand that you didn’t fail alone — you failed together. And when you get that big hit, you’re not going to celebrate alone, you’re going to celebrate together. It makes you feel there’s a bigger importance than the self. Feeling like you’re a part of something bigger, something more special, can help you do some spectacular things.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2017 at 08:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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