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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 | 8 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 | 21 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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Inside Baseball—Top 60 Upcoming Free Agents

Heyman is busy.
AL Notes and NL Notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2017 at 04:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, notes

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The totality of Rafael Devers, who is eclipsing everything thought possible

Devers won’t be able to sustain his current play forever. (His .377 BAbip would rank him 3rd all time.) Nevertheless, he looks like a great young player who has great bat-to-ball skills and an ability to make adjustments. I am looking forward to watching his career.

For reference, he’s the top 30 in BAbip (minimum 1000 PA):

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:26 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rafael devers, red sox

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Notes: Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield is Playing to Win | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inside Baseball | Astros Cautious Ways Will Hurt October Chances

AL Notes
NL Notes

“This year” isn’t the timeline the Astros are considering. The idea of overpaying for an aging, expensive starter to incrementally increase the team’s changes clearly doesn’t appeal to them. They want to compete over multiple years and believe in, by only making prudent trades, they will increase their chances of winning a championship *or two* over the next half dozen year.

But you have to wonder whether their conservative style may wind up haunting them this year. Though some recent bullpen struggles and a fragile rotation top has to bring concern, they basically stood pat at the deadline, failing to land a single impact arm (their only trade was for Francisco Liriano, a struggling starter they are using in the pen).

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2017 at 01:21 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Rick Hahn, Ben Cherington, and Others from Saber Seminar | FanGraphs Baseball

“From time to time, you think you’re potentially getting away with something by picking out a guy out of low-A, or the DSL (Dominican Summer League) or rookie ball,” said Hahn. “Inevitably, the other GM will say to you, ‘That’s some good scouting. He’s under the radar, and our guys really like him.’ Whether that’s true or not, you get that a lot. When you get, ‘Ooh, that’s good scouting,’ it’s either A: good scouting, or B: the general manager never heard of that player and doesn’t want to reveal it.

“When we did the John Danks/Brandon McCarthy deal with the Texas Rangers (in December 2006) we were coming down to the final players, and I was at a holiday party. Kenny called me and said we could get the deal done, but we’d have to give up Paisano. I was like, ‘Really. Paisano, huh?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, what do you think?’ I take a minute, then say ‘Kenny, I’ve got to tell you I don’t know who the hell Paisano is.’ He goes, ‘Good, because neither do I.’

David Paisano was a DSL outfielder we had signed the previous June or July. He wasn’t quite on our radar. That was a young A.J. Preller digging around the DSL, and trying to swipe someone away from us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Ken Rosenthal - All you buyers who remained disciplined, refused to succumb to the emotions….

Kenny, Kenny, Kenny. The idea that being disciplined is stupid is…stupid. Overpaying for incremental improvements squanders assets.

The Astros and the Dodgers are looking to be the 90’s Braves not the 2003 Marlins. The Dodgers and Astros? Wait didn’t the Dodgers make the big deal? They made a deal but they traded away fungible assets. They didn’t trade any top prospects. Instead, they stayed disciplined and waited for a deal where they could give fair value to acquire a helpful rental.

Want another comparison. Let’s compare the Yankees and Red Sox. Cashman has made some excellent long-term and short-term moves the last few years. Dave Dombrowski has squandered a great farm system for one great pitcher and a bunch of shiny baubles. Cashman’s discipline will pay off over the next few years. The Red Sox will see their *window* close much sooner than expected. Instead of being the East Coast version of the Dodgers, the Red Sox will be the East Coast version of the Tigers.

All you buyers who remained disciplined, refused to succumb to the emotions of the deadline, held onto your precious prospects . . . congratulations!
You failed to improve your clubs.

All you sellers who held your ground, refused to blink, stuck to the values you assigned your “assets” ... terrific work!
You blew it, too.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 01, 2017 at 06:23 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday, July 30, 2017

2 From Baseball’s Front Offices, Not Its Fields, Get a Cooperstown Moment - The New York Times

Article includes a discussion of which current GMs might join the Hall some day.


Olney: Madison Bumgarner might not rediscover his velocity - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

Bumgarner’s velocity has also been down to some of the lowest readings of his career. In his final outing before the accident, he averaged 92.1 mph with his fastball (April 19 vs. Royals). Here are his average readings in the three starts since he returned, per FanGraphs:
July 15: 89.7 mph
July 20: 90.4 mph
July 25: 90.4 mph

It’s too early to interpret the diminishment in velocity. It could be that, much like a pitcher working his way through spring training, Bumgarner is still in the process of building velocity. That’s something that the Giants saw from him in March, when sluggish readings early in the month eventually got better.

Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti also acknowledged another possibility Saturday: The 27-year-old, who has logged more than 1,500 innings in his career, is simply not going to throw as hard as he used to—maybe because of natural wear and tear, maybe partly because of the April accident.

“It was a serious injury,” Righetti said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, notes, orioles, pace of play

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Inside Baseball AL Notes | How Eduardo Nunez Can Help The Red Sox

Heyman’s latest.

NL Notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 27, 2017 at 01:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Ken Rosenthal - Rumblings from Clubs

The rumblings persist, mostly from rival clubs.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is going to make another trade, perhaps his biggest yet.

Jerry Dipoto is going to get Sonny Gray.

At the moment, there appears to be little basis to the rumblings — the Mariners and Athletics have not spoken in about a week, according to one major-league source.

In addition, there also is significant doubt whether the Mariners possess enough young talent to land Gray, with one rival exec saying, “I don’t see them as a threat at all.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 27, 2017 at 08:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, notes, sonny gray, trade rumors

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday Notes: Jose Berrios’s Breaking Ball is Bugs Bunny | FanGraphs Baseball

Sunday notes, one day late. Sorry.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2017 at 08:40 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Nick Cafardo: Every team needs a character player — even during this analytics age

It’s never been all about analytics. Ever.

Sometimes it’s as if baseball has become all about analytics. It’s good to know there’s still a human side to the game. Even analytics-driven teams such as the Astros, Yankees, and Red Sox understand you need players with character who provide elements that can’t be measured with numbers.

These players not only do it between the lines but off the field. They generate good karma and help teammates relax, and act as mentors for younger players.

The Yankees, who traded two character players in Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann last season, signed Matt Holliday to be their DH during the offseason. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s decision to bring in Holliday was not only based on performance, but to provide a veteran influence who could get in the ear of a younger player.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ken Rosenthal - Posts

Ken Rosenthal’s Facebook column. (Let me know if you can’t view it.) Would someone please help him set up a Wordpress account??

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Inside Baseball NL Notes | Nationls Call On Orioles Britton

Missed this the other day. Here’s the AL Notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 16, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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