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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Rays’ next ace: Alex Cobb

Commenter: “his wind up reminds me of elaines dance move on seinfeld”

[Alex] Cobb is at or near the top of the list in two notable, important statistics that go hand in hand with his success… Cobb’s changeup… has accumulated 20 runs of value, meaning it is a pitch that has gotten significantly better than average results. The only pitcher with a changeup whose value is greater than Cobb’s is Felix Hernandez (22 runs)... Pitchers with elite changeups are hard to hit, and Cobb rates best in another stat—hard-hit rate. Inside Edge, a video-tracking service that provides data to teams and media, charts every batted ball, rating each as hit soft, medium or hard… Cobb has the lowest hard-hit rate of anyone with at least 80 innings pitched this season. He has allowed hard-hit balls in only 9 percent of the at-bats against him…

Pitching is an evolving process, and Cobb has discovered that what works best for him is different from what works for most other pitchers. His windup includes a pause point midwindup and a leg kick that would be best described as nontraditional… “Most people do a leg kick where they bend their knee 45-degree angle to third base,” Cobb said earlier this week. “I try to reach to the catcher by squeezing my hip. That’s where the pause comes into play. It’s not to distract the hitter. I just want my arm to catch up to the rest of my body. A lot of people have told me that the pause messes with hitters. That’s just a bonus.”

The District Attorney Posted: August 30, 2014 at 03:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cobb, rays

Monday, August 25, 2014

FG: Joe Maddon’s Bunting Identity Crisis

I also thought the graph of “league wide WPA on sac bunts” was extremely interesting.

Since he began leading the Rays in 2006, Joe Maddon has been known as one of the more progressive MLB managers… He’s even spoke out publicly against sac bunting in the past… [yet] The Tampa Bay Rays have attempted 58 non-pitcher sacrifice bunts this season, by far the highest mark in the major leagues. No other team has even 50… Just 35 of those 58 attempts have turned into “successful” sacrifice bunts… 35-of-58 yields a 60% success rate. That’s bad. The league average success rate for a sacrifice bunt is 71%. Only five teams have lower success rates on bunts than the Rays this year…

the Rays, despite having attempted more sac bunts than anyone, have not executed more sac bunts than anyone. Instead, that title goes to Terry Francona’s Indians, with a league-leading 38 successful sacrifice bunts. The Indians, like the Rays, are known as one of the most progressive organizations in baseball and Francona has a reputation as a progressive manager from his time with the Theo Epstein-led Red Sox who didn’t bunt at all…  both the Indians (104 wRC+) and Rays (102 wRC+) have top-1o offenses in baseball this season… The Indians have at least bunted well, which is more than the Rays can say, with an 82% success rate that is topped only by the Rangers’ 86%...

To be honest, I really can’t think of a good explanation as to why Maddon and Francona have fallen in love with the sacrifice bunt this year. Both have proven to be anti-bunt in the past and have strong lineups, yet rely on the bunt more than any other manager in baseball seemingly to a fault.

Just for fun, since we’re talking about the Rays and the Indians, what do the bunting habits of the Moneyball A’s look like? Fewest in the league, with just 12. Part of that is due in part to their league-worst 44% success rate, but they’ve also attempted just 24, the sixth-fewest in the MLB.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2014 at 06:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, indians, joe maddon, rays, strategy, terry francona

Friday, August 22, 2014

DRays Bay: Rays to Montreal? “Smart chronicler” says yes

Pre-game conversation with a smart chronicler of the Rays, who believes team is finished in this market and eventually headed to Montreal.

— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) August 20, 2014

As I have said before, and in direct disagreement with Henning, the Rays do not have a weak market as they face almost no competition for baseball, with excellent television ratings. Baseball is a television sport.

A far more likely team to move would be the Oakland Athletics, who have a far worse stadium than the Rays, and direct market competition with a massive franchise in the Giants, who surely would love to control the west coast, bay-area market.

 

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Oh goody, now Montreal can be part of the ruse to extort cities for new stadiums!

Lynn G. Henning, a writer for The Detroit News, reported at the beginning of this series that he’d had an in-depth conversation with a presumably knowledgeable source that the Rays are on their way to Montreal.

This is a standard rumor for the Rays franchise. Complications of baseball’s worst attendance and most chastised stadium, combined with two very limiting contracts in the lease on Tropicana Field and minimal television revenue, have made this a routine conversation. Purporting an actual source, however, is a new development….

 

As I have said before, and in direct disagreement with Henning, the Rays do not have a weak market as they face almost no competition for baseball, with excellent television ratings. Baseball is a television sport.

A far more likely team to move would be the Oakland Athletics, who have a far worse stadium than the Rays, and direct market competition with a massive franchise in the Giants, who surely would love to control the west coast, bay-area market.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:02 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays, relocation, stadium

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Joe Maddon rips Rays fans for cheering Derek Jeter

Far from the Maddon crowd.

Everybody at Tropicana Field seemed to love cheering for Derek Jeter. Except Rays’ manager Joe Maddon.

Maddon blasted Rays fans for rooting for the retiring 40-year-old captain after the Yankees beat them, 3-2, on Saturday. Jeter also came up with the game-winning hit, a top-of-the-ninth RBI single that put New York ahead for good.

“Yeah it’s great,” Maddon said. “It’s great that it’s sold out. And I understand that the people like Derek Jeter. But you’ve got to come out and root for the Rays, too, you understand. I mean, I totally understand what’s going on. But I’m not going to sit here and defend all of that noise in the Yankees’ favor in our ballpark. I’m not going to defend that. So we’re going to come out and root for the Rays. We’d appreciate that.”

Repoz Posted: August 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yankees

Rays’ surge continues, grab a bit of history in the process

With a 5-0 shutout win over the Yankees tonight, the Rays at long last returned to .500 at 61-61. As the Rays’ Twitter notes, they have become the fourth team in baseball history to reach .500 after falling at least 18 games below .500, joining the 1899 Louisville Colonels, the 2004 Devil Rays, and the 2006 Marlins.

I guess I’m not sure what to make of this not happening for 105 years and then happening three times since.  And all with the no budget Florida teams.  Maybe playing around with prospect service times is a factor?

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 16, 2014 at 03:54 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: joe maddon, rays, records

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Drafts That Exceeded Expectations

The Angels hooked a good one.

he leading 2006 Rays draft managed to produce three productive major leaguers: Evan Longoria (1st Round, 3rd pick, 38.5 career rWAR, 5.81 WAR/Season), Alex Cobb (4th Round, 3rd Pick, 7.1 career rWAR, 1.94 WAR/Season), and Desmond Jennings (10th Round, 3rd Pick, 11.7 rWAR, 3.02 WAR/Season). However, the 2009 Angels drafted Mike Trout, Tyler Skaggs, and Garrett Richards, so they may be on the way to passing the 2006 Rays. In addition, the Angels’s total includes Patrick Corban and Randal Grichuk, whom they traded away. However, since the point of this exercise is identifying the teams who are getting the best value, even if it gets traded away, this is a reasonable inclusion.

On the opposite end, the 1994 Phillies drafted four players who reached the majors, all of whom had negative WAR. The 1997 White Sox failed to sign 2nd Round pick Jeff Weaver (who would go on to have 15.5 career rWAR), had six total 1st Round and Supplement 1st Round Picks, and still wound out on -1.77 WAR/Season….

Accounting for this, we can calculate the WAR/Season above the expectation that a team got in their draft, which can be looked at as a measure of value. Not surprisingly this list has several teams picking near the bottom of the round who find a star (a la Mike Trout), or teams who find a star in the later rounds (Such as Paul Goldschmidt)...

Not surprisingly, the 2009 Angels draft class comes out on top. In fact, in future years this class may look even more impressive if Skaggs, Richards, Grichuk, and Corbin continue to develop.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 02:26 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, draft, mike trout, phillies, rays

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Calcaterra: Rays minor leaguer Josh Sale is suspended. Again.

I really thought I was going to be able to pull the trigger on the ambiguous headline here, but I just couldn’t…

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League.

You may remember Josh Sale from such films as “I verbally berated and humiliated a stripper and thought that was something to brag about” and “I received a 50-game suspension in 2012 for testing positive for meth.” I remember him from an evaluator familiar with Sale once telling me that he was perhaps the single most immature prospect he has ever seen.

Seems like things are going just great for the guy who was the 17th overall pick in the 2010 draft. He’s doing great things to help make all that he can out of his career. All on top of a 2014 line of .238/.313/.344 as a 22-year-old at high-A ball.

The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:26 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: josh sale, minor leagues, rays, suspensions

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Rays’ road win streak ends in a weird 3-2 loss to A’s

Its a shame about Rays.

“What am I going to say right now?” Balfour asked aloud. “All the things I’m not supposed to say, or the things you want to hear? … What do you want out of me? You want the truth? Or just want hear whatever you (expletive deleted) want to hear?”

Balfour had just blown another game, allowing the winning run on an 0-2 single by Derek Norris with two outs and the bases loaded, scoring former Ray Sam Fuld, who reached on an 0-2 single, with two walks in between.

But there also was a checked swing called on what would have been strike three on Josh Donaldson that wasn’t called the Rays’ way — leading to manager Joe Maddon’s ejection, and blasting of the umps — and a popup that dropped in foul territory between Rays first baseman Sean Rodriguez and rightfielder Kevin Kiermaier, both extending the at-bat that led to the bases-loading walk….

The Rays still had runners at first and third with one out, and Maddon sent up one of his best bunters, Brandon Guyer, to take one swing then try their signature safety squeeze play. Guyer reached for a Sean Doolittle pitch that was too high and bunted it right back to the mound, and Doolittle flipped to Norris to get Rodriguez.

Though Guyer’s effort was admirable, his decision was bad. “The point is to take it,” Maddon said. “You don’t have to bunt it. That’s part of the play.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, grant balfour, rays, safety squeeze

Monday, August 04, 2014

Kapler: In Rays We Trust

Mike Francesa hasn’t heard of Warren Buffett either.

The perception that the Rays received a paltry haul is based on the precedent set by the 2012 deal in which they acquired Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard from the Royals. We are now two years down the road, and prospects are overvalued by the industry.

My grandfather remembers when he could buy a bottle of Pepsi for a nickel. He’s still pissed off about the price hike. Regardless of how he feels about it, when he walks into a 7-Eleven, he will leave thirsty if he’s not willing to pony up a buck fifty. When he does crack, everyone his age points and yells “How could you spend six quarters on soda!”

Now, back to the future. ...

Let’s step back from baseball for a moment. When elite companies - like Apple or Annie’s Natural Foods - release less than stellar earnings reports or unsavory news, as investors, we have a choice. We can panic and sell our positions at a loss or we can examine why the landscape seems less fruitful than before. Stepping back from the ledge, we should trust the history of the company and remember why we invested in the first place. Sometimes, taking a small step back is needed for bigger steps forward.

Historically, exceptional companies are built by the actions of stellar executives and employees. We learn to trust them based on their body of work. We aren’t necessarily privy to their proprietary information, but we know their job is to be smarter than us when it comes to their strategies. I’m not advocating blind faith. We should always question and challenge the process. However, I am suggesting that we display some level of confidence in the men and women steering the ship if they’ve continually given us reason to. ...

As an investor, blind faith is never worthy of applause, but paying attention to the companies Warren Buffett is buying and selling is an exercise with merit. When he makes a move that doesn’t immediately hit home, I don’t throw my hands up in frustration, I lean in and pay attention.

I haven’t seen Willy Adames play yet, but I just bought a bunch of shares.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 04, 2014 at 11:39 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, rays, trade deadline, trade value

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tigers To Acquire David Price

The Tigers have agreed to acquire David Price from the Rays, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The deal is a three-way trade between the Tigers, Rays, and Mariners.

Austin Jackson will go to the Mariners, per a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, with Nick Franklin and Drew Smyly heading to Tampa, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (via Twitter).

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:00 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, robothal, tigers

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cameron: Why a July 31 trade deadline just doesn’t make sense anymore

Jack Z. needs more time to do something stupid.

The Rays are a perfect example of why the league should consider moving the deadline back a couple of weeks. It’s probably in the long-term best interests of the organization to trade David Price, as they will get a much larger return for him now—when the acquiring team could get two postseason runs with Price as their ace—than they will if they hold him and make a trade this winter.  However, they’ve clawed back into the playoff race, and currently have a 15 percent chance of making the postseason. Over the next day or so, the Rays will have to decide whether or not they’re really contenders, when the reality is that they just don’t know. 

With two more weeks to evaluate, the Rays’ chances of making a real postseason run will be more clear. They’d be able to gather more information, and make a better decision about whether to keep Price for their own stretch run or trade him to a team that could make better use of his talents in October. Why is it good for baseball to force franchises to make franchise-altering decisions when it isn’t clear which way they should go?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:32 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dave cameron, pennant race, rays, trade deadline, trade rumors

Dodgers, Cardinals lead race for top trade deadline pitchers Lester, Price - CBSSports.com

The Dodgers and Cardinals have been talking to the Rays for weeks about Price too. It was reported by USA Today the Cardinals may have offered top hitting prospect Oscar Taveras and young starter Shelby Miller in a package for Price, who’s value is a bit higher than Lester’s because Price can’t become a free agent until the end of next year while Lester becomes a free agent after this season.

The Dodgers also have excellent prospects, led by shortstop Corey Seager, outfielder Joc Pederson and pitchers Julio Urias and Chris Anderson.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, rays, red sox, trade rumors

Monday, July 28, 2014

Deadspin: David Ortiz Pissed Off the Rays Again

David Ortiz’s three-run home run would be all the Red Sox needed in yesterday’s 3-2 win over Tampa. But he couldn’t have known that at the time—it was the third inning—yet Ortiz flipped his bat like he had just won a game, setting off yet another war of words with the Rays.

“I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody retaliates,” said Rays pitcher Chris Archer. . . “Whatever, dude,” Ortiz said. “There’s always going to be comments out there. He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I think. He’s got two days in the league, and to be ######## and complaining about stuff like that.”

The Rays are a truly dislikable, whining bunch of twits. All credit to their front office, but what a bunch of tosspots.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Price, Rays beat Red Sox for 8th straight victory

Price won his sixth start in a row, Evan Longoria hit a three-run double, and the Rays earned their eighth straight victory by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Friday night.

‘‘A little bit of the swagger is back,’’ Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

59 games left, 40-19 gets them to 90 wins.  It could happen.  Hopefully they have some more games with the Red Sox on the schedule.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, rays, streaks

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yadier Molina serves his brother crackers on a plate — home plate

Orange slices and Shasta for everyone after the game!

Jose was in St. Louis to play catcher for his Rays, while Yadier was sidelined with a thumb injury, so maybe Jose should have been the one sending the pick-me-up. As it happened, TV cameras caught Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo putting a couple of packs of peanut butter-filled cheese crackers on home plate, then showed Yadier laughing and motioning for his brother to take them.

Sure enough, Jose gratefully accepted the offering and put the crackers in his back pocket.

Picture-by-picture breakdown here.

 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Dave Cameron: 2014 Trade Value: The Top 10

7. Salvador Perez

If there’s one piece of feedback I got more clearly than any other last year, it was that I was too low on Salvador Perez. I had one friend in the game tell me should have been in the top five, and I had him at 36. My bad, Kansas City. Consider this a mea culpa.

Perez might not yet be the best catcher in baseball, but there are a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be in the near future. He’s basically a power spike away from being Jonathan Lucroy, only he’s four years younger than Milwaukee’s backstop, and at a point where many catchers are still honing their craft in the minors. And while framing metrics don’t love him the same way they do Lucroy, his defensive reputation is still stellar, as he shuts down the running game as well as anyone.

And then there’s the contract. Because the Royals locked up Perez after just 39 big league games, he’s set to make $2 million each of the next two years, and then they have team options for three additional years at $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million respectively. It’s $19 million over five seasons, or an average of $4 million per year. The best catcher in the American league is signed to the kind of deal you give a decent middle reliever.

Perez doesn’t even have to get any better to be one of the biggest steals in baseball. If he does improve, though, he might eventually challenge for the top spot on this list.

BUT WHO IS #6????


Monday, July 07, 2014

Gleeman: Rays sign No. 1 rated international prospect Adrian Rondon for $3 million on his 16th birthday

I think I got a turtleneck for my 16th birthday.

Today is the first day Adrian Rondon is eligible to sign because it’s his 16th birthday and the Rays moved quickly to add the right-handed-hitting shortstop from the Dominican Republic.

Tampa Bay must believe that Rondon is destined for stardom because Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that by going so far beyond their designated spending limits the Rays will be forced to pay a 100 percent tax on all international spending above $2 million and won’t be allowed to sign any prospects for more than $300,000 for a while.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 11:08 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican, international free agents, rays

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rays’ David Price in ‘bad mood’

“I mean, obviously I think about it,” Price told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s why I’ve been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it’s nothing I really want to talk about.
“I don’t have an answer for you guys. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know when I’m going. So there’s nothing I can really comment on.”

So much for standard cliches about not letting it affect him.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 25, 2014 at 01:03 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, rays

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

VIDEO: 17-year-old female knuckleballer throws BP to Rays

Chelsea’s knuckleball is real. She hit Longo in the back. I loved it. With that pitch & her composure she can compete

Not bad at all.  Joe Maddon seems like fun.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 24, 2014 at 01:36 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cool, joe maddon, knuckleballers, rays

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Every facet delivers as Rays top Cardinals, 6-3 | TBO.com

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, May 30, 2014


Monday, May 05, 2014

CBS: Who’s The Evil Empire Now? Rays Say Rule Gives BoSox Right To Force Doubleheader

The Red Sox lobbied for a doubleheader to be played Thursday after rain in Boston washed out Wednesday’s scheduled game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The struggling Rays wanted no part of a double dip.

But this one goes to the Red Sox, mainly because Boston gets what it wants, according to the Tampa Bay Times:

“Rays acting player rep Ben Zobrist said that their objections — which officially included a questionable weather forecast for today, and several other makeup possibilities during May and September visits — didn’t matter.

“In short, the Rays were told by MLB that the Red Sox (and Cubs) have exceptions to the standard rules in the Basic Agreement ‘to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do.’ “

bobm Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:50 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, cubs, rays, red sox

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4 balls, you’re out!

I have an idea: steroids for the replay guys.

bunyon Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, replay, sabermetrics, umpires

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josh Lueke Is A Rapist, You Say? Keep Saying It.

But during that Saturday night game, DRaysBay.com editor Erik Hahmann suggested that enough was enough. “It gets brought up every game by some ####### on twitter,” he tweeted. What ensued was a discussion, largely made up of male writers and fans, about the etiquette of reminding people that Lueke raped a woman.

Lars6788 Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 302 comment(s)
  Beats: brett myers, josh lueke, rape, rays, when enough is enough

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Matt Moore has torn UCL; Tommy John surgery possible

Further testing on Matt Moore’s left elbow Wednesday revealed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. The Rays and Moore are deciding on the next step, which is either surgery or rehabilitation.

“Honestly, let’s just wait until (today). I don’t have everything in,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Wednesday’s 7-3 loss to the Royals. “It needs to be looked at a little more deeply, because it’s not a slam-dunk surgery right now.”

Moore, placed on the disabled list Tuesday with left elbow soreness, could miss at least a month if he chooses to rehab without surgery. If the 24-year-old opts for the reconstructive surgery known as Tommy John surgery, he will miss at least 12 months.

Moore left Monday’s loss to the Royals in the fifth inning complaining of pain in his left elbow when he threw his change-up. He said the pain was similar to, but not as severe as, the pain in the same location he experienced last summer that forced him to the disabled list for more than a month.

...Moore said Tuesday he was hoping the injury was just bruising from the ligament rubbing against something in his arm while he threw the change-up, because the pain did not occur when he threw his other pitches. He also said he didn’t feel a pop, which some pitchers experience when they completely tear the UCL.

“Maybe something clicked in there,” Moore said. “Maybe I got little aggressive out front with one of the change-ups and something rubbed wrong or clicked, and once you kind of hit something, it kind of just stays around for a second.”

A tear would explain why the velocity on Moore’s fastball has decreased since 2011, when he arrived on the scene in September with a flourish, throwing in the high 90s.

Thanks to CV.

Repoz Posted: April 10, 2014 at 06:59 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

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