Spring Training Newsbeat
Friday, April 07, 2017
The positions of those officials are understandable, given the seemingly greater injury risk for players under the intensity of international competition, as opposed to the relative indifference of spring-training games.
Yet, according to figures compiled by Major League Baseball, players who participated in the past two tournaments actually got hurt at a lower rate than players who did not.
Among pitchers on 40-man rosters, only one of 40 from the 2013 tournament (2.5 percent) opened the season on the disabled list, as opposed to 61 of the 605 who remained with their clubs (10.1 percent).
The most recent WBC produced a comparable result: Only three of 55 pitchers from the tournament (5.5 percent) opened on the DL, as opposed to 75 of the 601 who remained with their clubs (12.5 percent).
Some of the pitching injuries for non-WBC participants carried over from the offseason or previous season, skewing the numbers somewhat. On the other hand, there is no way to know if certain injuries from the WBC also would have occurred under normal spring-training conditions.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Only two players that debuted on the day a pitcher won their 300th game went on to post at least 10 bWAR: McCutchen and Randy Myers. Here’s hoping McCutchen can rediscover his stroke.
Regarding the worst, most mystifying season of his career, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen made a startling admission to me: He lost his nerve to run.
Slumps are the viral illnesses of a hitter. They strike without warning or known cause and run their course, be they days, weeks or, in McCutchen’s case last year, five months. They happen. But perhaps most alarming about McCutchen’s 2016 season was the poor body language from one of baseball’s best and most exciting base runners.
McCutchen didn’t try to steal bases very often, and when he did, he was thrown out more times (seven) than he was successful (six). Just three years earlier, in his MVP-winning season of 2013, McCutchen had advanced from first base to third base on nearly half the singles his teammates hit. He did so only 17% of the time last year—just five times all season. He went first-to-third less than slow-footed Albert Pujols and 173 other players.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
If you ask me, the only stat that matters is WINS.
In 2015, however, Dan Rosenheck, an editor at The Economist, presented a paper at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference arguing that some spring training stats do matter—at least a little bit. He wrote that despite the limited number of games and the uneven quality of opposition faced, “the claim that spring-training numbers are useless is wrong. Not a little bit wrong, not debatably wrong—demonstrably and conclusively wrong. To be sure, the figures are noisy. But they still contain a signal.”
The key is knowing what stats to look at. Rosenheck’s study showed that peripheral stats like walk and strikeout rate stabilize much quicker in spring training than usual go-to stats like batting average or ERA (this is true in the regular season as well)—and thus were more predictive of what does happen in the regular season. This was especially true for young players. Isolated power is another stat with some predictive value. Take Story, for example. At Double-A and Triple-A in 2015, he had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.76. In spring training it was an improved 2.17, with power to go with it. That rate didn’t hold up in the majors (3.71), but it was perhaps a sign that he was improving his approach. Likewise, Hendricks’ strong spring peripherals were a positive sign heading into the regular season. Franco, meanwhile, had 12 strikeouts against just three walks—the same overly aggressive approach that has held him back once the games started to count.
Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:35 PM | 10 comment(s)
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Richard Justice is a people person.
7. Mike Scioscia, Angels manager.
He’s a teach. In the end, it’s that simple. When the Angels won the World Series in 2002, he opened Spring Training with a simple fine system. Players would get small fines for not taking an extra base and for not throwing to the right bag. In this way, he was letting the Angels know what he expected of them. That’s part of his brilliance. He begins Spring Training mornings with a team meeting that could pass for a stand-up comedy routine. The team meeting serves as a team-building exercise and sets a nice tone for the day.
Posted: February 18, 2017 at 07:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
phredbird says, “Pitchers and catchers report today. Happy Valentines Day, all you other baseball nuts at BTF, and all fans of the greatest sport ever.”
Monday, February 13, 2017
Friday, February 03, 2017
Wily Mo Peña, LF, Indians
Last appeared in MLB: Sept. 2011
With Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns, Peña was part of a trio of heralded outfielders called up by the Reds in the wake of their acquisition of Ken Griffey Jr. (that feels like a lifetime ago). A true one-tool player, Peña is a monster of a man with shoulders in different time zones who can send a fastball into orbit but is just as notorious for his brutal play in the outfield. In parts of eight Major League seasons spread throughout his twenties, Peña never once qualified for a batting title, hitting .250/.303/.445 with a five-to-one strikeout to walk ratio. From 2012 to 2015, he served as a designated hitter for three different Japanese teams in Nippon Professional Baseball, showing improved plate discipline by hitting .264/.355/.460 in 1,742 plate appearances with a 2.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio. However, last year, he didn’t play at all.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
After a two-year search, the Braves may have found their new spring-training home.
Officials in Sarasota County, Fla., announced Tuesday that the Braves have entered into exclusive negotiations to build a facility in the southwest Florida city of North Port.
If terms are agreed upon and approved, the Braves will move their spring base from Disney World to Sarasota County as soon as 2019.
“Hopefully this thing goes forward, the county commissioners vote on it, and off we go,” Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday.
“We have a really positive view of how the county is looking at this opportunity,” Schuerholz said. “I don’t believe there will be any large level of concern that it wouldn’t be approved, but we don’t know until they confer and decide. But we’re optimistic.”
“The best part, was when we were paid money.”
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Drain the swamp!
The Atlanta Braves still don’t know where in Florida they will move their spring training operations in 2019, but that is not stopping them from sending campaign donations to key state legislators who could help them with stadium financing when they do find a new home.
Earlier this month, the Braves gave $1,000 to a political committee run by new Senate Appropriations chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater. That is just months after the team sent $1,000 donations each to new Senate President Joe Negron and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who will run the Senate Rules Committee.
The Braves are in a bit of a spring training stadium limbo. Their 20 year lease to train at the Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando ends in 2017. The team and Disney are working on a one year extension to cover 2018 while they search for a new home. Team officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this year that with spring training teams for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals moving out of Osceola and Brevard County respectively, the team is left with few teams close to play regularly, putting them on longer bus rides to Florida west coast or southeast Florida where more teams are now clustered.
for his generous support.
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