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Thursday, February 21, 2019

No one has been hit harder by the analytics movement than pro and advance scouts

For all the talk of what analytics has done to free-agent baseball players in two straight sluggish offseasons, no group of people in the game has been impacted more than scouts. They once filled press-box dining rooms and clustered in the expensive seats behind home plate toting their radar guns. Nowadays, you might run into one or two at a game, but only if you know where to look.

Is it just a matter of teams cutting costs, tasking computers with the jobs humans used to do? Many veterans in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2019

New York Sun, February 21, 1919:

Sweden wants baseball. In fact, the Swedes want baseball so badly that in the invitation they extended the American soccer players to visit Sweden next June they inserted the proviso that every player brought along must also be able to play baseball. Hence the American soccer invasion of Sweden next summer turns into a baseball invasion as well.

The number of Swedish-born players to make it to the major leagues in the last 100 years is…zero. They must not have ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Mets P Noah Syndergaard wants to ‘bet’ on himself in free agency

He’d better get healthier.

In speaking to the press on Wednesday, including The Athletic’s Tim Britton, Syndergaard said that he’s willing to play out the final three years of team control without an extension and hit free agency in 2021.

“I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did,” Syndergaard said. “But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 07:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

The Rays gave up a lot to get Yandy Diaz. He risked a lot more to get here.

It will be interesting to see what Diaz does with his opportunity.

Rays officials saw the potential for Diaz to be an impactful addition to their lineup — an “absolute beast” in the words of one — after incorporating some small adjustments they expect to produce more home runs. (More being relative as he’s hit only one in 265 big-league at-bats.)

And they paid heavily, giving up not only promising first baseman Jake Bauers but also $5 million (more than they’ll pay all but two ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yandy diaz

Santoli: Blame quant funds for baseballs soft free agent market

Saw the interview about this article yesterday.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Mariners’ baserunning and situational hitting game offers a glimpse at the talent of two top prospects | The Seattle Times

Just call him Mr. Glass.

There was an injury on the first play of the base running/situational hitting game. Mariners prospect Kyle Lewis, who has been more than unlucky with injury issues, suffered a dislocated right pinkie finger on a slide into second base. Lewis, who is rated as the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America, dove headfirst into second, jammed his hand against the base and felt the pain. He stood up after being called safe, shook his hand and then looked down and saw his ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, prospects

The reality of the Pirates business model: ‘We’re always going to have limitations’ – The Athletic

A lot of the criticisms by players about teams not paying veterans is a lot of hogwash. Regarding the Pirates payroll history, I can’t believe ownership is really committed to winning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they want to win. They just don’t want to spend money to actually help do it.

Could the declining attendance stem from a perception that the front office and ownership are not committed to doing whatever it takes to win?

I don’t want to guess or speculate for someone else, for what ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

After veteran salaries drop, baseball players want change

When these are your best examples, you need to rethink your premise.

Neil Walker’s salary dropped from $17.2 million to $2 million in two years. Greg Holland was cut from $14 million to $2 million this season. Daniel Murphy fell from $17.5 million to $10 million.

While Manny Machado agreed to a pending $300 million, 10-year contract with San Diego and Bryce Harper is likely to top Giancarlo Stanton’s record $325 million, 13-year deal, many less-than-superstar veterans have been routed on ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 06:36 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

How and why Padres went after Manny Machado - The San Diego Union-Tribune

If the Padres were projected to lose money before signing Machado, they are either lying or terrible with budgets.

Asked last month whether that player and that time could align this offseason, Fowler seemed dubious. He was comfortable with an internal projection that the Padres’ financial losses this season would amount to about $8 million to $9 million “unless A.J. gets somebody we really, really think is a good idea.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2019 at 05:46 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Everything Went Right For The 2018 Red Sox. Are The Champs Destined To Regress?

It’s hard to imagine things going more right for the Boston Red Sox than they did last season. Boston jumped out to a scorching 17-2 start, was 38 games over .500 by the All-Star break, posted the most regular-season wins (108) by an MLB team in 17 years, and then steamrolled through the playoffs with an 11-3 postseason record en route to a World Series title. Statistically, it was probably the most impressive performance any major team had in 2018.1

But now the calendar has flipped to 2019, ...

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QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:40 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, regression to the mean

At 33, Braves’ Donaldson trying to prove he can stay healthy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Finding a job was pretty easy for Josh Donaldson. Proving he can keep it will be the tough part.

The former AL MVP didn’t have to wait long for a new opportunity, signing a one-year, $23 million contract with the Atlanta Braves less than a month after the World Series ended.

“I didn’t expect it to go that quickly,” Donaldson said Wednesday, the day before his first organized workout with the NL East champions. “It was my first time in free agency so I ...

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QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, health, josh donaldson

Mets’ infielder Jed Lowrie to have MRI of left knee

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — The New York Mets uttered that dreaded three-letter acronym for the first time in spring training, and it involved Jed Lowrie: MRI.

Starting a $20 million, two-year contract, the infielder noticed the back of his left knee started to hurt last weekend after he was running, an issue he never felt before. He will go for a scan on Thursday.

“It’s just one of those things we’ve got to get checked out,” the 34-year-old said Wednesday. “It started when I ...

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QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jed lowrie, knees, mets being mets, mri

Nutting: pricey free agent would imbalance Pirates payroll

Having watched the San Diego Padres reach a $300 million, 10-year deal with Manny Machado, Pirates owner Bob Nutting doesn’t think it makes sense Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington to add a pricey free agent.

A huge salary could cause the portion paid to one player to be “overweight.”

“You get an imbalanced payroll, that you have much more challenging team dynamic, much more challenging clubhouse dynamic, much more limitation in crafting an overall roster that can bring a ...

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QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bob nutting, cheapskate, pirates

McCutchen ready to boost Phillies in all sorts of ways

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Andrew McCutchen is ready to boost the Philadelphia Phillies with his bat, glove and brain.

Signed to a $50 million, three-year contract, McCutchen said he enjoys his role as the veteran in the outfield and likes what he’s seen from his younger teammates.

The 32-year-old McCutchen is set to start in left. He returns to the National League after finishing up last season with the New York Yankees — he spent his first nine seasons in Pittsburgh, joined San Francisco ...

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QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, phillies

Cubs still wide open with leadoff spot in 2019: ‘If somebody wants to take it, take it’

MESA, Ariz. — Rickey Henderson isn’t coming through that door for the Cubs, no matter how much Joe Maddon would like it.

Dexter Fowler isn’t, either.

Almost three years to the day since Fowler surprised everybody by walking onto the backfield at Cubs camp in Arizona, the Cubs are still searching for his replacement — a “you go, we go” presence atop the order.

Well, if they’ll really accept anyone for the job, I’m available….

 

QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, leadoff

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MLB Set to Pass New Rules Designed to Crack Down on Sign Stealing

In addition to banning all in-house cameras from foul pole to foul pole, the rule provides that:

• The only live feed of a broadcast will be the one provided to each team’s designated replay official.

• A specially trained monitor, not a Resident Security Expect, will be assigned to each designated replay official to make sure that person has no communication with team personnel regarding signs, either in person, by phone or any other device.

• All other bullpen and clubhouse ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 11:05 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: sign-stealing

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 20, 1919:

Babe Ruth, the big, hard-hitting pitcher-outfielder of the Boston Americans, announces that he is really in earnest about becoming a professional boxer. Ruth announced designs on the heavyweight championship when he saw that Jack Dempsey had been promised at least $27,500 for fighting Jess Willard and that the champion had been assured $100,000. Ruth likes money just two points more than he likes a home run, and that is the last word in liking.

In addition, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 09:40 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Stuart Sternberg: I should have been more aggressive in Rays stadium talks with Tampa

Next time hostages will be taken.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 07:01 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium deals


Young Yankees fan really didn’t want Machado in New York - ESPN Video

I’m surprised this kid doesn’t already have a show on ESPN. He’d fit in perfectly.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

21 steps toward fantasy baseball auction success – The Athletic

Some good tips about auctions. One additional step I like to take is to figure out the value of all players as if the league was starting from scratch. I consider this figure a player’s true value, rather than his auction value. Then, using a tiering system similar to the one mentioned in the article, I watch out for players going closer to their true value. I never exceed my listed auction value.

PREPPING FOR YOUR AUCTION

  Use a Spreadsheet To Set Up Your Team

Set up a cheat-sheet ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy

With Machado to Padres, Phillies say they won’t be pressured into a Bryce Harper deal. Now what? – The Athletic

The Machado signing shows that emotion is still part of the process. How many of emotionally motivated signs work out?

Machado’s record deal generates a fascinating dynamic because, over the coming days and weeks, the Phillies will have to make a choice between entertaining fans and running a business. Klentak spoke Tuesday like a callous bookkeeper because he knows agent Scott Boras is listening. And Boras knows the vast amount of pressure on Klentak to land his client, Bryce Harper, no ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, padres

Yahoo pitching paid baseball content—and starting with Mets

That’s way too much money.

The site will launch March 28 and the cost is expected to be $4.99 or $5.99 per month, according to Yahoo officials.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Now one level away from majors, Cole Tucker looks to make an impact | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jordy Mercer is the line. Do you take the over or the under?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cole tucker, pirates

Detroit Tigers’ Casey Mize impresses with new-age ideas, old-school ethic

Viva la revolución!

There were video machines behind the plate and Rapsodo machines between the mound and the plate at each station Tuesday, measuring and collecting data on everything from velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, pitch shape, ball flight, even 3D trajectory.

Mize, for one, is a huge believer in this technology. In fact, it led him to change the shape and grip of his slider. 

“It’s the most efficient way to develop a pitch,” he said. “The numbers are right there in ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, tigers

Baseball union chief says tanking talk damaging sport - HoustonChronicle.com

This is from 2016.

To Clark, who visited Astros camp Friday on his annual tour around spring training, the sustained discussion around tanking is damaging to the sport - regardless of semantics.

“(Tanking is) a nice catchphrase that grabs the headlines, but the truth is as a union, as a part of the industry, we can appreciate as much as anything a club having flexibility to make what decisions it needs to make in order to be successful - we get that,” Clark said. “There are some sensitivities ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, tony clark

Braves want you to get excited about ‘monetary yield’ and ‘glide slope’

Last week Braves president Terry McGuirk and general manager Alex Anthopoulos gave a sit-down interview with Jeff Schultz and David O’Brien of The Athletic. It did not go over well with Braves fans.

In the interview McGuirk and Anthopoulos walked back multiple past claims that the Braves would spend more money for the 2019 season and, as I detailed here, did so in a pretty condescending manner. It was difficult to take anything away from the interview other than the conclusion that (a) ...

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QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:49 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, braves, money

Chatting on the bases is good-natured, a learning experience

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — While playing for Texas, Jurickson Profar always learned something from new teammate Khris Davis when the Oakland slugger stopped at Profar’s second base spot.

Majors home run leader Davis appreciates any chance he gets to talk baseball and life with Albert Pujols while spending a few moments on first alongside the Angels star.

Mike Trout gets a chuckle out of any good-natured prank pulled by Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera at first — and there’s usually something.

For ...

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QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: first base, sports culture

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija’s progress to begin spring training

Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, “heavy” bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field.

“No pain, no restrictions,” he said. “I just need more work.”

He’ll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, spring training

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