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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, and the Hall of Fame

Joe Mauer hasn’t squatted behind the plate since 2013. But he’ll still be a Hall of Fame catcher someday. Won’t he?

Only six catchers have been regulars on three or more World Championship teams. There’s the Yankee contingency: Yogi Berra (with eight), Bill Dickey (seven), and Jorge Posada (four); then there’s Posey, Mickey Cochrane, and Johnny Roseboro with three each. Yogi, Dickey, and Cochrane are in the Hall of Fame, and coincidentally, they (along with Buster) are the only ...

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Wahoo Sam Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:05 PM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, hall of fame, joe mauer

Report: Mike Napoli agrees to 1-year deal with Rangers

Free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, according to MLB.com.

The deal is pending a physical, MLB.com reported.

Napoli, 35, played in 150 games with the American League champion Cleveland Indians last season, setting career highs in homers (34), RBIs (101) and strikeouts (194).

This will be Napoli’s third stint with Texas.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 03:26 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, rangers

Yankees ink NL home run champ Chris Carter to a one-year, $3 million deal: report

All he does is catch touchdowns!

The Yankees and Carter have agreed on a one-year, $3 million contract pending a physical, according to USA Today.

Carter, 30, hit a National League-best 41 homers for the Brewers last season but hadn’t been able to find work until now. He struck out 206 times in 644 plate appearances and hit .222 with a .321 OBP.

Carter is certainly a flawed player, but will provide depth given his ability to play 1B/DH. He has not played in the outfield since 2014 with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 03:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: chris carter, yankees

Long Games Aren’t Keeping MLB From Getting Rich

Cut out the standing around. Put the pitch clock in. Get rid of all the extra songs played between innings. (Do we really need God Bless America, Sweet Caroline, and Dirty Water *every game* at Fenway?) Cut down the mound visits and put a time limit for pitching changes? Get the games back in the 2:30-2:45 range.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Retired slugger Mark Teixeira joins ESPN as a baseball analyst

Mark Teixeira will go from sending “Tex messages” to breaking down film, as the retired slugger is joining ESPN as a baseball analyst, the network announced on Tuesday.

Teixeira, 36, retired after playing 14 seasons in the majors with four different teams, most recently with the New York Yankees. In New York, his home runs were called “Tex messages” by radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling.

“I couldn’t be more excited to begin this next chapter of my baseball career with ESPN,” Teixeira ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, mark teixiera, yankees

Royals forecast to finish last in AL Central in 2017 by PECOTA projections

Baseball Prospectus forecasts a 69-win season for the Royals in 2017 and a last-place finish in the American League Central. And it’s a distant fifth-place finish, six games behind the rebuilding Chicago White Sox.

A year ago, the PECOTA projection was right about one thing in the American League Central: The Indians were picked to win the division and that they did. However, the Royals exceeded their projection of a 76-86 record and a last-place finish in the Central.

Instead, the Royals ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: pecota, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2017

New York Sun, February 7, 1917:

In connection with comment by nine big league pilots on proposed changes it is interesting to note reasons assigned for the falling off in batting.
...
[Lee] Fohl points out the fact that these days clubs carry more pitchers than they did back in the old days of the famous sluggers. This, of course, enables pitches to take more rest between games, and furthermore permits managers to remove a man who is going badly and try another.

Hindsight is 20/20, of course, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 07, 2017 at 11:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Inside MLB’s craziest curveball: from a Frisbee-loving Met | New York Post

“I knew I had a high spin rate, more than most,’’ Lugo told The Post from his home in Louisiana, but he didn’t know the exact numbers and that it was the highest until Statcast. “The curveball is different than any other pitch, you have to put reverse spin on the ball.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 10:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, seth lugo

Danny Goodwin: The Most Can’t Miss Prospect of All-Time

Only one player in the history of major league baseball was good enough to be selected first in the draft… twice.  He was chosen ahead of some of the best players in baseball history. And his story shows that extraordinary talent doesn’t guarantee extraordinary success at the Major League level.


MLB.TV for 2017 available now | MLB.com

Chromecast support makes me smile.

The new array of features, debuting for regular-season games, includes a “team view” in which fans can designate a favorite team and enjoy a custom team-centric experience on supported platforms. Redesigned apps will launch on connected platforms Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. The HD media player, a responsible, in-page layout experience, will introduce additional playback controls, milestone markers and support for Chromecast and Chromebook.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:55 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbtv

Routine plays are probably underrated - Beyond the Box Score

The distinct separation between Pederson’s starting points, marked by the bright blue dots, indicate a clear directive to differentiate between hitters (probably by simple handedness), and virtually every chart shows fielders adjusting their depth, within a range, based on who’s hitting.

How big are the gaps between those little dots? I’m not totally sure. But 15 or 20 feet of ground, gained more than a hundred times a season, adds up to something worth measuring.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

MLB opens new academy in Mexico | MLB.com

This is great.

Charlie Gastelum of MLB’s Scouting Bureau serves as the academy’s primary scout.

“This gives an opportunity for the kids to develop and show the scouts that come here every day to see their talents,” Vazquez said. “The goal is to develop as many possible players to be in the big leagues from Mexico. This is a big country with a lot of baseball players, and we want to get more big leaguers from Mexico.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international players

Roger McDowell’s reputation as a prankster has given way to seriousness as a coach - Baltimore Sun

McDowell now makes it clear that that time is behind him, that as a coach – he first became a pitching coach in 2002 in the Dodgers’ minor league system – it demands a seriousness to command the respect of his players. But he still knows there are times to be serious and times to loosen the mood.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, roger mcdowell

MLB proposes changes to intentional walks, strike zone

The intentional walk?

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age in which intentional walks actually have been declining—there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games)—that time savings would be minimal. But MLB sees the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated, so eliminating them would serve as much as a statement as it would a practical attempt to speed up the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rules of the game

The Rays still could be a surprise contender, if everything goes right

Robothal’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rays

Inside Baseball Teams’ Battle to Keep Their Secrets Safe

A lot of good stuff in this one.

“That is the key: how you maintain … consistency in the face of success, how you remain open-minded enough to change despite your success, how you continually have personnel that leak nothing to the media,” says the former scouting exec. “That requires dedication and commitment that can’t just be thrown on a flash drive or backdoored by someone with knowledge of a system; the real secrets are the ones that can’t be stolen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cyber security, sabermetrics

Monday, February 06, 2017

What Yankees’ bullpen freeze tells us about Hal’s budget | New York Post

Here is what a big-market team that truly believes it is a contender does if Plan A does not work: It moves to Plan B, even if the secondary scenario forces it to spend more than they wanted.

Only one New York team has behaved that way late this offseason. That it is the Mets symbolizes the identity flip-flop – at least in the present – of the two clubs.

Both had been determined to only address bullpen needs if they offloaded salary already on the books. The Yankees have stuck to that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 06:27 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

A’S NAME OAKLAND COLISEUM PLAYING SURFACE ‘RICKEY HENDERSON FIELD’

Rickey Henderson says this is a great tribute to Rickey!

As a tribute to former Athletic and MLB Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, the Oakland A’s will name the field at the Oakland Coliseum “Rickey Henderson Field.” The team will dedicate Rickey Henderson Field during a special pregame ceremony on Opening Night, April 3, before the A’s play host to the Los Angeles Angels. Henderson will also serve as a Special Assistant to the President.

“Rickey Henderson is the greatest Athletic of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 05:15 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rickey henderson

Baseball Prospectus | Rubbing Mud: Command, Framing, and Teamwork

An interesting look at the Cubs catching match-ups.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing, sabermetrics

BBWAA website receives a much-needed upgrade

But in February 2017, the BBWAA website has finally entered the 21st century, providing a outlet and resource appropriate for one of the most influential and powerful groups of sportswriters in the country.

As you can see from the image above, articles and releases are now clearly indicated on the home page, making MLB award announcements and Baseball Hall of Fame balloting results far easier to find. It looks like a professional website, not something cobbled together on weekends and off-days ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 03:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2017

The [Pendleton] East Oregonian, February 6, 1917:

[Braves owner] Percy Haughton started it when he declared the offensive side of baseball needed some changes, and then outlined a few. Now they’re all doing it.
...
One of the most recent suggestions along these lines is that a pitcher not be allowed to pitch his first two balls to the batter in the curve fashion. Each of the first two heaves should be straight and above board, it is contended.

Every time I think I’ve seen the dumbest possible ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, crazytown bananapants, dugout, history, rules

Washington Nationals’ lack of offseason moves is head-scratching | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal takes after the Nationals.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 10:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Mookie Betts tops Top 10 right fielders | MLB.com

I’ve been busy and have a few of these saved on my DVR. I look forward to watching this one soon as I find them interesting and entertaining.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 10:32 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: top ten list

New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman’s secret, exposed

Watching pitchers hit isn’t very entertaining; reading an article about a pitcher who couldn’t hit, surprisingly, is.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 09:14 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, robert gsellman

Andrew McCutchen to play right field in 2017 | MLB.com

More info on the Pirates outfield realignment.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, gregory polanco, pirates, starling marte

MLB.com 2017 Fantasy Player Preview | MLB.com

No surprise, Mike Trout is number one.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Jim Bowden quote on analytics and metrics impacting managers

Analytics and metrics are really helping MLB teams quantify defensive abilities and along with their scouting eyes are encouraging managers to align their outfielders better than ever before. This has been highlighted by the Marlins decision to move Yelich to CF and Ozina to LF & Pirates intention of moving Marte to CF and McCutchen to LF. Who else should make a similar move? The Rockies should move Dahl to CF and Blackmon to LF.

Jim Bowden, ESPN Senior Writer

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, statcast

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Source: Jason Hammel agrees to 2-year deal to pitch for Royals

Charlie Morton-type money!

Free-agent pitcher Jason Hammel and the Kansas City Royals reached agreement on a $16 million, two-year contract Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden, confirming multiple reports.

The deal, pending a physical, includes a mutual option for a third year.

Hammel, 34, went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts with the Chicago Cubs last season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2017 at 11:30 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: jason hammel, royals

OTP 6 Feb. 2017: Curt Schilling, Politics, and the Hall of Fame

Curt Schilling has said that his politics are costing him votes for the Hall of Fame. The other day here at NRO, Aaron Goldstein argued specifically that in the most recent balloting, earlier this winter, baseball writers backed away from Schilling because he supported Trump last year in the presidential election.

A few problems dog that theory. One is that Schilling did better in the 2017 voting than he’s done on average in his five years of eligibility.

(As always, views expressed in the ...

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BDC Posted: February 05, 2017 at 10:45 PM | 2003 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hall of fame, phillies, politics, red sox

Pleskoff: Top-50 Prospects

Only a Top 50?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2017 at 12:14 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

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