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Tuesday, April 23, 2019


How The Rays Are Surprising Baseball Again

The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays.

Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team. It’s still early, of course, and the Rays’ hot start could cool as more games are played — and they did take a tumble over the weekend against the Red Sox. But they’ve been so successful — going into the weekend, their pitching staff had the lowest ERA and fielding-independent ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:57 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Mickey Callaway on Mets’ pitching issues: ‘It’s not concerning’

The Mets’ 5.57 team ERA is the third-worst in the majors, better than only the Orioles and Red Sox. But manager Mickey Callaway isn’t ready to sound the alarm.

“It’s not concerning,” Callaway said at Citi Field before Monday night’s game against the Phillies, noting that the sample size is far too small for the team to be worried.

Is Callaway right to not be alarmed? Maybe…

Famous last words….

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, mickey callaway, pitching

For the third time this season, the Orioles have put a position player on the mound

It is rarely a good situation when a team has a position player take the mound. Usually, it’s because one team is losing by plenty of runs, and don’t want to waste a bullpen arm on a game that has already been decided.

For the Orioles, a lot more has gone wrong than right thus far in 2019. They are 1-10 at home, and only two teams in all of baseball have a worse overall record.

On Monday, Baltimore was blown out by the Chicago White Sox, 12-2, behind three different four-run innings. With the game well in hand, the Orioles put catcher Jesus Sucre on the mound to pitch the ninth.

Wondering who this is more telling about- the Orioles, or relievers….

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:35 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, position players pitching

Arenado homers for 1,000th hit, Rockies rally past Nats 7-5

DENVER (AP) — No. 1,000 was nothing new for Nolan Arenado.

Arenado hit a tiebreaking homer for his 1,000th career hit and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 7-5 Monday night.

Arenado also doubled twice and drove in two to help the Rockies win for the seventh time in eight games. He is the ninth Rockies player to reach 1,000 hits, getting there with a solo shot off Wander Suero (1-2) in the seventh to make it 6-5.

Wondering who the other eight Rockies in question are…

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nolan arenado, rockies

Your first taste of MLB FoodFest 2019, from elote nuggets to fried grasshoppers

Of all the ideas that have sprouted out of Major League Baseball in the past few years, this might be the best one. It cuts through different team allegiances and regional rivalries. It finds the commonality in all baseball fans.

We’re talking, of course, about MLB FoodFest — an event created to take ballpark food out of the ballpark and bring the most delicious or inventive item from each team into one place, so baseball fans and food fans alike can indulge.

MLB FoodFest debuted in 2018 in New York City, but the league has more ambitious plans for it in 2019. It’s happening in NYC again, but also London and Los Angeles. The NYC and London dates will come later this year, but L.A. gets the first taste.

So, any of this make you ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: food

One player, four drafts: The remarkable tale of Dave Winfield’s draft history

Imagine what would happen if a guy like Dave Winfield — a phenomenal athlete drafted by four (!) different pro leagues — showed up in 2019.

Zion Williamson and Kyler Murray would be afterthoughts. NBA Twitter would establish churches in his honor. NFL draft tape-eaters would look for the slightest sign he wasn’t Serious About Football. Baseball fans would praise him as the game-saving messiah. Knicks, Mets and Giants fans would tear New York apart. Sports talk radio and daytime talk shows would fire off takes hot enough to be seen from orbit. It’d be glorious anarchy.

Dave Winfield isn’t walking through that door, even though he’d probably still get drafted if he did. He remains one of the few athletes in American sports ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: aba, dave winfield, draft, mlb, nba, nfl

Jake Arrieta upset with Bryce Harper for ejection, sounds off on ‘flat’ Phillies

NEW YORK — Jake Arrieta slammed the shelf above his locker at Citi Field, still peeved moments after speaking with reporters.

Arrieta pitched relatively well in the Phillies’ 5-1 loss to the Mets (see observations). The source of his anger was an untimely ejection of the Phillies’ best player, Bryce Harper, in the top of the fourth inning, combined with an overall “flat” performance from the Phillies’ offense.

The 33-year-old former Cy Young winner didn’t mince words. He didn’t rush to defend Harper or belabor the quick hook of home plate umpire Mark Carlson, who tossed Harper for arguing balls and strikes in the Phillies’ dugout.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, jake arrieta, phillies

Plunkings are dumb and bad: The time is now for baseball to get its act together

We’re taught that change is incremental and to expect otherwise indicates naiveté. But sometimes after, or ideally among or even at the outset of, the slow and steady shift in public perception and cultural mores comes a discrete jump in the overarching paradigm. Not a watershed moment per se, which tends to happen organically and can be seen only in retrospect, but rather a conscious decision to do something about it by taking a deliberate step away from how things were and toward how they ought to be. All of which is to say, sometimes the change comes from the top.

For baseball — by which I mean both the governing body as well as the constituent players, who in turn make up the union — the time to do something about retaliatory ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, beanballs

Monday, April 22, 2019


Mets need struggling Noah Syndergaard to back up his words

Thor can’t close the door.

This strange Sunday could have had a much different ending if not for another poor outing from Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard did enough wrong on his own to merit the loss, but he got little help on defense from shortstop Amed Rosario. Rosario’s second-inning error helped the Cardinals to three runs on their way to the 6-4 victory at Busch Stadium.

The big right-hander allowed six runs, four earned, as his ERA shot up to 5.90. The Mets lost six of the last eight games on this 10-game trip.

“The entire beginning of the season my performances have been unacceptable,’’ Syndergaard said. “I have to be better and I will be better.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Is this the craziest double play ever? Maybe!

A’s center fielder Ramón Laureano has added to his superb defensive reputation with a handful of astonishing plays this season, but Sunday’s tops them all.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ramon laureano

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-22-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 22, 1919:

Ray Schalk, who’s quite a catcher, has made public “Ten Commandments” for aspiring young backstops. He told them to George S. Robbins, Chicago scribe, and they’re worth passing along. Here they are:

Don’t steal, except to pilfer your opponents’ signals.
Don’t overeat. Many young players eat themselves out of the big leagues, and they begin on the spring trips.
Don’t have too many signs, and don’t overwork the army by unnecessary throwing.
Don’t get chesty. What old heads dislike in a youngster is for him to get fresh.
Don’t loaf in the winter time. Work keeps a player from drinking and other bad habits in the off season.
Don’t be an open book. Keep your intentions away from your opponents.
Don’t ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:53 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Ray’s Ramblings: April 22nd – Prospects365.com

Some good prospect updates.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Aaron Judge has a “pretty significant strain” of his oblique – HardballTalk

More bad news for the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 08:40 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, yankees

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Tangotiger Blog: How much better is it to throw your fastball at 95mph than 91mph?

Throwing harder is better.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 11:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Red Sox notes: Nathan Eovaldi considering surgery to treat loose body in elbow

It started as an unsettling off day Thursday, when Eovaldi suddenly realized he couldn’t straighten his arm. An MRI revealed loose bodies in his elbow, an issue he also had in March 2018, when he needed arthroscopic surgery to remove them and missed two months while still with the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time, though, he could return even quicker since he’s not simultaneously recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he felt like prolonged his recovery and encouraged the Rays to be more cautious with him.

“It’s very similar to what I had last year,” he said. “I finished my outing in New York (Wednesday), felt great, never had any symptoms. And then it was my off day, later that night, I tried to straighten my arm and couldn’t ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:39 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: nathan eovaldi, red sox

Brewers’ Christian Yelich has become an absolute monster at Miller Park

Freaky. One home run from the record of most home runs in March/April. Nine more days are left in the month.

How easy? After hitting two more home runs Saturday night in the Brewers’ 5-0 victory at Miller Park, these are Yelich’s numbers in 13 home games: .435 batting average, 13 home runs, 29 runs batted in, 19 runs scored, 1.326 slugging percentage, 1.868 OPS.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich

Jacob deGrom plays catch, may not need MRI after all | Newsday

Maybe all is not lost.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:36 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets

Two pitchers who have been there before explain why repeating as World Series champions is so difficult

Boston Globe’s Sunday Baseball Notes column, now written by Peter Abraham.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Tucker Barnhart is Embracing Data, Because Now He Can | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2019 at 09:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Friday, April 19, 2019

Pedroia gets good news on latest knee injury

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said he received good news about the irritation in his left knee that led to his return to the 10-day injured list.

The 35-year-old was activated April 9 after starting the season on the injured list with inflammation in the knee but left Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees in the second inning. He was examined Thursday, when Boston put him back on the IL.

“More kind of scared me than anything,” Pedroia said before Friday’s game at Tampa Bay. “I was nervous, obviously, to feel that. We’re just going to let it calm down for a few days and then it should be all right. I hadn’t had any issues up until this point.”

Mind you, if the story goes as it has so far, that means he’ll be ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, knee, red sox

Justin Verlander wants to be the Tom Brady of baseball

It’s Justin Verlander’s 36th birthday.

The day he officially moves closer to 40 years old than 30. The day he creeps nearer to middle age and further away from the best physical version of himself. Not that you’d ever know it.

“Happy birthday,” shouts pitcher Brad Peacock, who’s seated on one of the tan leather couches in the middle of the Houston Astros’ spring training clubhouse. It’s 8:16 on a balmy south Florida morning, Feb. 20, and Verlander has just entered the locker room. Dressed in a powder blue, collared shirt and navy shorts, he is a whirlwind alpha-dog presence.

“Twenty-seven again,” shouts Verlander with a broad and mischievous grin. Though the comment is directed at Peacock, he speaks loudly enough for everyone in the ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:49 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, tom brady

Harding ‘Pete’ Peterson: General manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates during its World Series triumph, ‘a brilliant baseball mind,’ started as Rutgers catcher

Baseball lost one of their biggest icons in a trade with God on April 16, 2019 when Harding “Pete” Peterson passed away peacefully at the age of 89.

Pete will be remembered as a brilliant baseball mind, who as general manager, coordinated the World Series winning 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. At earlier positions with the Pirates, he also was part of the championship teams of 1960 and 1971. Pete entered his baseball career as a catcher for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights when they headed to the college World Series in 1950. He was later drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and went on to become general manager for the organization. He also had the privilege of being general manager for the NY Yankees.

Pete was born in Perth Amboy, N.J., on Oct. 17, ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:45 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general manager, pete peterson, pirates, rip

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals

There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, triple a

Gio Gonzalez fires Scott Boras

Gio Gonzalez has had a rough few months.

Despite being a pretty solid pitcher over the years, he claims he only received one offer all offseason: a minor league deal with the Yankees. He signed that in late March and the Yankees have kept him in the minors. If they don’t call him up by tomorrow, he can request his release. For what it’s worth, Gonzalez has not pitched well in Triple-A, likely because he didn’t get a spring training (this past month has been his spring training for all practical purposes). A such, it seems doubtful that the Yankees will call him up and likely that he’s going to be a free agent once again by this weekend.

He’ll be a free agent with a new agent, too, as Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:38 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: gio gonzalez, scott boras

Craig Kimbrel could help any NL East contender solve a division-wide problem

WASHINGTON— Progressively, the lines of desperation and declined price will have to intersect.

At least it would seem. Craig Kimbrel’s demands reportedly are receding during his extended unemployment. The needs of contenders in the National League East’s rock fight continue to increase day by day. The sides should be on a path to merge. Right?

Take this week.

Atlanta announced closer Arodys Vizcaino underwent right shoulder surgery. He’s out for the season. This the day after his would-be replacement, A.J. Minter, gave up three earned runs in ⅔ of an inning. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged he heard the chants from Braves fans Tuesday night demanding he sign Kimbrel.

Unlike Ichiro, who could only help any ...

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QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:27 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: craig kimbrel, nl east

Santana becomes US citizen before Braves, Indians postponed

CLEVELAND (AP) — Not even a cold, rainy day could hinder Carlos Santana’s joyful smile.

The Indians first baseman was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on Friday, taking the oath with 83 others while his two young daughters fought for his attention. Afterward, Santana beamed with pride.

“Thanks, Cleveland, for giving me an opportunity,” said Santana, who was born in the Dominican Republic. “This is my residence, my city, and I’m proud and happy for that. Thank God I’m an American.”

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, correlation does not mean causation….

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos santana, citizenship, postponement

Blue Jays super prospect Guerrero feels ready for majors

BUFFALO, N.Y. — While saying he’s ready to make his major league debut, Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero didn’t need a translator to insist he’s not frustrated over still playing in the minors.

“No. No,” Guerrero said before continuing in Spanish on Friday.

Interpreter Jesse Guerrero, who’s no relation to the player, then completed what the 20-year-old bopper said by adding: “He continues to play 100 per cent. And when the time comes for the call, he’ll welcome it.”

So, given his injury at the start of the season, why are they still stalling?

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:16 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

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