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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Optimizing the Lineup | The Process Report

An interesting look at the Rays lineup. I caution against putting too much credence in simple lineup simulators. In my experience, the best lineups take into account speed and sequencing of lefty-righty batters.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Slow-go for Brantley, Jackson: 5 things we learned from Cleveland Indians’ spring training | cleveland.com

1. Slow go for Michael Brantley.

Manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that the Indians would have to “restrain their enthusiasm’ on setting a date for Michael Brantley’s return from August surgery on his right shoulder.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael brantley

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mets’ Zack Wheeler feels tenderness in elbow | MLB.com

Nevertheless, it’s not a promising first day.

Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, who has spent nearly two full years attempting to return from Tommy John surgery, felt some “tenderness” in his elbow during a routine bullpen session earlier this week, according to pitching coach Dan Warthen. The Mets have briefly paused Wheeler’s throwing program as a result.

Warthen was quick to add that he does not consider this a setback for Wheeler, because a routine physical exam taken Monday revealed no structural ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:57 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Report: Jeffrey Loria being considered as U.S. Ambassador to France

France is rumored to be offering the Eiffel Tower to other countries in return for prospects.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is reportedly being considered as the U.S. ambassador to France.

According to the New York Post, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Preibus has recommended Loria for the position. 

However, there is reportedly internal discussions between Preibus and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about who should get the ambassador positiions.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 15, 2017 at 05:52 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey loria, marlins

Aaron Nola clears a symbolic hurdle in Phillies camp | CSN Philly

Nola’s health is probably the biggest storyline in camp and that showed in the number of eyeballs that peeked in on Wednesday’s bullpen session. Several front office members were on hand. Part owner John Middleton was in attendance, as well.

To the naked eye, Nola looked fine, free and easy, as they say. More tests will come and he will remain a focal point of camp.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “He feels great. He feels like he’s 100 percent and he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Episode 2 is alive! ALIVE! | lapodoa (PODCAST)

Primate David Peng has a new Angels podcast. In Episode 2, he talks to Dan Szymborski about the Angels. Check it out!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:42 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, podcasts

Yankees’ Michael Pineda focused on finishing outs and innings | Newsday

Sabathia is not alone in this judgement. Can he do it, though?

“I always come into spring training saying this is the year he’s going to win the Cy Young, he’s just got so much talent,” Sabathia said. “He just needs to put everything together. He wants to be good, he works really hard. He just wants to be that great pitcher. I think it’ll come together for him, hopefully this year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 03:02 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: michael pineda, yankees

At full health, Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez hoping for strong spring

It’s a lot easier to be healthy in the off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: anibal sanchez, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-15-2017

Washington Times, February 15, 1917:

Beaten to a frizzle, the baseball players’ fraternity quietly expired last night, when the leader called off the strike and released the men from their pledges. The fraternity was struggling for air after the National League club owners on Tuesday had wiped it off the books and had exposed the real cause for hold-up.

This body blow, which was delivered in spite of frantic requests from the fraternity for a hearing, made the strikers wilt. Many of them were ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 15, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Texas Rangers: Why money might not be the only reason Texas could let Yu Darvish walk after 2017 | SportsDay

It’s difficult to pay ace money when a guy is only pitching 160 innings a year. Even if he tops 200 this season, I’m sure the Rangers will be hesitant to shell out top dollar.

The biggest issue is durability. He’s averaged only 160 innings over the four seasons he’s pitched, and he missed an entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s going to turn 31 during the season, which is usually considered late in a pitcher’s prime to become more durable.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kang to miss start of camp because of trial in South Korea | TribLIVE

The first full-squad workout will be Friday. Kang remains in South Korea, where his trial on drunken-driving charges is set for Feb. 22.

“It is not known how long the trial will last or when any sentencing phase that might be necessary would be scheduled,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to do whatever we can to assist (Kang) and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters, so Jung Ho will be able to travel to the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

Miami Marlins players allowed to facial hair following a one-year ban | Miami Herald

Grow ‘em if you can!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins


Phillies embrace Tug McGraw’s life motto – Phillies Nation

The rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets is one of the best in all of sports, but with the Phils in the middle of a rebuild and the Mets continuing to ride their 30-year championship drought, all has been fairly calm.

That is until the Phillies had the audacity to design a wall in their spring training complex using the words of their Wall of Fame closer Tug McGraw. I mean, how dare they use the slogan “Ya Gotta Believe,” one in which McGraw made his life motto and continued to say ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, tug mcgraw

Red Sox boss uses own NBA analogy in response to Cashman | New York Post

Dave Dombrowski is not falling for Brian Cashman’s hype, comparing his talented Red Sox to the Warriors.

“I heard that and it was interesting,’’ Dombrowski told The Post on Tuesday as Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially worked out for the first time this spring at Fenway South. “But you know what? [The Yankees are] probably like the Cavaliers and I remember the Cavaliers beat Golden State last year. I would think they should be probably be thinking of themselves along those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:31 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, dave dombrowski, red sox, yankees

ESPN’s Glanville Says Playing Deeper In Center Field Would “Make A Difference” For Adam Jones

ESPN analyst/former MLB outfielder Doug Glanville was a guest on Glenn Clark Radio Tuesday. 

Among the topics he discussed were: 
-Would Adam Jones benefit defensively from playing deeper in center field?
-Is there any way that playing deeper could actually hurt him as Buck Showalter suggested?
-Even if he’s right in his comments, was Jones wrong to call out his teammates’ defensive abilities publicly?
-Do teams need to start treating outfield defense similarly to how they treat infield ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, doug glanville, orioles, podcast

Cubs will use restraint to ease Kyle Schwarber into limited catching role - Chicago Tribune

The current plan is for Willson Contreras to catch Jon Lester and start four or five times a week, with Miguel Montero serving as a backup. With Montero in the final year of his contract, Schwarber — who was drafted as a catcher — could move into Montero’s role in 2018 in addition to playing left.

For now, Schwarber will be part of the catching group each morning but will perform physical drills only once or twice a week with coach Mike Borzello, known for his creativity in keeping ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Communication foundation of success for Blue Jays’ Pete Walker - Sportsnet.ca

This year, Valentine’s Day is especially romantic not only because it’s the day when couples unashamedly and overtly make grand declarations of love. More importantly, it’s the day when the Blue Jays’ pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training. The end of winter, as it were. The day on which we can see the first spark of summer.

It’s only appropriate, then, to publish a love letter on this day, but I won’t be penning this one. This love letter is from the Blue Jays ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, pitching coaches

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Royals pitcher Brian Flynn fell through the roof of his barn; he’s out eight weeks

Days before he departed for camp, reliever Brian Flynn crashed through the roof of a barn at his home in McAlester, Okla., breaking a rib and sustaining three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae, Royals manager Ned Yost said on Tuesday. Flynn, a 26-year-old left-hander, is slated to miss close to eight weeks. He entered camp hoping to compete for a spot in a revamped Royals’ bullpen, but the injury stands as a significant setback.

“He was working on his barn and fell through the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 05:06 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brian flynn, injuries, royals

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery in Minnesota sometime in the next few weeks, he announced Tuesday.

Gardenhire, hired last November to serve as bench coach for new Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, will take a leave of absence from his new team in order to begin treatment. Gardenhire, who intends to keep coaching until having surgery, probably in mid-April, broke the news in a clubhouse meeting with the Diamondbacks ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 03:20 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, ron gardenhire

Scott Boras Has A Lot Of Ideas On How To Fix The Business Side Of Baseball

Wieters is playing in a different era. Fisk’s career arc was an anomaly.

It’s pretty clear nobody has bought this fanciful line.

On how his client, free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, is “Carlton Fisk-like”:

I told someone, he’s got the same projection as Carlton Fisk. “What?!” I’m going like, excuse me, Matt Wieters has won two gold gloves at 30, Carlton Fisk had won one. He’s a better ball blocker and he throws the same. Carlton Fisk was on the All-Star team six times by the age ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 02:58 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: interviews, scott boras

Cardinals’ Alex Reyes not cleared to throw | MLB.com

Nobody else reporting this (as far as I’ve seen), but if this is true, it’s really bad news.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:46 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals

Storm Chasers’ owner Gary Green heads group that purchases Baseball America

Gary Green’s passion for baseball has led to another significant purchase.

The Omaha Storm Chasers owner’s Alliance Baseball LLC, which also has a stake in the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, is leading a group that has purchased the publication Baseball America.

The deal was finalized at Baseball America’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday.

Green, Alliance Baseball’s CEO, and Alliance president Larry Botel, managing partner of the Storm Chasers, are being joined in their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:37 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america, minor leagues


How the A’s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Oakland - WSJ

Though the city doesn’t intend to allocate public money for stadium construction, Schaaf said it will offer development entitlements, such as helping to secure publicly owned land, environmental clearance and infrastructure for transit.

“I’ve been very clear about what I believe is an appropriate and responsible role for the public dollar, and that is really only looking at new revenues that are generated by the project itself and dedicating those revenues to public infrastructure ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium financing

The decline of Albert Pujols has been a shame. | Sports on Earth

NEWSFLASH: Players get old. Paying them as if they won’t is a problem for their teams, not the players.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:43 PM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels, cardinals

Happy Valentine’s (and pitchers and catchers reporting) Day!

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.”
Bob Gibson

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, valentine's day

Love and Baseball

There is love in the air today.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: valentine's day

Houdini and Field of Dreams | Joe Posnanski

I am a Red Sox fan. If you aren’t, that’s fine. Our disagreement in fandom won’t diminish the joy I get from the team.

I enjoyed Field of Dreams and felt a heart tug when Ray played catch with his father because it reminded me of my time with my long-passed father. If you don’t feel the same connection, that’s fine too. I don’t feel the need to convince you otherwise. Those who go out of their way to try and diminish the joy fans get from the movie tells us more about them than the movie ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-14-2017

El Paso Herald, February 14, 1917:

Dave Davenport, of the St. Louis Americans pitching staff, was seriously wounded at his home in Runge, Texas, today when his rifle was accidentally discharged. Davenport had just returned from a hunt. The bullet passed through his chest and also inflicted a scalp wound.

Davenport must have recovered fairly quickly, because he led the American League with 39 starts in 1917.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, guns, history

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