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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Notes: Cactus League Meanderings | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Alex Speier: The Red Sox are retiring Carmine for a new analytics system

More details about Red Sox analytic system change. The name of the new system is pretty lame. I hope it’s not an indication of the creativity of the analytics crew.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red sox

Behind MLB chemistry: How teams try to sniff out ‘bad guys’ | New York Post

I can’t see how anyone who has played baseball competitively for any length of time could think chemistry doesn’t matter. The problem, though, is how to measure it, integrate it, and maximize whatever knowledge you gain. On top of that, people are funny. Sometimes you assemble a bunch of great guys who simply don’t mesh when you put them together.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: chemistry

Meet the ‘Vulture,’ the Mets’ baseball lifer who’s overflowing with stories | New York Post

The right-hander pitched 13 years in the majors, compiling a 96-81 record with 92 saves. Regan was teammates with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1966 with the Dodgers, a rotation that included three Hall of Famers: Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton.

Koufax, who won 27 games that year, gave the reliever one of the great baseball nicknames: “The Vulture.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, phil regan

With Each Hit, Rockies’ D.J. LeMahieu Shows Cubs’ Epstein What He Gave Up On - The New York Times

“Sometimes, you show up somewhere and you can make a mistake in your first off-season by not being as familiar as you should be with a player, because you haven’t seen him yourself in person,” Epstein said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:44 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, d.j. lemahieu, rockies

Red Sox analytics guru Zack Scott keeping the team up to speed | Boston Herald

If you stand still you are falling behind.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox


AZ Snakepit: If Zach Greinke were a Free Agent today, what would he get ?

This is a fan post with a poll I put up at AZ Snakepit. I’m trying to get a handle on how other teams might view the value of Greinke’s contract, or rather how much of it is “negative value” I need some feedback from non D Backs fans without bias. Since I’m one of about 3 D Backs fans that frequently comment here, I figure this is a good place to get that feedback.  It should be noted that Greinke missed the last 3 starts of 2016 with a shoulder issue and is a week behind the other starters in ...

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shoewizard Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agent contract busts, general

Angels figure to run more this season, just like Mike Scioscia likes it - The Orange County Register

“We’ve had a lot of different teams,” Scioscia said. “The aggressive type of baseball where you’re moving guys is something we’re drawn to, but other years we didn’t that type of team and we still scored runs by hitting the ball. We adjust to whatever the talent says, but this year we’re going to be able to incorporate that more.”

It starts with speed, and the Angels added that with Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere in left and Danny Espinosa at second.

“We’re going to be ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:02 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Full Count » Year after his career-changing meeting, Drew Pomeranz has no interest in returning to bullpen

Of course, if he wants to stay a starter he has to stay healthy too.

“What we had discussed was I was coming in as a starter and at the end of camp if I didn’t get a spot I would go to the bullpen. That was my understanding,” he remembered. “Then when they put the charts up and it said one inning, and day off, and then ‘Pomeranz one inning’ I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ You’ve been around long enough to know if you’re being groomed as a starter or a reliever.

“I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 08:58 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: drew poweranz, red sox

Mets’ staff of aces now a staff of mustaches | New York Post

“I didn’t even notice – what mustaches?” deGrom said, adding that it might be a coincidence all four pitchers have a new look.

Matz said he wasn’t sure who the driving force was behind the rotation’s mustaches.

But pitching coach Dan Warthen, who also has been wearing a mustache, has a theory.

“I think they all conspired,” Warthen said. “I think they are trying to tell me how bad mine is.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Can Bud Black break the curse of Coors Field for Colorado Rockies pitchers?

Backing those words with their checkbook will be important as well.

Against that daunting backdrop, Black and Bridich agree that an aggressive mindset is vital in slaying the Coors Field monster.

“On top of talent, we need mentally tough SOBs,’’ Black said. “We have to find and draft guys who are resilient, who’ll bounce back from a tough outing where it might get chaotic in Coors and their ERA takes a hit. It might get a little bit unsightly when it pops up on the scoreboard or on TV. We have ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

How to Fix Arbitration for Relievers | FanGraphs Baseball

This part seems fanciful. Saves will still be used by agents to get closers paid. Agents will use leverage index to also get set-up men paid.

This wouldn’t even cost Major League teams more money, as they’d simply be redistributing money given to ninth-inning specialists to their entire bullpen, so we’re not even arguing that MLB teams should increase pre-FA reliever salaries in total. But by switching from saves to leverage index (or even just high-leverage innings totals), the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Mets’ Duda, Who Had Back Trouble in 2016, Is Now Bothered by His Hips - The New York Times

Duda felt stiffness in his back and his hips after a recent workout. Although his back improved, his hips remained troublesome, Collins said, prompting Duda to receive a cortisone shot in each hip on Friday.

Collins said he had received no indication that the stiffness in Duda’s hips was related to last year’s back injury, but everything in the lower body is connected, he noted.

“We’re very fortunate at this time we’ve still got a ton of camp left,” Collins said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:33 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: lucas duda, mets

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Which spring training stats actually matter?

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 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:35 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Nick Cafardo: Alex Rodriguez, The Mentor: ‘I want the kids to learn from my mistakes’

How many teams don’t know “framing isn’t the only attribute you’re looking for in a catcher”?

6. Matt Wieters, C, Nationals — Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo is a master roster builder. The signing of Wieters could bring dividends as the switch-hitter can still produce offensively. Wieters, 30, signed a two-year deal worth about $21 million with an opt-out after one year. He’s considered to be poor at framing pitches, but Rizzo is savvy enough to know that framing ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, notes, yankees

Rio Ruiz has dropped 30 pounds in 16 months, boosted his stock

Baseball America says the Braves view him as a Bill Mueller-type of player. It will be interesting to see how his hard work pays off.

“I think that if they recall me — whenever that might be, whether it’s out of spring (training) this year or a couple of months, April or May, whenever it might be — I feel like I can be an asset to the team,” Ruiz said. “But then again that’s not my decision, that’s the front office’s decision. All I can do is handle everything between the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 01:44 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rio ruiz

Twins’ Byron Buxton remembers the fun part of baseball

I’m buying in.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Cardinals’ sign Jose Adolis Garcia to deal | MLB.com

Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia, the younger brother of Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, agreed to a Minor League contract with the team on Friday. The deal includes an invite to Major League camp, and it will pay Garcia a $2.5 million bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jose adolis garcia

Cubs Addison Russell ready for power breakout | MLB.com

Mike Petriello puts Addison Russell 2016 season under his analytical microscope.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

GMs’ View: Picking a Direction and Staying the Course | FanGraphs Baseball

Some good quotes in this piece.

Jerry Dipoto, Seattle Mariners: “You always want a plan, and we’ve not varied. Our roster has varied, but the plan we instituted the day I took the job has… I don’t want to say it’s come to fruition, but this is about as close as we’ve been to that. We wanted to control the strike zone, we wanted to be more athletic, we wanted to be deeper on the pitcher’s mound, and we wanted to improve our overall organizational depth in our minor-league system. To ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Friday, February 24, 2017

Posnanski | A Baseball Challenge!

Seems like this is the sort of thing that Primates would be all over.

Small challenge: Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

Baldrick Posted: February 24, 2017 at 02:00 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: fun stuff, international, posnanski, world baseball classic

Are statheads “pro ownership?”

But, beyond that, something happens when statheads talk about transactions or rule changes in particular. Unwittingly, I think, we ally with ownership. When a player signs a free agent deal, and we talk about whether it’s a “good” or a “bad” deal, we’re framing that in terms of whether it helps the team that the player signs with….

But I don’t think that’s out of some sympathy with owners. Rather, I think that most analysts, whether they’re into analytics or not, are fans ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 12:25 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, labor, ownership, rob neyer

Kate Upton: No sex with Justin Verlander before games

“There’s no sex before a game. Absolutely none,” said Upton. “And then, also what I just found out is, if he plays too well, there’s no sex after, either. He’s exhausted. Kind of a buzzkill for me.”

Upton also revealed Verlander’s reaction to her controversial tweets about him not receiving the AL Cy Young Award .

Jacob Posted: February 24, 2017 at 12:21 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, kate upton

MLB views Las Vegas as ‘viable market,’ Rob Manfred says

So build that stadium, Oakland and St. Pete!

Major League Baseball’s softening stance on sports gambling may one day open the door to an untapped market long considered taboo: Las Vegas.

It’s all the rage lately, with the NHL’s 31st franchise set for a Sin City debut next season and the NFL on the brink of following suit. Might MLB join them? Commissioner Rob Manfred is at least open to the idea, a departure from baseball’s longstanding efforts to distance itself from the betting world.

...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays

Inside Baseball with Jon Heyman: Final offseason grades

Lots to unpack here.

Jake Arrieta and the Cubs were supposed to speak about a potential contract in January, but if they did, there is no sign of optimism. Cubs management weighs age heavily in their calculations, and there’s no indication they were willing to go more than four years, if that. Arrieta is expected to be one of the biggest free agents in a strong market this winter, and he will undoubtedly cite the Max Scherzer $210-million deal as a comp…..


The Royals and Eric Hosmer are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, jake arrieta, jon heyman, michael brantley

Fangraphs: Here is what you think of our team projections

When I examined last year’s results, the community had its strongest response to the Royals projection. You all thought the Royals were being heavily underrated, which wasn’t too much of a surprise, given what had been the Royals’ recent history. Here, we see the Royals again to the left — collectively, you think their projection is low by about a win and a half. You still don’t see them as being good. And the magnitude of their community response has nothing on the Rockies, who you ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 11:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, projections, zips

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2017

El Paso Herald, February 24, 1917:

Gus Hoover, Stanford’s giant twirler, is against the presence of women at Stanford, against dances and all such affairs. The combined force of these is inducive to the weakening of his pitching arm, says Hoover.

This became known in campus baseball circles when Gus reported a sore arm to trainer Fritz Roth. He said he was in no condition to pitch, and when asked how he came about his arm, Gus explained thusly:

“You see, we had a dance last night and I had to ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don Mattingly thinks pace of play can be improved by changing views on strikeouts

Second, Sabermetrics has shown that a strikeout is only marginally worse than an out made on a ball put in play. Sometimes, the strikeout is preferable, especially if there’s a runner on first base with less than two outs and a weak hitter at the plate. Sabermetrics has also shown home runs to be the best and most efficient way to contribute on offense. Furthermore, younger players tend to focus more on power in order to get noticed by scouts. Unless it’s paired with other elite skills, a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 23, 2017 at 11:18 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: don mattingly, pace of play, strikeouts

Pump The Brakes On Kyle Schwarber? Well, Actually…

This week, Bradford Doolittle of ESPN asked fans to pump the brakes on Schwarber, citing a few reasons why there should be concern surrounding the hulking catcher that the Cubs have moved defensively from behind the plate to out in left field. The last time Cubs fans were told to “pump the brakes” on a player was late June of 2016 with Kris Bryant, and well, we all remember how that turned out. But tempering expectations on Schwarber might be a good thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:06 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

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