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Monday, January 09, 2017

Q&A: Former scout Johnson on discovering Pudge

MLB.com: How did you come across Rodriguez?
Johnson: We were going down to the Latin countries. Melvin Nieves was the hot prospect in Puerto Rico, so we were going to work him out and then to go the Virgin Islands to see Midre Cummings, who was another hot item. Our Latin scout, Luis Rosa, had 11 or 13 guys at the workout in Puerto Rico. After awhile, I’m in the dugout, talking with Nieves, and [scout] Doug Gassaway comes running in from the outfield, yelling, ‘That little guy just threw 93 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ivan rodriguez, scouts

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-9-2017

The Daily Missoulian, January 9, 1917:

Harry Sinclair, Oklahoma oil magnate, who was prominent in the Federal league in its last days, is the clubless owner, and Tom Seaton, the pitcher, is his property.
...
When the Federal league ceased its existence Sinclair was in possession of several star players. He sold them here and he disposed of them there, and when the time came to close his books Seaton was the only man left. One of the reasons that he couldn’t sell Tom, who had been a star with the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 09, 2017 at 10:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

(Not so) Big City slims down during Cardinals’ offseason | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Will “Big City” really need to be called “Small Town” next year?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2017 at 10:20 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, matt adams

Dan Duquette says Jose Bautista comments “got blown out of proportion” - Camden Chat

Do you mean an offhand joke shouldn’t be taken seriously?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2017 at 10:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dan duquette, orioles

The home run derby is finally watchable again | New York Post

I doubt it.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2017 at 10:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Manny Ramirez signs with the Kochi Fighting Dogs in Japan

The Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island League Plus in Japan announced on Monday that the club signed former major leaguer Manny Ramirez. The SILP is independent baseball and not associated with Nippon Professional Baseball.

Ramirez, 44, hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 and hasn’t played professional baseball since 2014. In 2014, Ramirez served as a player-coach for the Cubs at Triple-A Iowa. The next year, he served as a batting consultant for the major league club and Iowa.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, kochi fighting dogs, manny ramirez

Dodgers near deal with Jose Miguel Fernandez | MLB.com

Cuban infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez is nearing a Minor League deal with the Dodgers, sources told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez on Sunday.

The club has not confirmed the report.

Per Sanchez, Fernandez’s signing bonus is worth around $200,000.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 10:07 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, jose miguel fernandez

OTP 9 Jan. 2017: What’s next for sports, politics, and TV in 2017?

Cyclical trends may obscure the connection at times, but you can’t permanently disentangle sport from politics:

“Sport in 2017 will con­tinue to be a resur­gent and resounding plat­form for athlete-​​led social activism,” says Dan Lebowitz, exec­u­tive director of Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. “If his­tory repeats itself, 2017 will be this generation’s 1967, a year in which promi­nent ath­letes held a social jus­tice summit to call out ...

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BDC Posted: January 08, 2017 at 09:10 PM | 1952 comment(s)
  Beats: activism, kaepernick, politics, social justice

Meet Rafael Devers, the last star prospect in Boston Red Sox’s system - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN

Would anyone reading this at ESPN.com not know what a seeing-eye single is?

“All of a sudden, he started getting some seeing-eye singles [one that goes right between two infielders] and some broken-bat hits that weren’t falling for him the first month, and you could see, here comes the confidence,” Oliver said. “Once he got a little more comfortable and started feeling like he belonged at that level and he could hit that pitching, he just took off.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 04:46 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rafael devers, red sox

MLB Hot Stove, free agent and rumor roundup | MLB.com

Chock full of rumors.

The San Francisco Giants have showed continued interest in Korean free-agent infielder Jae-gyun Hwang, sources told Morosi on Tuesday.

Hwang, who has spent the majority of his career with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, is an unrestricted free agent and will not require a posting fee.

The 29-year-old hit .330/.391/.558 with 26 home runs and 104 RBIs in 118 games last season and has batted .285 with 114 homers over 10 seasons in the KBO.

The Giants ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 04:12 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rumors

Nick Cafardo: Why sluggers aren’t hitting it big in free agency

A glut of right-handed bats are on the market and people wonder why there isn’t a great urgency to get right-handed, free-agent bats?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 03:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes


Who will be the next Hall of Famer for each team?

Four teams are still not represented in Cooperstown—at least not by the caps worn on players’ Hall of Fame plaques. Three of those are expansion teams from the 1990s: the Rockies, Marlins and Rays. The fourth is the Angels, born in 1961. Nolan Ryan spent eight years with the Angels and nine with the Astros, but he wears a Rangers cap on his plaque, which leaves the Angels without a Hall of Famer. The franchise will likely have to wait for Mike Trout, assuming Vladimir Guerrero eventually goes ...

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cardsfanboy Posted: January 08, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, hall of fame

Murray Chass On Baseball » BARRY AND ROGER, THIS BUD’S FOR YOU

Every time someone passes along a link to Mr. Chass’ most recent column, I’m conflicted. Should I post a link or ignore him?

He was once among the best reporters around. (Notice I said reporters, not analysts.) There are some very interesting reporters who regularly generate interesting information but are terrible analysts. When they stick to reporting news, they are great. We can overlook their analytical shortcoming because, on balance, their overall product is interesting and useful. Mr. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 12:42 PM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

10 potential free-agent bargains on the market | MLB.com

Might.

It will happen again this year, but that claim comes with a caveat. In picking through the so-called bargain barrel at this stage, you’re bound to turn up more duds than studs. Some of the names on this list will admittedly look ridiculous come September (if they don’t look ridiculous already), but here’s a look at 10 remaining free agents* that might turn out to be diamonds in the rough.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 12:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Metrics show Mark Trumbo valuable at 1B | MLB.com

While I agree Mark Trumbo is a much more valuable player at first base (assuming you don’t already have a first baseman and no better OF candidate), it’s also true that his offense will most likely regress next season. Of course, the reason Trumbo isn’t already signed is most teams seem to accept that regression and are valuing his future play lower than he’s pricing himself.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2017 at 07:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mark trumbo

Saturday, January 07, 2017

CTBNL: Brandon Phillips’ Current Stance Is Hard To Figure

As Goldman mentions later in the article, the Reds can just bench him. Although he has the right to block deals, if he becomes a part-timer player and gets off to a poor start, it’s really going to impact his earning potential next year.

What’s a little more difficult to reconcile with the normal human experience is the insistence on staying in a place where you know you’re not wanted. Even with his hard bargained-for contractual right, Phillips can only control his destiny for so long. The ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon phillips, reds

Fantasy Focus - Breaking Down Javy Baez

This is a big year for Baez. Can he stop laying off these pitches?

Major league hitters need to take advantage of a pitcher’s mistake, and Baez is more than capable of this. But over 12 percent of the pitches he saw last year were in the red box low and away from the strike zone. Until he stops bailing and wailing at pitches, this will not change. Baez is young enough to adjust and can learn to lay off these pitches, but his resulting whiff-per-swing percentages show why he is seeing this many ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

2017 College Top 100 Draft Prospects | BaseballAmerica.com

Vanderbilt center fielder Jeren Kendall has established himself as the top college position player. A well above-average runner with surprising power in his wiry frame, he has the ability to impact the game in multiple ways. Scouts will also be keeping a close eye on another center fielder in Nashville, as Lipscomb’s Michael Gigliotti has the skill set to profile at the top of the lineup. Sluggers Keston Hiura (UC Irvine), J.J. Schwarz (Florida) and Pavin Smith (Virginia), as well as Florida ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 09:04 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Toolshed: Detroit Tigers’ Matt Manning happy away from hoops | MiLB.com

Those major growth spurts can be a thing of wonder. I’m still waiting for mine.

By his own admission, the right-hander didn’t take pitching seriously until the summer before his junior year in high school. Then he hit a major growth spurt, and while he didn’t reach the heights of his 6-foot-11 father, the added inches did wonders for his velocity as he started to hit the upper-80’s with his fastball. That winter, he verbally committed to Loyola Marymount, but by the spring of his senior season, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt manning, tigers

World Baseball Classic team visits Israel | MLB.com

Team Israel visits Israel.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 08:55 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Friday, January 06, 2017

Active Starting Pitchers Have Virtually No Shot at Hall

Kershaw is four good seasons from Pedro territory, and while injuries do happen, the only active player on a Hall of Fame trajectory and a realistic shot at meeting the standards set by the current writers is Kershaw. He’ll need to add a few more seasons to even be eligible, but it is difficult to imagine a reasonably healthy Kershaw for even just five more MLB seasons failing to gain entry into the Hall of Fame….

Given the absurd demands required of the pitchers here to make a plausible ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2017 at 10:26 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, hall of fame

Royals trade Jarrod Dyson to Mariners for Nathan Karns

That’s what speed….did.

Kansas City got the starting rotation help is so desperately needed.

The Mariners got the speed they sought on the base paths.

“As so often times is the case, once teams know there is a mutual interest in a player — in their case Jarrod, in our case Nate — we just stayed in touch and the timing was right,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “The deal was obviously attractive for us.”...

Dyson, a former 50th-round draft pick, became a fan favorite ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2017 at 08:00 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: jarrod dyson, mariners, nate karns, royals

Mariners acquire Yovani Gallardo from Orioles | MLB.com

After weeks of pursuing available options, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto moved to bolster the team’s rotation on Friday by acquiring veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo from the Orioles in a trade for outfielder Seth Smith.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 01:59 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, orioles, trade

17 MOST INTRIGUING MLB PEOPLE FOR ‘17

12. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees

He’s a 24-year-old catcher with just 55 games under his belt, and yet it feels fair to call him the face of the New York Yankees. Sanchez hit 20 bombs in only 201 at-bats, a pace that would put him in position to become just the third Yankee ever to log 60 in a single season (hopefully you know the names of the other two). Don’t hold your breath there, but do expect Sanchez’s sophomore adjustment to go a long way toward determining whether the Yanks can rebuild ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2017 at 11:19 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: lists, people, things

The Other Side of Baseball’s Success Story

Last year’s phenomenal Game Seven ratings might mask some deeper truths about the game’s long-term prospects.

“Selig’s annual statements about the health of the game were not pulled out of the air but reflected in the financial data and products being offered to fans. His successor, Rob Manfred, will almost certainly continue to report on the financial health of baseball. While these reports may be factual, they do not quite represent the entire truth.”

gehrig97 Posted: January 06, 2017 at 10:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, ratings, revenues, rob manfred, television contracts

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-6-2017

Bridgeport Farmer, January 6, 1917:

While there is little, if any, possibility of a readjustment of the professional baseball diamond as recently suggested by President Percy D. Haughton, of the Boston National league club, the proposed changes…offer a wide field for speculation as to what would be the result if such alterations were made.
...
Haughton suggests that in order to equalize the offensive and defensive strength of the pitcher and batter it might be found advisable, upon ...

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The Pirates and Their Continuing Search for Velocity | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m generally not interested on what a pitcher “touches” in velocity. It’s where he sits that’s generally what matters. There are a lot of pitchers referenced in this article. Adding Kuhl seems a stretch.

Chad Kuhl is another success story from later in the draft, a ninth-rounder out of Delaware in 2013 who was touching 97 mph at the major-league level last summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 07:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Why didn’t the Red Sox pursue Edwin Encarnacion?

By “resetting” this year, however, the team would be able to sign free agents in the solid but less-impressive 2017-18 free-agent classes while incurring the more modest penalties on amateur talent acquisition. For instance, if the team wants to make a run at Eric Hosmer – assuming he spends all year with the Royals and receives a qualifying offer from them – or Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, their ability to land amateur talent would be less severely impacted.

That said, if the team ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 07:32 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Earl Weaver and the Greatest Baseball Game of All-Time

This was an early favorite that stole some Strat-O-Matic time.

Earl Weaver Baseball, the first version of the game, was released in 1987. It was designed by Don Daglow and Eddie Dombrower. Those two developers created Intellivision World Series Baseball. That game was revolutionary for 1983, but EWB was a proper updated baseball game. It helped Electronic Arts pioneer it’s reputation for sports simulation games (John Madden Football being released in 1988).

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2017 at 06:31 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: games, simulations

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