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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dave Stieb on Hall of Fame: ‘I surely did not deserve to be just wiped off the map’ | MLB | Sporting News

In case anyone’s wondering, Stieb’s heard of WAR.

“Pat Hentgen told me years ago, he goes, ‘Man, you know how they’re using that WAR a lot, that stat?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘They use that like crazy now to gauge how good someone really is.’ He goes, ‘If they looked at that when you were playing, you would have won four Cy Young Awards in a row,’” Stieb said, noting it would have been 1982 through 1985 when he led for WAR three consecutive years and finished second the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 12:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dave stieb, hall of fame

5 reasons Matt Wieters would make the Nationals the NL East favorites | FOX Sports

No, no he’s not. Whether he’s even an upgrade to Derek Norris is a very open question.

Matt Wieters is an impact star
Wieters was among the premier free agents on the market and fell into the Nationals’ lap in late February. A switch-hitting catcher with 20-homer power who still in his prime, was an All-Star in 2016, threw out 35 percent of would-be basestealers last season and has two Gold Gloves … wow. It’s a huge upgrade over Derek Norris.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, nationals

Peeking into the future if Maikil Franco doesn’t pan out

I know we Philly fans are impatient but this piece is ridiculous. He’s freaking 23!

Consistent performance from Franco would do a lot, now and over the seasons to come, to solidify the middle of the order.

But if Franco does fall short – if he does top out as a mediocre hitter with okay defense – what then?

eddieot Posted: February 21, 2017 at 12:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

A slimmed-down Chris Heisey finds stability in West Palm Beach - The Washington Post

How about the jeans test?

Dusty Baker jokes about his unorthodox methods for testing his players’ fitness when they arrive for spring training. He shakes their hands and pats them on the stomach, not merely as gestures of welcoming, but as informal assessments of their overall health. Bigger-than-they-used-to-be bellies or smaller-than-they-used-to-be biceps do not go unnoticed at such close range.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: chris heisey, dusty baker, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2017

Washington Times, February 21, 1917:

A verdict in favor of the St. Louis American League Baseball Company was returned [in St. Louis] today in the suit of James C. Reach against the company for $15,000 damages. Reach alleged that while at a game last August he was led from his seat by an usher who charged him with having taken a baseball which was knocked into the stand.

To give this lawsuit some perspective, $15,000 was the amount that the greatest pitcher on Earth, Grover Cleveland Alexander, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, lawsuits

Why is Salvador Perez a bad pitch framer?

In this month’s thread we wondered if maybe Perez’s height had something to do with his poor framing? Do tall catchers do worse? Generally the bottom of the zone is most exploited, and taller players may have issue with the bottom than their shorter stature peers.

At first glance, no, that’s not really the case. Taller catchers don’t appear to be worse pitch framers than shorter catchers, nor do shorter catchers appear to be particularly good just because of their height. Dioner ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing, salvador perez

Nationals near deal with Matt Wieters | MLB.com

Update:

Wieters may finally have a landing place. What’s the cash?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, nationals

Advice from Pujols, Cano pushing Yasiel Puig in right direction - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report- ESPN

“It’s more of a mental thing,” Puig said through an interpreter about the advice he received. “Things that you have to fix yourself. Nobody can do it for you. You have to leave the bad things in the past and continue to work toward the future to get better. Continue to do your job.

“You just have to focus on what you have to do, and if you focus, things get easier,” Puig explained, his eyes wide open, his thinner faced relaxed. “That’s the reason great ballplayers have been ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

In a world without stats, who would be the best baseball player?

This started with a crush on Starling Marte.

Marte is an outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates and my favorite baseball player to watch. He’s fast enough to have stolen 47 bases last year, third-most in the majors. His arm is one of the best in the game, capable of firing 101 mph bullets from the outfield. He is strong enough to have hit a baseball 460 feet, something only 48 other hitters have accomplished outside of Coors Field over the past two years. (Bryce Harper hasn’t. Mike Trout ...

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Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:23 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, sabermetrics

Velocity drops in Spring Training can be red flags. | Sports on Earth

Pitching is hard.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Marlins’ Michael Hill excited about new arms | MLB.com

It’s spring training!!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Pirates’ Cervelli on mend, team ‘refocused’ | MLB.com

“I think it’s going to be good for us. You need to have the step back before you take the step forward. I love that phrase,” Nutting said. “We certainly had a step back. We underperformed last year to the abilities of our club. I believe that’s been good for the organization. I believe it’s been good individually for some of the players, and it’s refocused us and improved our commitment. … We need to focus on how we move forward, how we push, how we deliver a level of excellence beyond what ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Twins pitcher Gibson tossing out traditional training methods - StarTribune.com

The drills are meant to retrain Gibson and alter his throwing motion, so he holds the ball more upright, at an angle of less than 90 degrees, which enables him to reach his release point more directly. That, combined with a de-emphasis on extending his arm after releasing the ball, has dramatically reduced the amount of stress on his pitching shoulder.

And so almost every morning before training camp workouts, Gibson goes through a series of unusual throwing exercises, using a balloon-sized ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, pitching mechanics, twins

Giants’ Bruce Bochy says DL rule change could affect bullpen usage - SFGate

Under the old rules, teams agonized over players who had mild injuries, not wanting to lose them for 15 days when they needed seven or 10 to recover. That happened often with the Giants last year. They would keep Angel Pagan, for instance, off the DL hoping he would be able to play soon, leaving Bochy with a short bench.

“Where it can get a little more difficult is with bullpen guys,” Bochy said.

On any given night, one or two relievers might be off-limits because of minor aches or ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, rules of the game

Arizona Diamondbacks shift focus to defense behind plate

“The catching staff tries to throw out attempted base-stealers 80-120 times a year as opposed to receiving 20,000 to 25,000 pitches a year,” Hammock said. “What do you want to emphasize?”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, diamondbacks

Phillies No. 1 prospect J.P. Crawford has something to prove

“I tried to do too much last year when I got moved up,” Crawford said. “I was trying way too much with the bat, and physically I was just trying to do too much. This year, I’m trying to go back to what I do best. Stick with a plan and produce offensively.”

“I think he needs to go back and prove he’s a better hitter than he showed,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “I really haven’t seen enough of him so far this spring. But I know one thing: He’s got a lot of potential, a lot of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: j.p. crawford, phillies

Alternate history: What wouldn’t have happened if Rays had taken Weeks over Young | Tampa Bay Times

Yes, Delmon Young and Richie Weeks were once drafted first and second overall.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Peter Gammons: Another February traveling through Florida - GammonsDaily.com

Brian Cashman had wanted to do a bridge year or two as the Yankees got old. By trading Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, then re-signing Chapman, he effectively traded two years of Miller for infielder Gleyber Torres, outfielder Clint Frazier and pitcher Justus Sheffield. Gary Sanchez hit 20 homers in 52 games and this spring puts fannies in the seats to watch him take batting practice.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, tigers, yankees

Why Martin Prado skipped free agency to sign extension with Marlins - Sun Sentinel

There were personal reasons for Prado, too. His wife, Valeria, is a doctor completing her residency in Miami. Their daughter, Martina, was born last April. Prado wasn’t keen on the idea of leaving them for most of the year or having to uproot them. Miami has become home.

“I started with nada. I was not a prospect. I was a utility guy coming up,” Prado said of his second his second $40 million deal, the first coming with Arizona in 2013. “At the end of the day, I might look back and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, martin prado

Mets’ ‘unbelievable’ future stud is showing why he’s untouchable | New York Post

The hype train is really picking up steam.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amed rosario, mets

Monday, February 20, 2017


How 10 Facebook comments tell the story of Dexter Fowler, the Cardinals and America in 2017

Fowler hadn’t sought to make a grand political statement. His wife, Aliya, was born in Iran, and he was talking about how the president’s executive order seeking to severely curtail immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries affected his family. The law had mucked up his sister-in-law’s travel plans, and Fowler said he no longer was comfortable visiting Iran with his young daughter.

“It’s huge,” Fowler said. “Especially any time you’re not able to see your family, it’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2017 at 01:51 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dexter fowler, politics

Amiel Sawdaye on Arizona’s New Boston Culture | FanGraphs Baseball

On the potential of the 2017 Diamondbacks: “If you look at our team, our major-league team, there are some really good young players. I think most people identify with Goldschmidt and Greinke and Pollock — those guys are great players — but if you look down at the crux of the roster, we have Drury and Lamb and Owings and Ahmed. We have Corbin, Ray, Bradley… I mean, the list goes on and on. There’s a lot of good happening at the major-league level, and hopefully we can take advantage ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 01:18 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Help wanted! These problem positions have plagued teams for a decade

Almost every team has a problem position—you know, that spot where one season a hot prospect is starting (and failing), the next season it’s a washed-up vet, then some random Triple-A player—and the team can never get out of that cycle.

Maybe your favorite club has one, like left field for the Seattle Mariners. This one goes way back. Ken Griffey Jr. patrolled center field 11 seasons for the Mariners and played next to nine different regular left fielders, including Pee Wee Briley, Jeffrey ...

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Meatwad needs baseball Posted: February 20, 2017 at 12:55 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: bad players, chicago white sox, seattle mariners

Manny Ramirez gave hitting lessons to Twins’ Kennys Vargas

Now Vargas needs to execute on Manny’s tips.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: kennys vargas, manny ramirez, twins

Rio Ruiz arrives at Braves camp with new body | MLB.com

Maybe a picture of the new version would be a nice touch.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rio ruiz

Rumors And Rumblings: Swihart Adamant He Doesn’t Have Yips

“You find one clip of one bad throw and put it on the internet,” Swihart said. “I know how you guys are. Make a big deal out of nothing. I had my family and a lot of friends call me (Friday night) and I had them to tell them all it was nothing, just one bad throw.

“Not one person in the organization said a word to me. No one. I’m not concerned. No one is concerned.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2017

Tacoma Times, February 20, 1917:

Bill Pickens has made Grover Cleveland Alexander an offer which ought to help big Alex land the $15,000 salary he wants, regardless of whether he accepts it.

Pickens has devised a scheme, whereby a circus he represents is to retain Alexander at $1,000 a week for 35 weeks. He will do a freak baseball stunt inside the tent and later will exhibit his prowess by defending the circus’ offer to give $50 to anyone who can make a base hit off him.

This would have been a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 20, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history

A Vindictive President Destroys a National Institution

A story of a bombastic, vindictive man who brooked no challenge to his authority, had no tolerance for weakness, and hated whom he saw as “losers.” We’re speaking, of course, of Ban Johnson, founder and president of the American League.

gehrig97 Posted: February 20, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ban johnson, cubs, frank chance, yankees

Astros hope Yuli Gurriel can bring stability to first base - Houston Chronicle

“He can really time things up,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s got a timing mechanism that’s unique the way he wraps his bat. But he finds a way to time things up perfectly.

“His bat-to-ball skills are really good. He gets very, very aggressive with his approach, which I think is something (where) he’s going to learn that the league doesn’t challenge you as much as it tries to disrupt your timing. So it will be interesting for him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yulieski gurriel

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