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Wednesday, October 03, 2018


Year-end MLB Top 100 Prospects list

The next big thing.

Wander Franco, SS, Rays (No. 40 to No. 14)
Signed in July 2017, Franco had one of the most stirring professional, and United States, debuts in recent memory, making the Rookie-level Appalachian League look easy with a .351/.418/.587 line with 11 homers and 57 RBIs in 61 games.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings

How Alex Rodriguez whiffed in his ESPN playoff showcase

I wish I had known about the alternative broadcast on ESPN 2. I could have avoided talking to my TV and getting odd looks from my wife. The teams’ poor analysis of Freeland was especially irritating when compared to some spot on analysis of Freeland on MLB Network earlier in the day. And again, someone needs to tell the team they don’t have to fill every moment with uninteresting chatter. Please.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:25 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, broadcasting

Onetime A’s phenom Claudell Washington, fighting cancer,  take stock of a long career, one game in particular.

Charlie Finley had an idea. Charlie Finley always had an idea. This one was audacious even by his standards. The A’s owner called manager Alvin Dark and instructed him to put the 19-year-old phenom into the lineup. The kid who grew up in Berkeley. The kid who had only one major league at-bat under his belt.The move appealed to Finley’s theatrical inclinations. The game was one of the A’s Family Nights on which tickets were half-price. A crowd of 45,000 was expected. The opposing pitcher ...

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Texas Rangers: Why the remaking of the Rangers’ pitching staff has to start by trading Nomar Mazara | SportsDay

Development is not linear. Trading Mazara doesn’t sound like a good idea. Putting Choo at DH, moving Mazara to left, and installing Gallo in right seems like good moves to me. I have no idea what to do with Calhoun. Neither did the Dodgers, of course, which is why they dumped him on the Rangers.

What the Rangers have to hope is that someone else agrees with James and believes in the potential of a hitter who has three years in the bigs, yet doesn’t turn 24 until April.

Daniels needs to make a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:16 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

Cubs’ long-term trajectory in question

I was disappointed by the Cubs end last night. Despite that, the sky is not falling in Wrigley.

     
Year   CHC
2018   95
2017   92
2016   103
2015   97
2014   73
2013   66

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:14 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Mets kicking off GM search with longtime baseball exec Doug Melvin

Is this a zig or a zag?

Doug Melvin, the former Rangers and Brewers GM, has been contacted by the Mets and will interview with club officials either this week or next, according to an industry source.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:10 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Here are five candidates to replace Mike Scioscia as Angels manager - Los Angeles Times

Dino Ebel, 52, Angels third base coach

After 14 seasons in the organization, Ebel may finally get a crack at managing.

Ebel just completed his ninth season as the Angels’ third base coach. He managed the final three innings of the season-finale triumph over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

He has served as bench coach and third base coach since joining Scioscia’s staff in November 2005. He also oversaw the outfield from 2011 to 2015 and this season.

With Ebel back as the Angels’ ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:10 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

NL wild card: Where do Chicago Cubs go from here?

Who?

They are also Jason Heyward for five more years and Yu Darvish for five more years and Tyler Chatwood for two more years. The three will make more than $50 million next season alone. They are a team that preaches culture – and still has a player in the middle of a must-win game sitting in the clubhouse and scrolling through an iPad, much to the chagrin of others in the dugout who were living and dying with every pitch. They are in that awkward place where they need to start considering ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:01 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler gets into fiery exchange with WIP’s Angelo Cataldi over ‘disrespectful’ remarks

“Basically, Matt Klentak in the three years that he’s been here has put two people on the roster that are true building blocks … Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola,” Cataldi said, turning his criticism toward Kapler’s coaching.

“You’ve got Rhys Hoskins playing in left field when he has a terrible WAR (wins above replacement), should be at first base. You’re putting [Carlos Santana] who was originally a catcher as your third baseman, showing a complete contempt for defense,” Cataldi said. “When I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 01:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, phillies

Showalter out as Orioles manager - BaltimoreBaseball.com

“The only way to make money as a manager is to win in one place, get fired and hired somewhere else.” ~ Whitey Herzog

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 01:43 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-3-2018

Fulton County [Pennsylvania] News, October 3, 1918:

While we have been hearing so much about the advance of baseball in England, France and Italy, don’t forget that another one of the allied countries is also booming it. A newspaper man recently arrived in this country from China says thousands of Chinese are playing the game and that the contests put on in Shanghai often draw more than 5,000 persons. If there’s ever to be an international world’s series this newspaper man, whose name is Graham ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 03, 2018 at 10:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: china, dugout, history, taiwan

Tony Wolters’ big hit sends Rockies to NLDS | MLB.com

So it begins. Tough time of year for me. First I have to deal with withdrawals from the end of the season. Next I have to deal with little sleep as I **try** to stay awake until the end of playoff games. On the bright side, I get to play around with the end of season data to scout players for next year’s sim and fantasy leagues. TINO!!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2018 at 08:28 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rockies, wild card

Hendriks fired to become first Australian starter in playoff

(Reuters) - Oakland reliever Liam Hendriks will become Australia’s first pitcher to start a major league playoff when the A’s take on the New York Yankees in a wild card game and is thrilled to put baseball on the map in his home country.

The Perth-born 29-year-old gets his start as the A’s take a “bullpenning” strategy into Wednesday’s American League wild card playoff game at Yankee Stadium after a string of injuries to their starters.

Hendriks is unlikely to pitch more than one or two ...

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QLE Posted: October 03, 2018 at 08:27 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, liam hendriks, wild card

A college baseball team outdrew the Marlins in 2018

It wasn’t a great year for the Miami Marlins. The team traded away some of its best assets in the offseason, went 63-98 in the regular season and will watch likely National League MVP Christian Yelich mash for the Milwaukee Brewers in the postseason.

While all of that is bad, one thing stands out as much more embarrassing. A college baseball team actually drew more fans per game than the Marlins in 2018.

That team would be LSU. The university’s baseball team averaged 10,786 fans per game ...

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QLE Posted: October 03, 2018 at 08:27 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, college baseball, lsu, marlins

Paul Molitor fired as Twins manager

It wasn’t the 78-84 record, and it wasn’t missing the playoffs. It wasn’t implementing all the new analytics, and it wasn’t his knowledge of the game. It certainly wasn’t a personal conflict, because everyone involved testified at length about what a tremendous human being Paul Molitor is.

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine on Tuesday fired Molitor, the manager whom they inherited when taking over the team two autumns ago, and in doing so, recited a list of factors they said played no part ...

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QLE Posted: October 03, 2018 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fired, managerial firings, paul molitor, twins

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

How Much of a Role Did Steroids Play in the Steroid Era?

is the suddenness of the change: a large step jump from one stable, self-consistent era to another such over a single season,” Walker says. “There is no other possible explanation than a change in the baseball.” It’s certainly suggestive that the seasons with the largest year-over-year increases in home run rate on contact are, in order, 1977 (when MLB changed ball manufacturers, from Spalding to Rawlings); 1969 (when the mound was lowered and the strike zone shrunk); 2016 (the first ...

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eric Posted: October 02, 2018 at 02:51 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, steroids


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2018

New York Evening World, October 2, 1918:

Those game Frenchmen have heard all sorts of noises and explosions in the present world war, but there is one sound that they have never heard and when they do hear it they will undoubtedly be thrilled. The sensation in store for the courageous poilus is when Hughey Jennings, famous manager of the Tigers, gets out on the coaching line and yells “E-e-eyah!”
...
The Knights of Columbus, through the enterprise of Messrs. William O. Larkin and William J. ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 02, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

With Josh Hader heading a killer bullpen, the Brewers staked their claim as NL’s best team

CHICAGO – The visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field is a dingy little room, low-ceilinged and shaped like a single-wide trailer, better suited for storage than a tangle of large men soaked in bubbly and tipsy on Miller Lite and high from the foregoing three hours of baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers, professional afterthoughts, had earned the right to defile the place with ribaldry. So defile they did.

Anyone who was dry took a sticky, boozy bath, from the soon-to-be MVP of the National ...

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QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: best team in the league, brewers, josh hader, relief pitching

MLB PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS & PREVIEW 2018

Playoff projections- have at them!

QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, preview

Hosmer looks to push reset button after subpar first season with Padres - The San Diego Union-Tribune

It’s weird how nobody saw this coming.

Right through the final day of the season, he was resolute.

“I know I’m going to go back and be the player I know I can be,” Hosmer said before the final game of one of his worst major league seasons. “This isn’t the impression I wanted to make the first year, but there’s nothing I can say to make it any better. Just, I’ll be ready to go next year.”

It’s what he has been thinking about for a while — getting back to South Florida and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, padres

Has baseball analytics killed the art of hitting?

Moments after being doused in celebratory suds last Wednesday, a soaked Christian Yelich was slapping on headphones and a microphone, settling in for a post-game interview. The 26-year-old National League MVP candidate and his Milwaukee Brewers had just beaten the St Louis Cardinals and booked their place in Major League Baseball’s playoffs which start on Tuesday.

It was a strange time for MLB Network personalities to get into a hitting discussion, but the hosts insisted on knowing ...

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QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, hitting, yes, another of these columns

First-Round Order For 2019 MLB Draft - MLB Trade Rumors

1.) Orioles (47-115)
2.) Royals (58-104)
3.) White Sox (62-100)
4.) Marlins (63-98)
5.) Tigers (64-98)
6.) Padres (66-96)
7.) Reds (67-95)
8.) Rangers (67-95)
9.) Braves (comp pick for not signing 2018 first-rounder Carter Stewart)
10.) Giants (73-89)

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2018 at 06:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: draft picks

Looming wall for Red Sox adds pressure to 2018 playoffs

BOSTON — The 2018 playoffs mean a ton to the Red Sox because they might not have many more chances. Because management took a path that likely will wind up reducing the number of opportunities the Sox have at the postseason.

The window will not shut after this year, but you can see how easily it may begin to close. Craig Kimbrel is a free agent after this year. Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are all potentially free agents after 2019. Mookie Betts is a free agent after 2020, ...

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QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:46 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: playoff implications, red sox, time's running out

Elevating Rockies’ game? Coors seems to factor in awards

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies would like to air a little grievance: They’re thin on MVP winners in their history. Even lighter on Cy Young candidates.

They wouldn’t mind a little altitude adjustment when it comes to conventional thinking at Coors Field. As it stands, sometimes they feel like hitters get penalized for hitting at higher elevation half the time and the pitchers don’t get rewarded highly enough.

It’s a scale that doesn’t seem balanced.

A point of some interest to ponder, ...

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QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:42 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, coors field, rockies

LEADING OFF: Rockies head to Wrigley for wild-card one-off

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

WILD TIMES

The Rockies head to Wrigley Field for a wild-card showdown with the Cubs after both teams lost tiebreaking games Monday with division crowns on the line. Colorado missed out on a first NL West title in a 5-2 loss at the Dodgers , then quickly scooted off for Chicago. The Cubs await them there after falling to Milwaukee 3-1 with the NL Central on the line.

So, any predictions?

QLE Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:36 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, national league, rockies, wild card

Monday, October 01, 2018

How does Jacob deGrom’s 2018 Season Stack Up Against the Best in Mets’ History?

Pretty good, actually. Pretty, pretty, pr—ah, you know.

“By all accounts, Jacob deGrom is courteous with fans, and genuinely seems to appreciate the support of the Flushing faithful. He’s good-humored, modest, and acts the consummate professional. He was also the best pitcher on the planet in 2018.

So why do his teammates hate him?”

gehrig97 Posted: October 01, 2018 at 09:46 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: degrom, degrominating, dwight gooden, mets, tom seaver

Billy Eppler begins search for next Angels manager – Orange County Register

What we’re looking for in that next manager is connectivity with the players,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “We’re are looking at somebody who can think with a probability-based mindset. We are looking for someone who is eager to grow. Someone who can develop a culture that puts the welfare of the team ahead of any singular person.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2018 at 08:20 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, managerial search

Mauer Stars In What Could Be Perfect Ending

Nice moment in Minnesota, with Mauer donning the tools of ignorance for a final time. According to the article, Mauer has not made a decision about retirement.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 01, 2018 at 04:05 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, joe mauer, twins

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