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Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Monday, April 09, 2018

Cole Hamels’ dip in velocity leaves him vulnerable | Dallas Morning News

First, about the velocity drop: It is significant. Hamels, 34, is averaging 89.8 mph with his four-seam fastball, the one that is supposed to “explode” through the strike zone on what appears to be an upward plane. That is down from 92.3 mph in his first three starts a year ago.

On Sunday, he threw a four-seamer on the game’s first pitch. It didn’t explode, well, at least not until after leadoff hitter Steve Pearce sent it deep into the left-field stands. It was the second time in three starts ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 09, 2018 at 04:32 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, rangers

Promo Preview: A look at the season to come | MiLB.com News

Wait, what?
If Brannock Devices aren’t random enough for you, there’s plenty more where that came from. For example:

—The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are shooting off “Bacon-themed” fireworks on June 2. As to what that entails, your guess is as good as mine.

—On June 28, the Altoona Curve are giving away replica championship rings in Jell-O. Why? It’s “Office Night,” and the Jell-O-encased ring references one of the pranks that Jim played on Dwight in the long-running NBC sitcom.

—The Lake ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2018 at 02:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league promotions

OTP 2018 Apr 9: A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder

As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.”

What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-9-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 9, 1918:

Lieutenant Martie McHale, formerly pitcher for the Yankees and Red Sox and now in the Twenty-second Regiment, wants to get men organized who will throw bombs as baseballs are thrown, with curves and dips. He has interested prominent athletes and baseball players in a bomb-throwing squad and arranged for a complete and effective staff of teachers who can show the men in the squad a thing or two about curves that will make the enemy sit up and ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 09, 2018 at 10:35 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

NJ.com:  Ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez: I should’ve signed with the Mets

How differently history may have unfolded.  If the Mets have A-Rod in 2001, the might well have made the playoffs, and all of history since then changes.  No Art Howe, no Vaughn, no Alomar, and their awful era, no Duquette to trade Kazmir for Zambrano, etc etc.  But then probably no Beltran and who knows what next.

Adam Starblind Posted: April 09, 2018 at 10:10 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Amed Rosario hopes to steal some knowledge from Jose Reyes on being more aggressive on the bases | Newsday

Yes, please.

This year, Rosario said his plan is to be “100 percent” aggressive on the bases.

“If God provides me with health, I’ll be able to steal a lot of bases,” he said through an interpreter.

Count manager Mickey Callaway among the believers in that possibility. But base-stealing is a skill that takes time to develop, just like hitting and fielding.

“Base-stealing is something that is an art and it takes time to build, unless you’re just clearly outrunning the baseball,” ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2018 at 09:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: amed rosario, mets

How I was wrong about Shohei Ohtani

Maybe Spring Training isn’t a big enough sample. Of course, neither is ten games.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2018 at 09:32 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani

Jake Arrieta makes Phillies debut | MLB.com

The 32-year-old right-hander allowed three runs and threw 31 pitches in the first. He found a rhythm after that, needing just 43 pitches the rest of the way and retiring 10 of the final 11 batters he faced. He threw 49 sinkers, which averaged 91.7 mph. He got five swings-and-misses on the pitch and 15 called strikes overall.

“Was just maybe a little too giddy, pulling a lot of stuff out of the zone,” Arrieta said about his first-inning struggles.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2018 at 09:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jake arrieta, phillies


Sunday, April 08, 2018

With expected start, Zack Wheeler aligns Mets’ long-awaited rotation

The New York Mets have waited years for this rotation.

Zack Wheeler will be recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to start Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, finally aligning the five-man rotation New York has hoped to use for years.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway announced the right-hander’s upcoming start Sunday. It will mark the first time Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Wheeler make a rotation turn together. New York fans have hoped to see that five-man group ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 08, 2018 at 11:19 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dreams do come true, mets

Shohei Ohtani was nearly perfect in his home pitching debut | LA Times

The Angels sold out. They sold 44,742 tickets, more than for opening day, more than for any regular-season day game since they downsized their stadium 20 years ago.

What could be more dramatic than Ohtani hitting a home run in his first at-bat at Angel Stadium? How about pitching a perfect game in his first start at Angel Stadium?

Ohtani very nearly did, nearly enough to get the crowd cheering in anticipation of third strikes in the fifth and sixth innings. With one out in the seventh, when ...

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Saturday, April 07, 2018

Opening Day Rosters Analysis

Baseball America does a rundown of where every team’s top prospects will begin the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2018 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects


Friday, April 06, 2018

Fangraphs: 2018 UZR and UZR Update!

The methodology has changed a little that allows UZR to account for some of the noise associated with imperfect data. The net result of this change is that extreme UZR’s, which were likely caused by, to some extent at least, noise in the data, rather than extreme performance, will be slightly ‘dampened.’ We think that these new values, while very close to the old ones in most cases, more accurately reflect the actual performance of the players in question.

I’ve always had a problem with ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 06, 2018 at 04:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive metrics, fangraphs

Billy Bean and Torey Lovullo’s Friendship

Nice story about the friendship between Billy Bean (not Beane), the gay former player and current MLB front office exec, and Torey Lovullo, the DBacks manager.

Blastin Posted: April 06, 2018 at 03:26 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, inclusion

Indians Activate Michael Brantley | MLBTR

His injury troubles notwithstanding, Brantley saw his $12MM club option exercised by the Indians last November. Given the offseason surgery and the manner in which corner outfielders were further devalued in free agency this winter, the Cleveland front office may prefer a mulligan on that decision, though Brantley was worth more than $12MM in just 90 games last season when he hit .290/.357/.444 with 20 doubles, nine homers and 11 steals.

The 2018 season will be a crucial one for Brantley, ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 06, 2018 at 02:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, injuries, michael brantley

The One Baseball’s Been Waiting For | ESPN Mag

Ohtani’s new teammates keep their observations light, their words like stones skipping across a flat lake. The team has erected a fortress of positivity around Ohtani, and when he warms up in Oakland before his first start, the metaphor becomes literal: A total of eight teammates and coaches stand behind the bullpen mound.

Another long think piece on Shohei Ohtani. Interesting reading, but after another 4500 words, I still know little more about Ohtani than I did before. The guy’s a total ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 06, 2018 at 01:57 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, japan, shohei ohtani

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-6-2018

Topeka State Journal, April 6, 1918:

The Bronx may get a baseball club in the New International league, but Harry N. Hempstead and Col. Jacob Ruppert, presidents of Manhattan’s two major league clubs, will first have to give their consent, according to word given Billy Gibson by the new International, now in the process of organization [in New York]. Gibson has made a bid for a franchise in the new league.

Baseball? In the Bronx? It’ll never happen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 06, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Miguel Cabrera exits with hip injury | MLB.com

The body is breaking down.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2018 at 06:59 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel cabrera, tigers

MLB keeps finding new ways to alienate fans

Don’t miss Musnick’s next column on the insanity of the indoor plumbing craze.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2018 at 06:39 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Defensive shifts and alignments a gamble Phillies willing to take — no matter the optics

“Sometimes if you’re looking at it in a small sample in a very specific time, you can go, ‘That’s not going to work, that’s not going to work, that’s not going to work,’” Kapler said after Wednesday’s game. “We have to be patient and trust that we’re trying to look at a very large sample size to evaluate if our strategies are working effectively. I can’t express enough confidence that our strategies will pay dividends, but I understand in the short term they haven’t and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2018 at 06:27 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, phillies, the athletic

Brewers lose closer Corey Knebel to hamstring injury during blowout loss | CBS Sports

Corey Knebel, Milwaukee’s All-Star closer, suffered a potentially serious looking hamstring injury while getting some work in during the blowout loss. He collapsed after throwing a pitch and had to be carried off the field.



Thursday, April 05, 2018

Passan: What Charlie Blackmon’s deal says about the present and future of baseball

Passan takes a look at the Blackmon contract in the context of the slow winter market.

The question, of course, becomes less about Blackmon in that case and more about where the dollars that in the past might have gone to him go. Because over the last few offseasons, teams have made it abundantly clear the answer is not older players.


Facebook Broadcast of Mets Game Runs Into Glitches and Complaints

The Mets-Phillies game was the first of the 25 games set to be aired on Facebook — one per week — and the early feedback was largely negative. Fans quickly voiced their displeasure with the newfangled broadcast and its glitches, and not just because they couldn’t watch their teams as they normally would: the Mets on SportsNet New York and the Phillies on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Bored Posted: April 05, 2018 at 11:21 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: facebook, mets, phillies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-5-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 5, 1918:

Fielder Jones, among others, holds that Babe Ruth, the Red Sox pitcher, is the most formidable batsman in baseball. The leader of the Browns takes full cognizance of the well-known prowess of Tyrus Cobb, but he insists that Ruth is a more dangerous and harder hitter and that if his efforts were confined to outfielding and hitting he would prove one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game.

People at the time probably thought Jones had ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 05, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history


Dodgers have no answer for pitcher Patrick Corbin in 3-0 loss to the Diamondbacks | LAT

The Dodgers have played seven games this season. They have scored one run or fewer in four.

The lineup longs for the return of All-Star third baseman Justin Turner as he recuperates from a fractured wrist. The malaise extends from Chris Taylor (.574 on-base plus slugging percentage) at the top of the lineup to Corey Seager (.414 OPS) and Puig (.476 OPS) in the middle to Logan Forsythe (.291 OPS) at the bottom.

After Kenley Jansen blew a save on Monday, the offense scored only one run during ...

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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Baseball America - Best Tools In The Minors

Best Defensive Outfielder

Victor Robles, OF, Nationals
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves
Brett Phillips, OF, Brewers
Magneuris Sierra, OF, Marlins
Braden Bishop, OF, Mariners

The greats make everything look easy, and Victor Robles makes the difficult task of playing center field look remarkably sol. With elite speed, a big arm and amazing natural reflexes and reads, Robles takes care of everything in center field in all directions to give the Nationals a future Gold Glove candidate. Christian Pache ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 04, 2018 at 02:46 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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