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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Ringer: Gio González Doesn’t Want To Talk About How Good He Is

A fine analytical piece, including a nicely technical interview with batterymate Matt Wieters, on how and why Gio González is quietly posting the best season of his career, even as nobody really notices.

Wieters has helped González, who turns 32 next month, to the best season of his career. González is allowing the fifth-lowest opponent batting average out of 63 qualified starters and the third-lowest ERA in the eighth-most innings. Mash all that together and he’s a fraction of a win ...

Read More...
Esoteric Posted: August 31, 2017 at 03:31 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: washington nationals

Shohei Ohtani hits 100 mph in return to mound | MLB.com

Officials from Major League Baseball clubs packed the scout section at Sapporo Dome on Thursday, eager to see if Japanese pitching sensation Shohei Ohtani had returned to health after a season plagued by ankle and thigh injuries.

Ohtani’s fastball alone eliminated any lingering concerns. It reached 99 and 100 mph, as first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by multiple sources to MLB.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 03:26 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei otani

Astros agree to trade for Cameron Maybin | MLB.com

At the same time…Angels reportedly close to getting Upton.

The Tigers will receive Minor League pitcher Grayson Long, ranked No. 9 among the Angels’ top prospects by MLBPipeline.com, as part of the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 02:52 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, cameron maybin, justin upton, trades

Albert Pujols Is the Worst Player in Baseball

Pujols has flat-out stunk up Angel Stadium. He’s hitting .230 (79 points below his previous career average) with an on-base plus slugging 26 percent worse than league average. Even in an age of ineffective designated hitters, Pujols has easily been the worst hitter at the position that provides the least defensive value (i.e., zero value). As a result, no player has been less valuable than Pujols this year: His -1.99 WAR ranks dead last among all players (including pitchers).

If he finishes ...

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Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 31, 2017 at 02:45 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Put me in coach, I’m ready to play – Freddy Galvis, in center field? | PhillyVoice

It’s great Galvis wants to play every day. Do the Phillies really want to see him in CF?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 02:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: freddy galvis, phillies

What are the most valuable players based on contracts? | Sports on Earth

1. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros

WAR: 6.9
Salary: $4.5M
Surplus value: $57.6M

As if it weren’t easy enough to root for Altuve because of his size (5-foot-6, 165 pounds), the pure joy he brings to the field and the pure hitting he provides at a time when batting averages are punier than he is, he’s also laughably underpaid. Altuve is making $4.5 million this year, and he might be the AL MVP.

Altuve signed his club-friendly extension midway through the 2013 season, when the Astros were still ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 02:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: surplus value, war


Inside Baseball AL Notes | Justin Upton Has Tough Decision Coming

He’s also written NL Notes and Which managers are on the hot seat?. With Rosenthal behind a paywall now, it looks like Heyman will assume the Gammons’ mantle. Too bad, I used to like reading and linking to Rosenthal.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 12:34 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Twins’ Byron Buxton exits with hand injury | MLB.com

A possible left hamate bone injury. MRI was done this morning. Bummer.

Update: Bone contusion and not a break.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2017 at 12:22 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Strasburg Goes Yard, Pitches A Gem Vs. Marlins

Dusty the Arm-Shredder is at it again!!

https://twitter.com/Nationals/status/903025708875833346
One of these men homered today.

Bote Man Posted: August 31, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, nationals, stephen strasburg

The Case for Eliminating the DH

Conclusion

The existence of the designated hitter in the American League provides a constant competitive disincentive for pitchers and organizations to invest in developing their pitchers as hitters. While it is hard to prove the DH is completely at fault for the continuous decline of pitcher hitting ability, there really is no compelling pure baseball reason for continued use of the rule.

Even if we accept the fallacious assumption that pitchers don’t hit very well (enough hit well enough ...

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Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 31, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter, pitcher abuse

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-31-2017

Butte Daily Post, August 31, 1917:

“Sammies” being American soldiers in World War I.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 31, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Buddy Bell was nearly the Adrian Beltre of the 1980s

Coming to Texas, though, Bell came into his own, hitting .300 over his first six seasons. He made four All-Star teams and also won Gold Gloves all six years.

Not everyone can have the level of success that Beltre has sustained through his mid-late 30s. That’s part of what makes Beltre so special as a player


Mariners acquire Mike Leake | MLB.com

With the Mariners three games out of an American League Wild Card spot, general manager Jerry Dipoto moved to bolster his injury-racked rotation by acquiring veteran right-hander Mike Leake from the Cardinals on Wednesday for Minor League infielder Rayder Ascanio.
...
Players acquired prior to Thursday’s waiver trade deadline are eligible to compete in the postseason, but Leake is more than just a one-month rental, as the 29-year-old still has three more years and about $55 million remaining on ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 01:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mariners, mike leake, trades


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2017

El Paso Herald, August 30, 1917:

McAlester and Ardmore, leaders and tail enders respectively of the Western association Wednesday played a nine inning championship game in 36 minutes. The players raced from the bench to the field between innings and the pitchers worded [sic] as repidly as they could and retain control.

I remember when the Yankees and Red Sox did this. They were able to play a nine-inning game in as little as five hours.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

William J. Conley Jr.: PawSox hearings give citizens a say

I call bullshit. How about an unbiased examination of the costs and tax revenue?

Using the team’s figures, the income taxes the state collects from the PawSox organization exceeds the annual cost to the state of the stadium proposal. Provided those revenue numbers continue, the project would be self-sustaining and “pay for itself.” Put another way, it would be a net loss to Rhode Island should the team decide to relocate to another state, because we earn more revenue from the team than it ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 10:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pawtucket red sox, stadium deals

Red Sox Make History With Illegal Lineup Re-Entry (Retro-Sheet)

I couldn’t find an actual article about this, but very cool find from the folks at Retro-Sheet:

Although it was not actually a case of batting out of turn, the Red Sox had an amazing mistake in the 9th inning of their 16-3 loss to Baltimore on August 25, 2017. As is often the custom in such lopsided contests, the Red Sox put a position player on the mound in the top of the 9th. In this case, it was Mitch Moreland, who had played first base the entire game to this point. The Red Sox lost the DH ...

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MLB Scrubs, Rewrites MLB.com Column Critical Of Rangers

Regardless of how stupid the original comment was, it’s not cool to scrub it clean.

Here’s the original opening of the piece:

The Astros are now the good guys. It’s more than just who they are. It’s what they represent: a great city pushed to its breaking point.

If there’s karma — that is, if the Baseball Gods are paying attention — the Astros will have one kind of week, the Rangers another. At a time when an entire country is pitching in to help Houston, the Rangers decided they ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb.com

Crawford talks tattoos, dogs, slumps and motivation during breakout stretch - The Morning Call

Player development is not linear, Exhibit 24,243.

Crawford’s performance the last two months has given his desire credence.

“He was trying to do too much at the plate at times,” said IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan, who also saw him for parts of 2015-16 when he was Reading’s boss.

“He was a little too passive when he was ahead in the count. Now he is confident in his swing and being aggressive when he gets ahead. He’s not just hitting the ball, but driving it. Trying to do some ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: j.p. crawford, phillies, prospects

How will Mackanin juggle roster crunch of additional outfielders and infielders in September? | PhillyVoice

Juggling players on a last place team isn’t really an issue. Of course, when you put players’ personal goals above the team, maybe it can be an issue.

Crawford has to be added to the 40-man roster in November anyway – and will almost certainly be on the big league radar come spring training – so it makes a lot of sense to give him his first taste of the big leagues in September (the Lehigh Valley IronPigs season ends on Labor Day).

But where exactly will Crawford play, since Mackanin has ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Cleveland Indians sending catcher Francisco Mejia to Arizona Fall League to play third base | cleveland.com

Francisco Mejia is going to the Arizona Fall League to learn how to play third base.

GM Mike Chernoff says it’s not a position change, but the Indians want to see if they can make Mejia more versatile and thus more attractive to the big-league club. Think how Jose Ramirez developed into a big part of the Indians’ core and you’ve got a good bead on what the Indians envision for the switch-hitter Mejia.
...
Chernoff said Mejia will play only third base in Arizona. He added that he’s expected to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco mejia, indians

Robles, Acuna, Keller headline AFL rosters | MiLB.com News

Looking forward to the AFL season. Hopefully more games will be televised this season.

The initial Arizona Fall League rosters were announced Tuesday afternoon with 11 of MLB.com’s top 100 prospects—including No. 5 Victor Robles, No. 8 Ronald Acuna and No. 22 Mitch Keller—finding spots with one of the six clubs on the elite circuit, which opens action Oct. 10.
...
The list below shows which Major League organizations form each Arizona Fall League squad. Click each AFL team name to view its full ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, rosters

Teams Under International Penalty For 2017, 2018 | BaseballAmerica.com

Teams pretty much out of the Otani sweepstakes.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: international signings

The year of the home run in MLB is reaching a very rare milestone

Let us bury no ledes: At some point on Tuesday night, we’ll very likely see the 5,000th home run in Major League Baseball this season. If that strikes you as a lofty tally, that’s with good reason. That’s because it’s a lofty tally. Shall we explore this matter further? Lo, we shall explore this matter further ...
5,000 home runs has happened before but not often.
Going into Tuesday night’s packed slate, MLB hitters have combined for 4,979 home runs. So, yes, at this writing it’s probably a ...

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Meatwad Posted: August 30, 2017 at 02:57 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: 73, bonds, home runs, stanton

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Brian Cashman is going to Japan with eyes on a superstar | New York Post

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is the latest baseball executive traveling to Japan to scout superstar pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
...
Due to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and Otani’s age, the most he could get from the Yankees currently is about $8 million in a signing bonus. The only way to increase the amount is by acquiring other clubs’ international pool money in a trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2017 at 03:39 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei otani, yankees


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2017

Western League president E.W. Dickerson, quoted in the Marshalltown [Iowa] Evening Times-Republican:

Umpires with chips on their shoulders, backed by presidents who were trying to mimic Ban Johnson, have done more to lessen the interest in baseball than all other causes combined.

There is not the slightest reason why baseball should be stopped on account of the war. In fact, baseball should thrive even more now than in times of peace, for, when the boys of America get into action the public ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 29, 2017 at 12:57 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Giancarlo Stanton’s Slugging Is Carrying the Miami Marlins

This Stanton guy seems pretty good. [Jim]

Dreadful Foie Gras Posted: August 29, 2017 at 12:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, miami marlins

Why Are Some New Statistics Embraced and Not Others? - The New York Times

Tango and company get some kudos for the stuff they are doing at MLB.com.

‘‘Bill James had a great line,’’ Tom Tango, the senior database architect of stats for MLB Advanced Media, told me. (If James is largely considered the godfather of sabermetrics, Tango could be its Michael Corleone.) ‘‘If you have a metric that never matches up with the eye test, it’s probably wrong. And if it never surprises you, it’s probably useless. But if four out of five times it tells you what you ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statistics

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