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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Twenty things to watch this baseball season

One of these things is not like the others.

11. Wondering which young player will emerge as baseball’s next superstar. Our candidates include Rafael Devers (Red Sox), Christian Arroyo (Rays), Gleyber Torres (Yankees), Ronald Acuna (Braves).

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Where Defensive Opportunities Have Declined Most | FanGraphs Baseball

This needs a larger study before conclusions can be drawn.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Keston Hiura makes a successful debut

The next big thing in Milwaukee.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, keston hiura

Two-fer homers? That, and other radical ideas to keep MLB fans engaged | New York Post

No thank you. Baseball doesn’t need radical changes; it just needs to pick up the pace to get back to the pace of the 1980’s.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:21 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of the game

Lovullo adjusting to new mound-visit rules

Some interesting points here about the impact to the game of this new rule

shoewizard Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, pace of play

Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani has mixed results in 1 1/3 innings on mound | LA Times

“It’s still too early to tell, but I think I’m going in the right direction,” he said through an interpreter. “It’s just the first start.”

Ohtani struck out two Milwaukee Brewers and had one strike back, Keon Broxton homering to lead off the second inning. His fastball regularly reached the mid-90s, with a top-end speed of 97 mph.

He also gave up an unearned run, a ground-rule double, walked one batter and mostly fell behind hitters, fighting his control. One of his pitches was officially ...

Read More...
LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 25, 2018 at 02:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani, time to panic

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Kurkjian: The Most Unappreciated Baseball Trait? Strength.

The strength of the players, especially in their hands, wrists and forearms, goes largely unappreciated: I’ve never met a position player who wasn’t really strong in those areas, even dinky, little middle infielders. Indeed, after Michael Jordan’s one year in baseball in 1994, one of his many observations about the game was that virtually every player on his Double-A team was stronger than him from the tips of their fingers to their elbow.

Awesome MLB Feats of Strength anecdotes at link. ...Read More...


Picking the best MLB over-under bet for 2018

Grant Brisbee’s latest.

The first step is to rummage through and get some quick thoughts. The Dodgers and Astros being at 96.5 seems high, just because it’s hard for any team to count on 97 wins. On the other hand, both teams are loaded and deep, and if something breaks, they’ll trade prospects for glue. The Marlins seem like a lock to lose 100 games, except it’s really, really hard for teams to lose 100 games. Baseball doesn’t like extremes.

I would like to take a break and point out ...

Read More...
Brian White Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling

Arizona Diamondbacks analysis: Yasmany Tomas contract keeps hurting

But a lot could happen between now and Opening Day. It’s possible Tomas could put together a huge spring training performance and compel the Diamondbacks to keep him on the roster, hoping he could provide right-handed power off the bench, something they could use. Or an injury or two could open the door.

But if the Diamondbacks get to the end of camp, decide they don’t want Tomas on the roster and need a 40-man spot, he might wind up being designated for assignment.

Even that, though, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2018 at 07:56 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Friday, February 23, 2018

Closest MLB Park by Drive Time

Just for fun, a map that treats baseball in North America as a pattern of watersheds.  Before clicking, can you guess which MLB franchise has the greatest number of people living closer to its park than to any other ML park?

Among other factoids, I see that El Paso is closer to Phoenix than it is to either Dallas or Houston. I’m not sure if there are a lot of D’Backs fans in El Paso, but if you want to drive to a game from there, Arizona is your best bet.

BDC Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:00 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, franchises, geography, maps, markets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-23-2018

Bridgeport Times, February 23, 1918:

Charles H. Weeghman, President of the Chicago Cubs, last night served notice on players regarded as “holdouts” that unless they come to terms before the departure of the club for the spring training camps, early next month, they would be obliged to seek other employment.
...
[Weeghman:] “The club cannot afford to pay enormous salaries and the players should be made to understand the situation confronting the owners.

Yeah, gosh, I wonder where people got the ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

SABR announces 2018 Henry Chadwick Award recipients

SABR is pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award, established to honor the game’s great researchers—historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists—for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past. 
The 2018 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are: Jefferson Burdick, Bob McConnell, Tom Shieber, Andrew Zimbalist.

Mike Webber Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, chadwick award, economics, research, sabr

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | Hanley Ramirez Ready For Comeback

Jon Heyman’s weekly notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Inside Baseball | Picking Jake Arrieta’s New Team

The Wizard doesn’t want you looking behind the curtain.

Anyway, Boras sees analytics as a management excuse to keep salaries down. He says Hosmer brought that same kind of “prestige,” meaning championships, leadership and intangibles. In his way of figuring, Arrieta beats Darvish badly in what Boras calls “prestige” value.

Arrieta has Cy Young votes three of the last four years (Darvish hasn’t had Cy Young votes since 2013), and he won one Cy Young, in 2015. He beats good teams, and ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2018 at 08:12 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jake arrieta, notes

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

UPDATE: Pirates acquire Dickerson from Rays

Hudson is owed $5.5 million this season. No word on how much cash the Pirates sent to Tampa.

The Pittsburgh Pirates today acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.


Rays made two other moves yesterday.

The most perplexing was designating for ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2018 at 02:17 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, trades

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2018

Washington [Pennsylvania] Reporter, February 22, 1918:

The end of the spit-ball spit-ball [sic] is coming. John K. Tener, president of the National League, has issued a warning to young pitchers, advising them not to cultivate the use of the spitball, and indicating that it was only the matter of a short time when it would be abolished.
...
[Tener:] “The spit-ball is a disgusting, unsanitary delivery not likely to endure more than a few more seasons at the most. All the members of the National ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 22, 2018 at 12:57 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, spitball

MLB Should Embrace Rule That Lets Teams Bat Anyone They Want In 9th Inning

According to Rich Eisen, one MLB exec recently told him that there is a rule being discussed by some in the game that would basically cause a riot. It goes like this: In the 9th inning only, the manager of the trailing team would be allowed to send up any three players he wants for the first three at-bats of the inning. It doesn’t matter where a team is in the batting order during the game. The skipper can send up anyone he wants in any order for the first three at-bats in the 9th.

 

  ...Read More...

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:34 AM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: dumbness

What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

Dickerson and Odorizzi aren’t very good. Particularly with Odorizzi, the Rays have capable replacements. Why pay extra money for no gain?

We still don’t know the two PTBNL the Rays are getting in the Souza deal. If Keith Law’s report about the guys not being insignificant prospects is accurate, Bloom’s assertion that it was a baseball talent deal makes the handwringing about the deal misguided.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:58 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Inside Mickey Callaway’s steps toward modernizing the Mets | New York Post

Better coaching through better technology.

“We have enough storage on our computers, we can put as much on there as we want,” he said. “When you are working on those drills, you need that side angle, especially for pitchers. That open angle is huge.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2018 at 06:53 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

National Baseball Writers: Your Tampa Bay Rays Hot Takes are Bad - DRaysBay

A smart take.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:15 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

The Rays are now the least interesting team in baseball - CBSSports.com

A bad take.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Baseball’s Economics Aren’t As Skewed As They Seem - The Ringer

Don’t have time to read right now but it looks interesting.

What Explains Labor’s Declining Share of Revenue in Major League Baseball? by J.C. Bradbury.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:21 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, economics

Rays move fast to fill RF void, strike 1-year, $4M deal with Carlos Gomez

A reasonable facsimile of Steven Souza and the Rays get a few other players. (PTBNL still waiting to be named. Keith Laws says, “The Rays can still come out ahead in this deal depending on who the players to be named are—I’m told they’re more than just throw-ins—but Souza, with three years remaining before free agency, is a big loss, and Banda and Solak alone don’t make up for it.”)

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:05 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos gomez, free agents, rays

Cameron Maybin reunites with Marlins after signing free-agent deal - Sun Sentinel

Cameron Maybin is a Marlin again.

Miami signed the 30-year-old outfielder to a one-year deal, the team announced Wednesday, an early-spring addition that gives the Marlins much-needed major league outfield stability and a veteran presence in what is expected to be a young clubhouse.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:52 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cameron maybin, marlins

Astros’ Yuli Gurriel to play more infield positions - Houston Chronicle

Yuli Gurriel will play more at all four infield positions this season to give Astros manager A.J. Hinch more options in games and with the roster.

Gurriel has the experience and enthusiasm to do it. At spring training last year, the Astros turned Gurriel into a full-time first baseman, which was a new position for him. He had played second, shortstop and third base in his years playing for the Cuban national team.

“His versatility needs to be utilized a little bit more,” Hinch said. “I ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:51 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yulieski gurriel

The gambles that turned George’s Yankees into Hal’s Yankees | New York Post

Good stuff from Joel Sherman.

Steinbrenner has had what he calls a “recurring dream” for years that the Yankees could honor his twin mandates — “be under $200 million [in payroll] and be a championship-caliber team.” His goal was to do this in 2014, but he felt the club didn’t have a puncher’s chance to contend without an ace, so he approved the signing of Masahiro Tanaka.
He feels the team is there now and that the Yanks “have a lot of money to spend in July [without exceeding ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hal steinbrenner, yankees

One of baseball’s top 10 prospects was suspended 50 games for a drug violation - CBSSports.com

What’s interesting here is MLB in the release didn’t specify what exactly the suspension is for. Generally, if it’s a “drug of abuse” suspension (such as marijuana) or a PED, the league says so. In the Whitley release, the league was vague. Perhaps there will be more news on this front in the coming days.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, forrest whitley

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2018

Bridgeport Times, February 21, 1918:

“Snooks” Dowd, a highly touted player with the Springfield [Massachusetts] High school last season, has turned down an offer from Miller Huggins, manager of the Yankees, according to a report from his home town. The lad intends to complete his education at Dean Academy and at Lehigh before he gives thought to professional baseball. Dowd is said to be a fine hitter, excellent fielder and possessed of remarkable speed.

Dowd hit .115/.115/.115 in 26 career plate ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:19 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Rays, Neander Time To Shift Focus To Building 2018 Roster

GM speaks. Read the whole thing.

“No, this was something we categorize much more so as a pure baseball decision. Given what was put to us and how we valued it was something that a couple of guys that are not far off from the big leagues to add to what we have to build that momentum.

The moves prior to this one were things that factors involved there were moving pieces from areas of depth that we felt we could absorb and come out the other side o.k. Especially with the addition of C.J. [Cron] ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2018 at 05:45 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yankees, Rays, D-backs swing three-way deal

D-backs get:
Steven Souza Jr. (from TB)
Taylor Widener (Yankees’ No. 14 prospect)

Yankees get:
Brandon Drury (from ARI)

Rays get:
Anthony Banda (D-backs’ No. 4 prospect)
Nick Solak (Yankees’ No. 8 prospect)
Two players to be named later (from ARI)

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2018 at 08:23 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, rays, trades, yankees

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