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Friday, May 26, 2023

Red Sox were very close to signing Jose Abreu last Nov., but dodged a bullet

Late last November, according to an industry source, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom went to sleep believing the Red Sox had an agreement in principle with Abreu, with only some minor contractual matters to be completed. But when Bloom awoke, he was greeted with the news that Abreu had spurned the Sox and signed a three-year, $58.5 million deal with the Astros. Bloom was informed that the Red Sox would not have the option of revising his offer and the deal was done.

At the time, it seemed like a poor start to the offseason. Now, it seems like the Red Sox got lucky. Abreu has been horrendous with the Astros, with a slash line of .222/.280/259. Incredibly, he did not have a single homer in his first 45 games.

Eventually, the Sox pivoted ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2023 at 04:09 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jose abreu, red sox

Former MLB Stars In Upstate NY, Here’s How You Can Meet Them

More than two dozen former Major League Baseball stars are getting together to re-live the glory days sandlot-style.

The annual Hall of Fame Classic returns on Saturday, May 27, at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown featuring a representative of every MLB team. Managing the rosters are non-other than six Baseball Hall of Famers (see below).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2023 at 02:38 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Angels To Promote Sam Bachman

The Angels are set to promote pitching prospect Sam Bachman for his Major League debut, reports Robert Murray of FanSided (Twitter link). Bachman, the ninth overall selection in the 2021 draft, will be used out of the bullpen to begin his big league career, Sam Blum of The Athletic adds. Bachman isn’t on the 40-man roster and will need to be added.

The 23-year-old Bachman ranks seventh in the Angels’ system at Baseball America, fifth at and fourth at FanGraphs. Scouting reports on the 6’1″ righty tout potent fastball/slider combo, with the heater capable of reaching triple digits and the slider giving him a potentially plus pitch with which to miss bats. Command is the most oft-cited question mark with Bachman, as is often ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2023 at 04:55 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: sam bachman

MLB Tells Brewers They Need to Repair American Family Field

Major League Baseball has told the Milwaukee Brewers that they need to repair American Family Field to ensure it remains an MLB-caliber ballpark, “The Dan O’Donnell Show” has learned exclusively. While the league did not give the Brewers an explicit ultimatum, it was made clear that MLB will not allow American Family Field to “deteriorate” as Oakland-Alameda County Stadium (home of the Oakland A’s) has. Last month, the A’s announced a land purchase agreement that will move the team from Oakland to Las Vegas following the 2024 season.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in Milwaukee for the Brewers’ game against the San Francisco Giants Thursday as part of a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. A source familiar with the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2023 at 04:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

ESPN Insider: Robo umps in MLB? Inside baseball’s latest ABS experiment

In Triple-A games this season, the day of the week matters. On Tuesdays through Thursdays, the strike zone is adjudicated by Major League Baseball’s automated ball-strike system (ABS), which tracks pitches using a dozen ultra-high-speed cameras and spits out the result into an earpiece worn by the home-plate umpire in less than half a second. Even though Hendriks’ fastball appeared to clip the edge of the zone on the digital rendering of the pitch seen in MLB’s app and on its website, ABS deemed it a ball—and the system, which the league says is accurate to less than one-tenth of an inch, is judge and jury.

The next day, as the Charlotte Knights again hosted the Durham Bulls, another borderline call. Charlotte catcher Evan Skoug snatched ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2023 at 10:28 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires

Carlos Correa Diagnosed With Plantar Fasciitis And Muscle Strain In Left Foot

Twins shortstop Carlos Correa has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in his left foot arch and plantar fasciitis, per John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Correa hasn’t yet been placed on the injured list but it seems like that’s still on the table. “I think we get to Friday and some of our decisions might be made for us,” manager Rocco Baldelli says.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 25, 2023 at 04:26 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, injury, twins

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Spartanburg gets a minor league baseball team, plans downtown stadium

Minor league baseball will return to Spartanburg for the first time in three decades when a Texas Rangers Class A affiliate moves into a new stadium to be built downtown next to the A.C. Hotel.

The Down East Wood Ducks, currently based in Kinston, N.C., will relocate to Spartanburg and could start playing as early as the 2025 season, according to a news release shared with The Post and Courier.

The Rangers recently sold the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings, one of the largest owners of minor-league teams. The company owns another team in South Carolina, the Augusta GreenJackets, which plays in North Augusta. There’s no word whether the Wood Ducks will get a new name.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 03:21 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball

Cora: Red Sox moving Corey Kluber to bullpen

“We were waiting for Tanner (Houck) to see how he felt after his start,” Cora said. “We’re going to make a change, actually Tanner is going to start on Sunday and Corey is going to go to the bullpen starting on Friday.

“We had that conversation with Corey, very professional, he understands. He signed here to be a starter, but right now he’s struggling and obviously the kids are throwing the ball well, there are a lot of off days coming up. So, we decided to make a change. We were just waiting for Tanner to see how he felt after his start.”

Kluber’s run with Boston has been a mess so far. He’s been hit hard by teams, resulting in a 2-6 record with a 6.26 ERA. The 37-year-old hasn’t pitched in relief during the regular season ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 02:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, red sox

A’s, Nevada legislators close to finalizing Las Vegas ballpark deal

The Oakland Athletics and state lawmakers are inching closer to a deal that would see up to $380 million in public money go toward the team’s planned $1.5 billion Las Vegas MLB ballpark, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Review-Journal.

The public contribution would include $180 million from the state in transferable tax credits, of which $90 million would be repaid over time from stadium revenues.

Clark County would contribute $150 million. Of that total, $125 million would come from bonds taken out by the county and repaid from a tax district set up around the proposed Tropicana Las Vegas stadium site. The county also would agree to pay for $25 million in infrastructure improvements to the stadium site.

The total ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, las vegas

Cubs president Jed Hoyer on bullpen construction: ‘I’ve put Rossy in a tough spot’

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has given his vote of confidence to manager David Ross whenever asked this season. On Tuesday, Hoyer took it a step further.

Fans have voiced plenty of frustration with Ross this season, but the most consistent complaints have revolved around bullpen management.

“I’ve put Rossy in a tough spot to a certain extent,” Hoyer said.

When Hoyer and his front office went about supplementing the bullpen this offseason, they followed a similar script to recent years. Going into 2021 and 2022, the Cubs signed veteran relievers Andrew Chafin, Ryan Tepera, Chris Martin, Mychal Givens and David Robertson, then traded them.

“We’ve, candidly, done a really good job of finding relievers that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

What happened to the no-hitter? MLB still waiting for its first no-no in pitch-clock era

And Major League Baseball’s sweeping rule changes to stimulate offense – a pitch clock, a ban on defensive shifts, a few less inches from home to first – have had a modest but still profound effect.

Hits per game are up 2% from last year and 2.5% from 2021 and runs scored up 7%. Even the stingiest pitcher might agree that the changes – resulting in a faster, more active game – have been positive.

But so far in 2023, this hitter-friendlier game has helped wash away one of the game’s enduring gems:

The no-hitter.

It’s been almost exactly two years since then-Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber needed just 101 pitches to no-hit the Texas Rangers on May 19, 2021 – the second no-hitter in as many days and the seventh to date ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2023 at 09:14 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clock

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The twilight of SF Giants legend Madison Bumgarner is getting even uglier

The last time we checked in on Giants legend Madison Bumgarner, it wasn’t good. The three-time World Series winner had crashed out of baseball, cut by the Diamondbacks after giving up 20 runs in his first 16.2 innings of 2023. It was an ugly ending to his Arizona tenure, which was marked by a general failure to launch. After what looked like the start of a Hall of Fame arc with the Giants, he was largely terrible in Arizona, with a 5.32 ERA over 69 starts since 2020.

He went out in classically red-assed Bumgarnerian fashion, screaming, “Shut the f—k up, you #####, f—k you” at a hitter for the crime of swinging. In short, anyone watching from the outside could see things weren’t going well.

In private, it appears, things were ...

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 23, 2023 at 05:10 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dan haren, diamondbacks, madison bumgarner

Monday, May 22, 2023

Red Sox: Kenley Jansen calls out MLB for ‘ruining careers’ with pitch clock

Jansen recently made a guest appearance on Audacy’s “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast and gave his two cents on how the pitch clock rule has thrown its own curveball at pitchers, who are now expected to quickly adjust to a faster game tempo.

Jansen said:

“You’re learning and adjusting right now, especially when you come out there and you’re not throwing strikes. It can get a little challenging. What would you do if there’s no pitch clock there? You learn how to slow down the game, reset your mind, go back out there and attack the zone. That’s the one thing for me, I’m learning how to adjust to that.”

Jansen speaks about his personal experiences as a closer and how he used to take time to reset in later innings to ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2023 at 10:04 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: kenley jansen, pitch clock

Royals Designate Hunter Dozier For Assignment

The Royals announced Monday that infielder Hunter Dozier, who’s playing out the third season of a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $25MM, has been designated for assignment. His spot on the active roster will go to infielder Nicky Lopez, who is returning from the 10-day injured list.

Dozier, 31, was the No. 8 overall selection in the 2013 draft, though that was generally regarded as an underslot deal that allowed them to go over slot to sign lefty Sean Manaea 26 picks later. Dozier was still a well-regarded prospect himself, but he struggled considerably in his first few pro seasons before a breakout showing between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016. He struggled in his first two big league looks in 2016 and 2018 but looked to have a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2023 at 04:42 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter dozier, royals

Royals stadium in North Kansas City could replicate Wrigleyville, Northland leaders say

Elected officials north of the Missouri River say conversations are ongoing with the Kansas City Royals about the potential of building the team’s next stadium in North Kansas City.

On Friday afternoon, the mayor of North Kansas City and two Clay County commissioners issued an open letter about their efforts to move the team away from Jackson County.

For months, the Royals have been publicly discussing plans to relocate from Kauffman Stadium to a stadium in or around downtown Kansas City.

The team has spent most of its efforts studying the East Village neighborhood just north of City Hall in the downtown loop. But team leaders recently acknowledged that North Kansas City, a quick drive over the Missouri River, is among the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2023 at 02:48 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Can the Oakland A’s Catch the ’62 Mets?

Oakland lost at least 120 games in 5.2% of simulations and more than 120 games 3.6% of the time. The Mets only played in 161 games and had a tie; if we call that a .250 winning percentage (rather than counting the tie as a half-win and half-loss), the A’s are overall more incompetent in 2.5% of the simulated seasons, or about one-in-40. Those are slim chances, but not shocking — about the likelihood of a 15-homer hitter knocking out one in any given at-bat. Nobody had their minds blown by Xander Bogaerts or Jurickson Profar homering last year.

But the A’s have a secret weapon: the trade deadline. ZiPS can only evaluate the roster as currently constructed, but there’s at least some chance that Oakland sheds a few of its desirable ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2023 at 02:47 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick ‘The Commish’ Hummel dies at 77

Beloved baseball writer Rick Hummel, who captured timeless highlights and countless historic feats with precise, vivid words that will echo alongside those moments forever, died in his sleep early Saturday morning after a short, aggressive illness. He was 77.

Known as “The Commish” at ballparks throughout the country, Hummel covered baseball at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for five decades. In his Hall of Fame career, he dined with Bob Gibson, talked hitting with Stan Musial and helped Muhammad Ali workshop a commencement speech in a Las Vegas hotel room. Hummel was so well-sourced and well-respected that two actual commissioners of Major League Baseball called him by his nickname.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2023 at 12:53 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, rick hummel

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Who Are the Best Sibling Relievers in Baseball History?

The first family on the list is one most of you probably guessed. Todd Worrell was a three-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year. Younger brother Tim pitched 14 seasons in the majors himself, including a 38-save campaign with the Giants in 2003.

Alexis Díaz, with fewer than 80 major league innings to his name, is already one of the most valuable second reliever brothers ever. If he has any kind of longevity, he and Edwin should eventually challenge the Worrells for the top spot on the list. Unless they’re caught by the Rogers twins, both of whom are entrenched in the Giants bullpen and will also move up the list by the end of this season at the latest. (I keep having to remind myself that Marlins lefty Trevor Rogers is not a lost third ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:10 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brothers

The Astros have begun their initial descent from baseball’s top echelon

Houston also seems to have made a philosophical shift by hiring Dana Brown as GM after choosing not to re-sign James Click. Brown comes from a more scouting-oriented background compared to the quantitative-centric hires who turned the so-called “Diasastros” into a dynamic organization.

The Astros of the last few seasons rarely missed when making player-acquisition decisions. But the new regime appears to have missed badly with free agent Jose Abreu, the major middle-of-the-order addition who hasn’t yet homered this season.

His power outage shouldn’t be completely shocking given his age, 36, and the park fit. Of the 228 hitters with at least 175 batted balls in play last year, Abreu ranked 203rd in elevating batted balls to his pull side ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:08 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Trevor Bauer immediately gave up a home run after he was sent down to the Japan minor leagues

Former National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer was eligible to return to Major League Baseball after serving the longest domestic violence suspension in the league’s history. But a complete lack of interest among big-league clubs had Bauer looking elsewhere and eventually signing with the Yokohama BayStars in Japan’s NPB.

That stint in Japan has been rough for Bauer, and it managed to get even worse this week.

After posting an 8.40 ERA in three games, the BayStars sent Bauer down to its minor-league farm team in hopes of giving Bauer an “adjustment start.” Well, it didn’t get off to the start he wanted at all.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:06 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: trevor bauer

Rays have potential buyers, both local and for relocation, interested in franchise: Sources

At least one local businessman is trying to buy the franchise, according to sources briefed on the discussions who were granted anonymity so they could speak candidly. The team also is drawing interest from groups that would relocate the club to one of the cities that is a candidate for major-league expansion.

Building a $1.2 billion ballpark in St. Petersburg or Tampa remains the Rays’ primary focus, however. Owner Stuart Sternberg is in talks with potential investors and other sources of capital that would help fund the project, the sources said.

The potential local buyer is Dan Doyle Jr., chief executive officer of DEX Imaging, a Tampa-based company that professes to be “the nation’s largest independent provider of office ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:05 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah forced to exit after manager makes mound visit blunder in Toronto’s third straight loss

On Saturday, Alek Manoah got into it with Baltimore Orioles infielder Adam Frazier, yelling at him and using some choice words to tell him to go back to the dugout following a sixth inning strikeout. Blue Jays manager John Schneider came out to speak to Manoah after the exchange with Frazier, presumably to help him get his focus back on the game.

There was one small problem though: Schneider did not realize it was the second mound visit of the inning. Pitching coach Pete Walker visited Manoah earlier in the frame. By rule, you must change pitchers following the second mound visit in an inning, so Manoah had to come out of the game. He’d thrown 85 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball.

“I f——d up.” Schneider told about the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, john schneider

The staggering numbers behind Acuña’s push for baseball history

Leading in steals and OPS

Rickey. Willie. They are two of the iconic names in baseball history. Perhaps Ronald could one day join them.

Here are the only two players to lead their league (AL or NL) in both stolen bases and OPS in the same season, since integration (1947), per the Elias Sports Bureau:

Rickey Henderson (A’s): Led 1990 AL with 65 SB, 1.016 OPS
Willie Mays (Giants): Led 1958 NL with 31 SB, 1.002 OPS
Willie Mays (Giants): Led 1957 NL with 38 SB, 1.034 OPS^
^Note: Some sources, such as Baseball Reference, show Mays losing the 1957 NL OPS title to the Cardinals’ Stan Musial, 1.034 to 1.033, due to an issue with Mays’ walk total. Elias, which is MLB’s official statistician, has Mays at 1.034 as well.

Two other players ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:01 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: ronald acuna

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Aaron Hicks designated for assignment to end disappointing Yankees tenure

The Yankees have finally decided to eat the money and cut Aaron Hicks.

The veteran outfielder was designated for assignment Saturday, he told The Post, as the Yankees opened a roster spot for Greg Allen.

Hicks still had three years and nearly $30 million left on his contract.

In 28 games this season, Hicks hit .188 with a .524 OPS.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2023 at 02:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, yankees

Friday, May 19, 2023

Eric Hosmer DFA: Cubs designate veteran first baseman for assignment after offensive struggles all season

Hosmer is owed the balance of his $13 million salary this season plus another $26 million from 2024-25. The San Diego Padres are paying just about all of that, however. The Boston Red Sox, who acquired Hosmer at last summer’s trade deadline and released him over the winter, owe him the league minimum from 2023-25. The Cubs only owe Hosmer the league minimum in 2023.

Once Hosmer clears waivers and is released, any team could sign him for the prorated league minimum. He does offer leadership skills and championship pedigree (including a World Series ring with the Royals, a Silver Slugger and four Gold Gloves), though Hosmer has been an average at best hitter for five years now. He may not draw much interest until another team suffers an ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2023 at 05:49 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, eric hosmer

Freeman joins 300-HR/1,000-RBI club, calls Dad

Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman had a special phone call to make after hitting his 300th career home run on Thursday night against the Cardinals.

“Call my dad tonight and we’ll talk about it, just enjoy it for the night,” Freeman said. “Tomorrow, worry about tomorrow’s game. But tonight was kind of cool.”...

With this milestone in tow, Freeman became the 144th player in NL/AL history with at least 300 home runs and 1,000 RBIs. He is one of just seven active players with that distinction, joining Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado (who achieved the feat on Wednesday with his 1,000th RBI).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2023 at 09:12 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: freddie freeman

MLB memo warns hitters not to circumvent pitch timer rules

Major league hitters are being reminded that any attempted circumvention of pitch timer rules to gain an advantage will result in a violation, according to a memo sent to MLB teams and obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.

The clarification comes in light of Boston Red Sox pitcher Kenley Jansen being assessed two violations in the span of four pitches Saturday after St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Willson Contreras got into a hitting position with one foot in and one foot out of the batter’s box.

Contreras raised his bat and engaged with Jansen with more than the required eight seconds remaining on the clock to be in the box. In seeing this, Jansen came to a set position, which led to the quick pitch violations.

From now on, when a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2023 at 09:11 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clock

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Rangers prospect Kumar Rocker to have Tommy John surgery

Texas Rangers pitching prospect Kumar Rocker, a top-10 pick in each of the past two MLB drafts, has a torn ligament in his right elbow and will need Tommy John surgery.

Rangers general manager Chris Young said Tuesday that Rocker had an MRI after his start last week at Single-A Hickory. The surgery probably will be later this week

Rocker was the third overall pick by the Rangers last summer, when the right-hander was drafted again a year after concerns over a physical led to the former Vanderbilt standout going unsigned by the New York Mets as the 10th overall pick.

“This was an acute injury; it was completely different than what we saw in our post-draft exams and MRI,” Young said. “This was an injury sustained pitching for us in his ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2023 at 09:09 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: kumar rocker, rangers

Yankees starter Domingo Germán ejected over sticky stuff one night after Aaron Judge cheating accusations

New York Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán was ejected from Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays (NYY 6, TOR 3) after being checked for foreign substances, but denied that he had run afoul of MLB’s sticky stuff rules. Germán retired the first nine batters he faced, then was stopped when he came out to start the fourth inning. All four umpires were part of the inspection.

Crew chief James Hoye told reporters, including, Germán’s hand was the “stickiest I’ve ever felt,” and added it was “definitely not rosin.”  Here is the inspection and the ejection:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2023 at 12:14 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: domingo german, foreign substances

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A’s reach agreement to develop Las Vegas site for stadium

The Oakland Athletics have reached an agreement with Bally’s and Gaming & Leisure Properties to build a potential stadium on the Tropicana hotel site along the Las Vegas Strip.

Bally’s Corp. made the announcement Monday for a 30,000-seat stadium on the 35-acre site. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 billion, and the A’s are asking for nearly $400 million in public support from the Nevada Legislature, which could vote on a proposal this week.

The A’s previously previously signed an agreement to build a stadium also on Tropicana Avenue but on the other side of Interstate 15 that runs alongside the Strip. They were expected to ask the Legislature for $500 million in public funds for the 49-acre site that would have included much ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2023 at 09:16 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, las vegas

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