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2016 MLB thread. Baseball is upon us! Royals are the champs - Page 699

post #20941 of 73404
Goldy owns Timmy. His career numbers against him are ridiculous haha
post #20942 of 73404
@ESPNStatsInfo: Paul Goldschmidt: now 13-for-24 with 7 HR and 16 RBI in his career against Lincecum after HR today
post #20943 of 73404
Ive never seen such ownage in 24 ABs in my life. That thing looked like a routine fly ball and just carried over the bricks.
post #20944 of 73404
Harp hit an absolute tank tonight, off of a lefty too, so that's a good sign.

Storen and Clippard were awful tonight. Don't trust either of those guys in October honestly...
post #20945 of 73404
Bucs with 5 HR's tonight....All solo. Still down 7-5 in the 9th. laugh.gif

Baseball. pimp.gif
post #20946 of 73404
Nats offense pimp.gif
post #20947 of 73404
Originally Posted by Mr Marcus View Post

Nats offense pimp.gif


post #20948 of 73404
Lincecum is done.

Edit: Sean Barber at it again. He blew a game for the M's last week. He's horrible. Needs to go back to Little League.
post #20949 of 73404
Robertson being out for a few days is gonna be a real problem. Shawn Kelley isn't gonna cut it at Closer mean.gif .
Originally Posted by Mr Marcus View Post

Nats offense pimp.gif

As soon as I turned on MLB Network, Werth homered.
New York Yankees | New York Jets
New York Yankees | New York Jets
post #20950 of 73404
Sean Barber's strikezone

You whole crew's ravishing, team's untouchable
In the jungle banging Nas, Mobb Deep and Wu
"My Ohhh My"
You whole crew's ravishing, team's untouchable
In the jungle banging Nas, Mobb Deep and Wu
"My Ohhh My"
post #20951 of 73404
post #20952 of 73404

Pedo-Stache Lincecum sucks.

post #20953 of 73404


Originally Posted by madj55 View Post

Harp hit an absolute tank tonight, off of a lefty too, so that's a good sign.


That whole AB was great. Stung a single later, too. Might see one of those hot streaks coming.


Marlins walk Rendon to load 'em up for Werth. What happens?


That bat flip. :hat 

post #20954 of 73404
I don't see how anybody expected anything from Tim lol

He's been done besides some starts here and there
post #20955 of 73404
post #20956 of 73404
Originally Posted by J RAIN View Post

decent play by Simmons.

Desmond >


post #20957 of 73404
Manny Machado isn't anywhere close to returning mean.gif

My boy Schoop did his thing last night doe pimp.gif
post #20958 of 73404
Thread Starter 
One bad pitch and that was pretty much it for Tanaka mean.gif

He's looked really good so far this season though. Better than I could have hoped.

Yanks offense is atrocious so far laugh.gif
post #20959 of 73404

Heyward finally :smokin

post #20960 of 73404
Originally Posted by Proshares View Post

One bad pitch and that was pretty much it for Tanaka mean.gif

He's looked really good so far this season though. Better than I could have hoped.

Yanks offense is atrocious so far laugh.gif

Yup. He was solid last night. Offense is pure trash. Adam Jones been mad the last few days for some reason.

"Adam Jones was in another talkative mood.

One day after lashing out about two fans that ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium, Jones wasn't buying into the hype surrounding Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

"Why don't you ask Tanaka about me? I'm the one who's been over here in the major leagues for a while," the Baltimore Orioles' center fielder said Tuesday, according to Newsday. "Congratulations, he did it over there. Don't make it like he's the dirtiest guy in the world. He was 24-0 -- in Japan.

Jones, who struck out twice against Tanaka on Tuesday, still wasn't impressed afterward.

"Am I (supposed) to go home and say I faced Tanaka tonight? Just go throw a party that I faced Tanaka? It's another pitcher," Jones told Newsday. "Another pitcher in the rotation. Nothing special to me. It's just another guy that we have to go through to get to where we want to be."

Tanaka, making his second big-league start, was not involved in the decision in the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Orioles. He allowed a long three-run homer to Jonathan Schoop and seven hits with 10 strikeouts over seven innings."
post #20961 of 73404
laugh.gif Adam Jones
post #20962 of 73404
My dude, Jones pimp.gif

Love his attitude. Got a feeling he'll get suspended for charging the mound at some point this year.
post #20963 of 73404
Jones is fed up and I love it. He's completely right. Stupid *** media.
post #20964 of 73404
Thread Starter 
I'm sure there's not a single Yankee that's gonna be bothered by the comments either laugh.gif not like the fans, I definitely have to make it to the next O's game at YS.
post #20965 of 73404
Thread Starter 
Five pitchers adding velocity.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
As a general rule, we're best advised to exercise extreme caution when making claims based on one week of baseball. While the games certainly count and playoff odds are already shifting, 25 at-bats, one start or a couple of relief appearances is typically too small of a sample to say anything of substance about a player, never mind something we didn't already know.

Fastball velocity is an exception to this rule; one week's worth of fastball velocity can carry a considerable amount of new information. When we see that Danny Salazar's velocity is down more than 2 mph from last year, or that Tyler Skaggs has added more than 3 mph, we should take notice.

Two important adjustments are needed when evaluating the first week of velocity data. First, we should be aware that pitchers typically lose velocity as they age -- a fact that should have already been cooked into our expectations -- and that pitchers generally don't have their best velocity in April. Combining these two effects, we can anticipate that older pitchers will throw 0.7 mph slower this April than they did last year. Second, we need to account for the fact that some stadium guns are "hotter" than others. Thankfully, Brooks Baseball is on the case, tweaking last year's Pitchf/x park adjustments based on what we've seen over the past week.

Once these adjustments are made, a pitcher's velocity over the first week of the season predicts his velocity over the remainder of the season just as well as his velocity from the entire previous season. The best velocity predictions going forward split the difference, averaging last year's velocity with velocity from the first week of the season, and this holds true for starters as well as relievers.

Most importantly, these changes in velocity have a significant effect on how pitchers perform: Mike Fast -- who now works for the Houston Astros -- showed that every mile per hour lost raises a starter's ERA by an average of a 0.25 runs and a reliever's era by 0.40 runs, and that changes in velocity matter more the harder you throw. Data from the past five seasons bear this out. Pitchers who showed lost velocity in the first week of the season underperformed their preseason Marcel projections, while pitchers with increased velocity outperformed their projections.

By combining this research, we can make the appropriate adjustments to Steamer's preseason pitching projections based on velocities we've seen thus far. Here are the pitchers who have increased their stock most dramatically based on velocity readings from the first week of the season.

Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles Angels
2013: 90.0 mph fastball
2014: 93.6 mph fastball
Preseason ERA projection: 4.12
ERA adjustment: -0.38

ESPN Insider Keith Law rated Skaggs as the 12th best prospect in all of baseball a year ago. His fastball was expected to range from 91 to 93 mph -- and to touch 94 mph -- with Law noting that "his frame could still handle a little more weight to increase his stamina and maybe add another tick of velocity."

Skaggs attributed his disappointing velocity last year to a shortened stride, and his velocity readings thus far this year support his belief in his smoother mechanics and further suggest that he has indeed added a tick or two to his velocity. PitchF/X has captured Skaggs pitching in three games thus far, two in spring training, and Skaggs has averaged 93.9, 93.5 and 93.2 mph on those occasions.

Skaggs' ERA adjustment is based on the idea, backed by historical data, that he's most likely to lose some of the added velocity he has shown thus far this spring and to average something more like 92 mph the remainder of the way. This still bodes quite well. If, by chance, Skaggs is able to maintain all of his new-found velocity, the Angels may have acquired a pretty special arm.

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
2013: 93.0 mph cutter
2014: 94.8 mph cutter
Preseason ERA projection: 2.16 ERA
adjustment: -0.27

As an already hard-throwing reliever, Jansen is among those who stand to benefit most from additional heat. Further, Mike Fast reasoned that one of the reasons that changes in velocity appear to matter more to relievers than starters may be that relievers rely more heavily on their fastballs.

No one relies more heavily on his fastball than Jansen does. The adjustment in his ERA projection is tempered only by the fact that he was expected to give up so few runs to begin with. The added velocity he has shown in the first week would make him nearly unhittable, and even after regressing this year's velocity toward last year's mark, it brings his already outrageous ERA projection for the remainder of the season to less than 2.00.

Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies
2013: 92.4 mph fastball
2014: 94.3 mph fastball
Preseason ERA projection: 4.62
ERA adjustment: -0.35

De La Rosa had a long road back following Tommy John surgery in 2011, as he missed the remainder of the 2011 season and nearly all of the 2012 season. He bounced back with a highly successful but, in some ways, unconvincing year in 2013. His 3.49 ERA last year masked the fact that his strikeout rate and his velocity fell short of where they were prior to his injury.

While De La Rosa has been hit hard in each of his starts this year, his velocity appears to be back, and in fact has been a touch higher than it was before the tear. His higher velocity carries considerably more predictive power than the home runs he has allowed thus far, and instead of being dropped in deep fantasy leagues, he should be getting scooped up.

Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks
2013: 91.5 mph sinker
2014: 93.6 mph sinker
Preseason ERA projection: 4.17
ERA adjustment: -0.31

Brandon McCarthy has thrown his sinker at average velocities of 93.8 and 93.2 mph in his two starts this year, the first and second highest marks of his career. Yet, much like De La Rosa, he has been dropped in fantasy leagues after being victimized by the long ball in his first two starts, a decision that those fantasy owners may come to regret.

McCarthy is already a control artist who keeps the ball on the ground. His new-found velocity suggests that his strikeout rate may become more respectable as well and all pitchers need strikeouts even if it isn't their specialty.

Tommy Hunter, Baltimore Orioles
2013: 97.3 mph fastball
2014: 97.6 mph fastball
Preseason ERA projection: 3.60
ERA adjustment: -0.24

While at first glance Hunter's uptick in velocity seems minimal, it becomes more significant when contrasted with the velocity loss we typically see as pitchers age, as well as the lower velocities we often see in April.

Hunter started 2013 throwing 96 mph and finished the year throwing 98. In 2012, he averaged 91 mph in April as a starter and finished the year throwing 97 mph in the pen. Further, although we might be tempted to dismiss additional velocity for Hunter as unnecessary, the evidence suggests that Hunter is exactly the type of pitcher for whom a velocity change matters the most. His velocity over the first week improves his prognosis and increases the chance that he will flourish as a closer.

Here's a look at the top 20 pitchers in terms of the effect of higher velocity on their projected ERA:

Top 20 Pitchers by velocity-based change in ERA projection
Pitcher Team Role Velocity Increase (mph) Preseason ERA Projection ERA Adjustment
Jordan Walden ATL RP 2.0 2.89 -0.51
Evan Reed DET RP 1.0 4.09 -0.47
Fernando Salas LAA RP 1.8 4.02 -0.41
Jeurys Familia NYN RP 1.0 3.72 -0.41
Tyler Skaggs LAA SP 3.5 4.12 -0.38
Jorge De La Rosa COL SP 2.4 4.62 -0.35
Matt Albers HOU RP 0.9 4.10 -0.35
Brandon McCarthy ARI SP 2.1 4.17 -0.31
Wily Peralta MIL SP 0.9 4.59 -0.28
Chris Perez LAN RP 0.8 3.45 -0.27
Santiago Casilla SFN RP 0.5 3.90 -0.27
Kenley Jansen LAN RP 1.8 2.16 -0.27
Tyler Clippard WAS RP 1.0 3.14 -0.26
Gonzalez Germen NYN RP 0.5 3.51 -0.24
Tommy Hunter BAL RP 0.3 3.60 -0.24
Chad Qualls HOU RP 0.3 4.03 -0.23
Dan Jennings MIA RP 0.5 3.83 -0.23
Jim Johnson OAK RP 0.4 3.40 -0.22
Addison Reed ARI RP 0.6 3.06 -0.20
Zach McAllister CLE SP 0.8 4.62 -0.20

Fresh looks at Manaea, Mondesi, Alfaro.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I tabbed Wilmington (Royals) and Myrtle Beach (Rangers) as two of the most loaded minor league rosters to start the season, and lo and behold, the two faced each other this week in the first home series for the Blue Rocks. I went to the first two games of the three-game series, and have the following to report about these two clubs in the high Class A Carolina League.

Wilmington (Kansas City Royals affiliate)

• Lefty Sean Manaea made his pro debut Tuesday night, throwing 60 pitches before he was lifted once he hit his limit. Manaea was the Royals' second pick in the 2013 draft, 34th overall, a potential top-10 pick before he suffered an injury to the labrum in his hip in a start last March at the late, unlamented Metrodome. The Royals signed him for $3.55 million, comparable to a top-five selection, after working out a below-slot deal with their first pick, infielder Hunter Dozier.

Manaea hit 88 to 92 mph Tuesday night, touching 94, and dipping to 88-90 in his last inning, but the tremendous deception in his delivery had hitters swinging through his fastball for much of the outing. He walked the leadoff man, then blew through the next three hitters, filling up the strike zone for the rest of the night. His slider was big, coming in at 79-80 mph, and was a weapon for him against both left- and right-handed hitters. However, it was not a plus pitch on this particular night, because the break wasn't that sharp or late. He threw a few changeups, 81-84 mph, cutting some while others showed downward fade.

Manaea's delivery isn't clean, providing him with deception but raising concerns about durability. His arm swing is long, and he's still getting his arm into position when his front foot lands. He does repeat it, though, which is how he can show this kind of above-average command, and he finishes well over his front side. If this is all the fastball there is, he's a mid-rotation starter, but he's hit 96 in the past and could raise his projection if he can show that kind of velocity on a regular basis.

• Dozier is also on this loaded Wilmington roster, playing third base rather than his college position of shortstop; it's an inevitable move given his size and his footwork. Dozier had a mediocre showing in these two games (although no hitter stood out by his performance), but did show some hand strength with a hard-hit double to the opposite field when a left-handed pitcher tried to throw a 92 mph fastball over the outside corner. Dozier has above-average bat speed, but he's more of a hand-strength hitter than a quick-twitch guy.

The one weakness he showed in his nine at-bats was breaking balls coming at him. Myrtle Beach threw a lot of lefties at Wilmington, and the ones who could spin something down and in to Dozier had a little more success. Dozier's a below-average runner who's capable at third base but not more than average right now, so he'll have to hit and develop some more power to profile as an average or above-average regular.

• Switch-hitting shortstop Raul Mondesi hit right-handed in every at-bat but his last one in the two games I saw, which is unfortunate as he's a natural left-handed hitter. His at-bats were good overall, other than the one time he popped up a bunt attempt, but he wasn't getting the results beyond a pair of walks and a bloop single. His swings are similar from both sides, but he's visibly stronger when hitting left-handed.

The one left-handed at-bat produced a bunt single; a bad bunt, right back to the pitcher, that Mondesi beat out anyway, because he reached first base in 3.68 seconds. It's worth noting that the 18-year-old Mondesi is the youngest player on Wilmington by more than two full years, and the youngest position player on the team by 30 months.

• Bubba Starling, the fifth overall pick in the loaded 2011 draft, has been a disappointment in his pro career to date, and given his current setup and swing, that's not going to improve any time soon. Starling starts closed, and has no load or trigger to speak of, then drifts out over his front side before he practically throws his hands at the ball, a swing that can't produce power and is going to either put him on top of a lot of pitches or have him miss them altogether.

His running speed looked average, even though his body hasn't filled out as expected when he seemed to be a physically projectable 19-year-old in high school. He drew two walks, both against a wild Rangers pitcher on eight pitches in total, but his approach overall isn't patient. All that said, Starling hit the one home run of these two games, swinging at ball four up and away and still muscling it out to right field. There's still some raw talent lurking underneath this disaster of a swing, but good luck to the Royals in trying to extract it.

• Zane Evans started behind the plate Wednesday, but struggled badly with receiving before leaving the game when he took a backswing to the back of his head. Evans struggled in all aspects of receiving: getting his glove in position, especially to his right side; sticking balls he did catch; and just flat-out catching what did hit his glove, with at least five balls he should have caught that got past him or popped out of his glove.

He's sharing catching duties with Cam Gallagher, who might not have Evans' bat, but nailed a runner Tuesday with a 1.88-second bullet to second base, and had far less trouble receiving.

Myrtle Beach (Texas Rangers affiliate)

• Catcher Jorge Alfaro is the Rangers' best prospect, boasting huge raw power and a cannon arm, the latter good enough to keep the Blue Rocks from testing it when he caught Tuesday night. At the plate, his lack of patience was a problem in both games, with four strikeouts in the two games, all pretty ugly: three were on breaking balls down and away, one was on a fastball well off the outside corner. His swing looks great, balanced throughout with plenty of bat speed, but when you're down 0-2 or 1-2 in almost every at-bat, it's hard to be a productive hitter.

• Third baseman Joey Gallo is a monster, bigger than I remember him being in rookie ball in 2012, and took by far the most impressive BP of anyone on either team -- really of anyone I've seen this calendar year -- putting about 10 balls out from right field to center field.

His approach at the plate isn't bad; he can differentiate a ball from a strike -- even drawing a walk with two good takes on pitches in on his hands, then a few inches off the outside corner -- but he still gets beaten by fastballs in the zone, and he's only made slight adjustments to be able to drive the ball the other way. I like his swing; it's simple and obviously very powerful. The problem is that it's just not that fast, so he has to be very precise in his timing, and he's far from having that skill right now. He was adequate at third base in the two games, a little ungainly but making some tough plays, still showing off the grade-80 arm when he can.

• Nick Williams surprised a lot of folks, myself included, when he hit .293/.337/.543 last year as a 19-year-old in low Class A Hickory, but while the power is real, the swing and approach are awful. Williams has some bat speed and plenty of strength, but starts with an exaggerated leg kick that barely gets his lead foot down in time, and has a predetermined swing path that has his lead elbow forcing him to swing uphill through contact. He also swings at everything he sees, putting himself behind in the count in every at-bat I saw in the two games; even when he was hit by a pitch, it came on a 1-2 count where he'd swung and missed twice in three pitches.

He's also a poor outfielder, due to lack of instincts. I can't call him a non-prospect given his age and strength, but I wouldn't bet any amount of money on him making all the necessary adjustments to be an everyday big leaguer.

• Chris Bostick played only one of the two games and had a rough night Tuesday, going 0-for-5 with two punchouts, although one of the outs was when he popped up a bunt attempt. (The emphasis on small ball, from both teams, was absolutely sickening. You're supposed to be developing hitters, not teaching them to make extra outs.) The first strikeout came on three fastballs from Manaea, and the second came on a slider down and away from a right-handed reliever. Bostick, a second baseman, did show plus bat speed and still runs well, but other than one hard-hit line drive, he did nothing of merit in his start.

• Victor Payano started for Myrtle Beach on Wednesday and showed zero command of decent stuff, walking five in four innings after walking six in two innings his previous time out. Payano was at 88 to 93 mph, touching 94 just once, with good downhill plane early in his outing and some late tailing life. He showed a downer curveball at 69 to 75 mph, more a get-me-over pitch than a legitimate weapon.

Unfortunately, his arm slot drifted downward over the course of his outing, starting the game at high three-quarters and ending up at true three-quarters before his day was over. This isn't the sole reason for his lack of command, but it certainly isn't helping matters.

• Myrtle Beach used two relievers worth mentioning, after a parade of organizational arms. Jason Knapp's name might be familiar to you; he was briefly a top prospect for the Philadelphia Phillies, then went to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee deal before his violent delivery finally led to a shoulder blowout in 2010 that appeared to have ended his career. Wednesday's outing marked just the second inning of his comeback, and he has at least regained some of his arm strength, hitting 91 to 95 mph with some natural cut to it, at the higher end of the range when he was working from the windup. He still comes across his body, unfortunately, so I wouldn't count on any durability, but at least he has the velocity and could find a niche as a one-inning guy.

• Keone Kela, reportedly up to 99 mph at times last year, was 94-97 in relief, but the fastball played down between its lack of life and Kela's below-average command; hitters seemed to see it pretty well out of his hand, and they also can pick up the grip on his 77-80 mph curveball -- he gets too much on the side of the ball -- to distinguish between his only two pitches.

Why team-friendly deals make sense.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Rays aren’t sure whether starter Matt Moore will need surgery, as Marc Topkin writes. But given what we saw the other night, with Moore recoiling from a pitch the way that Braves starter Kris Medlen did in March, it would surprise no one if it turns out he faces Tommy John surgery, and an uncertain future.

Looking back, it’s a good thing Moore signed that $14 million deal back in 2011.

Many of baseball’s best young players have been taking deals that buy out their first or second years of free agency, with an option year or two attached. Chris Archer did this recently, locking himself into a six-year deal that could become an eight-year deal and guarantees him $25.5 million. So did the Pirates' Starling Marte, who signed a six-year, $31 million deal.

This has spurred a lot of debate within the industry if the players are conceding too much, if they are leaving money on the table. Some agents argue privately that the deals are far too team-friendly, such as Salvador Perez's much-castigated five-year, $7 million contract.

But it really seems that as these numbers have gotten tossed around, and mixed in with $240 million (Robinson Cano's contract) and $215 million (Clayton Kershaw) and $155 million (Masahiro Tanaka) and $144 million (the Detroit offer turned down by Max Scherzer) that it has evolved into Monopoly money, something abstract.

It’s worth remembering: The $7 million guaranteed to Perez is a lot of money. Moore could face a difficult decision in the hours ahead about whether to have an elbow reconstruction, and while the chances of that surgery being successful are good, there are no guarantees -- but Moore is assured of having at least $14 million in earnings. And that is a lot of money, even in the baseball world. That's more than almost all general managers will make in that time, more than all but a handful of managers. There will be major league coaches who put in 20 years and will make only a fraction of what Moore is guaranteed.

Medical directors for teams have incredible responsibility, and dispense advice on contracts worth tens of millions of dollars -- and one executive estimated that someone in that position can typically make $200,000. In other words, a medical director for a Major League Baseball team would have to work 70 years at that rate to make what the 24-year-old Moore is guaranteed.

Glen Perkins of the Twins, who has signed two deals that are perceived as team friendly, was on the podcast Wednesday and offered his perspective on why players sign these contracts: Everything can change with one pitch, one play, and a player's earning power in baseball can end instantly. It's worth a listen.

As Perkins said: It's one thing for Scherzer, who will have made about $30 million in his career by the time this season is over, to reject a $144 million deal. It really can be more about the poker game of negotiations, about Scherzer’s perception of what his value is weighed against the offer. Scherzer is in a much better position to take that risk.

But for almost everybody else, these dollars are life-changing, for the player, for children, for grandchildren.

None of them can assume their lofty standing is anything but temporary.

• Also on the podcast: Pirates GM Neal Huntington discusses the team's use of defensive shifts and rising star prospect Gregory Polanco, and Tim Kurkjian offered his take on who the home run king is.

And later, Perkins got into it with Josh Donaldson.

Around the league

• Speaking of injuries: The Marlins' Jacob Turner went down with a shoulder injury, caused when he took a practice swing.

In the American League West, the list of injuries is really incredible. Just this week: Adrian Beltre, James Paxton and Josh Hamilton, who needs thumb surgery and could miss a couple of months. This is on top of Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Hisashi Iwakuma, etc.

• Avisail Garcia got hurt diving for a ball in the outfield.

And on and on and on it goes.

• And it’s not only in the big leagues. Top Oakland prospect Addison Russell tore his hamstring, and Byron Buxton is out until May.

Paul Goldschmidt
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt now has seven career home runs against San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum.
• Paul Goldschmidt owns Tim Lincecum, and got him for another home run Wednesday in Arizona’s win.

From ESPN Stats & Information: Entering Wednesday, Goldschmidt was 12-for-23 with six home runs and 13 RBIs against Tim Lincecum and all six home runs came against pitches on the inner half. So the answer is stay away, right? That's what Lincecum did in the first inning, to no avail. Goldschmidt took him down the line in right field for a home run, a rare feat for a right-handed hitter at AT&T Park.

According to Baseball Reference, Goldschmidt's home run off Lincecum on Wednesday is just the 33rd opposite-field home run at AT&T Park by a right-handed batter since it opened in 2000, and just the eighth in the past eight seasons.

• There were two unbelievable plays Wednesday: Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons made one of the best throws you will ever see from a shortstop, and Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton scored on a fly ball -- really, it was a popup -- not far from home plate.

Hamilton stole the show, writes John Fay.

Hamilton had a classic line for his third-base coach.

• This was a big win for the Reds. Mike Leake shut down the Cardinals.

• Oakland prospect Billy Burns is really fast, too.

• The Brewers might be the most interesting team in the first days of the regular season. They aren’t surprised by their fast start, writes Tom Haudricourt.

• Joe Nathan is not concerned about what he referred to as his "dead arm."

• David Ortiz gave the Red Sox a needed lift, again. The Yankees and Red Sox are set to renew their rivalry.

Moves, deals and decisions

1. Vinnie Pestano was sent to Triple-A.

2. The Royals called up an infielder.

3. Josh Collmenter could move back into the Arizona rotation, which has a 6.59 ERA.

4. Wilton Lopez was sent to the minors.

Dings and dents

1. The Rangers are awaiting word on the severity of Adrian Beltre's injury. Evan Grant has some thoughts on the Rangers in the wake of the Beltre injury.

2. Brian Wilson is working on getting up to speed.

Wednesday’s games

1. The Marlins blew a sizable lead.

Jim Johnson, Bob Melvin
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
A's closer Jim Johnson has struggled thus far with his new team.
2. Jim Johnson blew another save chance, but Derek Norris saved the day, as Susan Slusser writes.

3. The Orioles pulled out a really nice win against the Yankees, as Eduardo Encina writes.

4. Ervin Santana won in his debut for the Braves. Jason Heyward had himself a night, as Mark Bradley writes.

5. Mistakes cost the Rangers.

6. Jason Hammel beat the Pirates again.

7. Albert Pujols is closing in on his 500th homer.

8. Robbie Erlin stepped up for the Padres.

9. The Mariners managed just one hit.

10. Bryce Harper broke through.

11. The Pirates hit five homers and it wasn’t enough.

NL East

• Ryan Zimmerman has modified the way he throws.

From ESPN Stats & Info, how Ervin Santana won:

A. He threw 20 consecutive strikes to start the game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only player in the past 15 seasons to start a game with 20 consecutive strikes.

B. He threw 74 percent strikes (his highest percentage in a start in his career with at least one inning pitched).

C. He located his fastball to righties: 50 percent were on outer-third or farther (34 percent last season); righties went 1-for-10 with twp strikeouts versus his fastball.

• The Mets' hitters are not doing well, writes Kevin Kernan.

• The Phillies need to clean up their act, writes Bob Ford.

NL Central

• Anthony Rizzo is hitting at the expense of lefties.

• Starling Marte's walks are paying dividends.

NL West

• Tim Lincecum had a bad day.

• A Dodgers' rally was wasted.

AL East

• Adam Jones doesn’t regret his comments. MLB is reviewing his comments.

From ESPN Stats & Info: Masahiro Tanaka had 10 strikeouts in a no-decision, and his 18 strikeouts are the most by a player in his first two appearances as a Yankee in franchise history. The previous best? Bob Turley in 1955 and Dennis Rasmussen in 1984 with 17.

Tanaka induced 22 swings-and-misses, the second most by a pitcher this season (Felix Hernandez had 24 on Opening Day). Tanaka was able to get his strikeouts at both the top and bottom of the strike zone. Eight of the 10 strikeouts came with his slider and his splitter.

• The Yankees' bullpen was a problem.

• The Blue Jays are rolling.

• John Gibbons is keeping his faith in Brett Lawrie.

• Jake Peavy had another quality start.

AL Central

• Jose Abreu gave credit to his mom.

• The Indians got some really good pitching, as Stephanie Storm writes.

• Nick Castellanos hit his first career homer.

• Here are the five biggest problems with the Kansas City offense, from Sam Mellinger.

AL West

• The Astros are really struggling.


• The relief awards were named for Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.

• Greg Cote thinks Hank Aaron is still the king of home runs.

• Scott Ostler writes that Barry Bonds may have helped the Giants' hitters.

• MLB is going to send out a memo to add clarity to the rules.

• The Astros' TV ratings from the other day: not good.

And today will be better than yesterday.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When will Mets 1B carousel stop?
April, 10, 2014
APR 10
By AJ Mass |
It was only April 4, when the New York Mets announced that they were going to give Lucas Duda an "extended look at first base." After Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves, it appears that manager Terry Collins may have seen all he needed to from Duda.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, "Duda's audition for the first-base job did not even last a week. Duda is 2-for-13 since a two-homer game last Friday. And Terry Collins indicated that Ike Davis will start Thursday's series finale against the Atlanta Braves."

The Mets next series will be in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels, and with the designated hitter in play, even if Collins decides to add Josh Satin's right-handed bat in the lineup against scheduled left-handed pitchers -- Tyler Skaggs and C.J. Wilson -- in two of the three contests, if he allows Davis to remain in the lineup, that would pretty much be a huge sign that Duda's days with the team could be numbered.

Of course, Davis could just as easily go 0-for-4 on Thursday and Duda could end up back at first base by Saturday. That would be par for the course this season for a team that collectively is hitting well below the Mendoza line for the year.
Tags:Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, Josh Satin
Will Headley prove worth to Padres?
April, 10, 2014
APR 10
Prior to Wednesday's double-header against the Cleveland Indians, the San Diego Padres could not have been thrilled with the start of the season for Chase Headley, who had a batting average of just .107, with nary an RBI to his name. However, the third baseman says he's ready to change his momentum.

Headley missed three weeks of the spring with a calf issue and that's the reason, he says, for his slow start -- not any worries about this being a "contract year" for the potential 2015 free agent. "I'm finally getting my legs under me," Headley told "That's the biggest thing. It's getting the conditioning back and getting used to being on your feet every day."

After sitting out the opener of the twin-bill, Headley ended up driving in his first run of 2014 -- the winning run -- for the Padres in a 2-1 split-salvaging victory. "We needed it as a team," Headley declared after the game. "I needed it personally. Sometimes, you hit the ball hard right at someone. Sometimes, you get beat and it finds a hole."

Anthony Castrovince of thinks that even if Headley gets back on track and the Padres struggle to contend, there's little expectation that the team would consider dealing him away before this summer's trade deadline. "The Padres' incentive to do so... might not be as enticing as some assume. The way teams value draft picks these days, it's difficult to see San Diego getting a meaningful return for a half-season (or less) of Headley, whose trade value peaked at the end of 2012."

"More enticing, it seems, would be to make a qualifying offer after the season and get a draft pick should Headley sign elsewhere. In fact, the qualifying offer, which could exceed $15 million, might be enticing to Headley, who has made no secret about his desire to stay in San Diego."
Tags:Chase Headley
White Sox options while Garcia is out
April, 10, 2014
APR 10
By AJ Mass |
It didn't look good for Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia as he lay on the ground in agony after a failed attempt to make a diving catch in the outfield during Wednesday's game in Colorado. However, the initial verdict appears to indicate that the news is not nearly as bad as it could have been.

As Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago writes, "preliminary X-rays were negative for a fracture, separation or dislocation. (Garcia) will be re-evaluated Thursday in Chicago to determine the extent of what is being called a jammed shoulder."

For now, the White Sox will likely try and make due with the outfield trio of Alejandro de Aza, Adam Eaton and Dayan Viciedo, with Leury Garcia as an emergency option should another injury befall the team. However, if Garcia is determined to be in need of more than just a few days off, he may well be placed on the disabled list.

If that happens, Jordan Danks -- who hit .333 with five home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.116 OPS in 20 games this spring, only to be sent down to the minors in a numbers game -- would be the probable farmhand to get the call from Triple-A Charlotte.
Tags:Leury Garcia, Avisail Garcia, Jordan Danks
Mariners finally getting good news?
April, 10, 2014
APR 10
By AJ Mass |
With the Seattle Mariners having lost rookie left-hander James Paxton to the 15-day disabled list as a result of a strained lat muscle behind his left shoulder, the team is scrambling a bit to find a replacement in the rotation.

For now, according to Greg Johns of, manager Lloyd McClendon will turn to veteran right-hander Chris Young for Sunday's series finale with the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. "Young is the Mariners' fifth starter but was moved temporarily into a long-relief role when his start was skipped due to postponement of last Friday's game in Oakland because of poor field conditions," Johns writes.

Young may well be headed right back to long relief following Sunday's outing, though, as Taijuan Walker appears to be ready to make his triumphant return to the Mariners after having starting the season on the disabled list with shoulder troubles of his own.

Johns reports that Walker struck out ten batters in five scoreless innings for Double-A Jackson in his latest rehab start, which likely means that Walker will be activated by the Mariners and take a turn in the rotation sometime next week.
Tags:Chris Young, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton
Angels options without Hamilton
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
Prior to Tuesday night's game at Seattle, things were going great for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton. He was hitting .500 (12-for-24) with two home runs and six RBIs over the first week of the season and looking good in the process.

Then Hamilton injured his left thumb while sliding headfirst into first base in the seventh inning, forcing him out of a close game the Angels eventually lost, 5-3. X-rays on Hamilton's thumb were negative, but further tests on Wednesday revealed that the 32-year-old suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament along with a torn capsule, likely keeping him out 6-8 weeks. Hamilton will visit Dr. Shin on Friday to determine if surgery is required, according to the Angels.

So how will the team replace him?

The Angels have already recalled J.B. Shuck from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he was hitting .375 with a slugging percentage of .708. Shuck, a left-handed hitter, is likely to get regular playing time as he was one of the team's final cuts this spring, and after doing so, manager Mike Scioscia made it clear that the move was a difficult one to make.

"J.B. had a terrific season for us last year, had a great spring training. But if you look at the balance of our team and our bench, J.B. was not going to be getting many at-bats without someone going down right now. And if someone goes down, he'll have the ability to come back up and play," Scioscia said.

The other top option is to use Collin Cowgill, who served as the Angels' fourth-outfielder prior to Hamilton's injury -- though perhaps only against left-handed pitching as part of a platoon with Shuck. Ian Stewart is also on the roster, but hasn't played in the outfield since 2009. Raul Ibanez, at the ripe old age of 42, is not likely to have the endurance to play in the outfield day in and day out for over a month, but he could see a spot start here and there while Hamilton heals.
Tags:Raul Ibanez, Ian Stewart, Collin Cowgill, Josh Hamilton, J.B. Shuck
Will Wednesday jumpstart B. Hamilton?
April, 9, 2014
By Joe Kaiser |
Billy Hamilton finally busted out Wednesday with the type of game many around the baseball world have been waiting for: 3-4 with 2 stolen bases and 2 runs in a 4-0 win over St. Louis. And if you haven't yet seen maybe the shortest sac fly in MLB history, hit to right field no less, you'll enjoy this.

Is this the start of something big this season for Cincinnati's speedy leadoff hitter?

I tossed that question at ESPN Insider Jim Bowden, who remained optimistic about the season ahead for Hamilton.

Jim Bowden
Tough pitching hurt Hamilton early
"Hamilton will be fine. He started the year against some of the best pitchers in baseball like Wainwright, Wacha, Martinez and Rosenthal. You can't develop against those kind of pitchers in the minor leagues because most of them are in the big leagues, so he had to do it here. He'll be fine. He'll end up hitting .230 with a .300 OBP and will end up with 60-70 steals ... don't worry about the slow start. He'll be okay in time as long as he keeps bunting, slapping and hitting on the ground. Will he be overmatched against the leagues top pitchers in baseball at times? Of course, but in time he'll hold his own, too."
Tags:Billy Hamilton, MLB, Insider
Reason for Cubs to worry about Baez?
April, 9, 2014
By Joe Kaiser |
Javier Baez nearly made the Chicago Cubs roster out of Spring Training after putting together an impressive month of March, which included this monstrous home run off of then-Seattle pitcher Randy Wolf.

A middle-infielder with tremendous power and bat speed compared to Gary Sheffield? Yeah, that'll work.

What won't work is the way Baez has played, and acted, in his first week at Triple-A Iowa. Is there reason to worry for the Cubs?

Baez started the season 0-9 with 6 strikeouts, but Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune points out that his performance at the plate was merely part of the problem. The young slugger also was ejected from a game and in the middle of an altercation with Triple-A teammate Eli Whiteside in less than a 24-hour span, Gonzalez writes.

Team president Theo Epstein was quick to downplay Baez's multiple incidents, telling the newspaper that he was encouraged by the way Baez responded with a pinch-hit homer on Sunday.

"It was a great development experience for him," Epstein said. "He started out not feeling comfortable at the plate and then slumped, and he let that get him frustrated, and he showed it on the field. And then his teammates, they know how good he can be and how good a teammate he can be, and they kind of called him out on it.

"And he responded just the right way. He took it to heart and (had the pinch homer) the next day. He has hit the ball hard in five straight plate appearances and he has taken responsibility of being a good teammate. Experiences like that will help him get where he needs to be."

For now, it sounds like the organization is willing to dismiss the incidents as growing pains, not uncommon with highly touted young players. In fact, Cubs manager Rick Renteria went as far as to call it "a tremendously great learning experience."

That it was.

The question going forward is what happens if something like this happens again? That's the point where the Cubs would probably start to worry about Baez.
Tags:MLB, Javier Baez, Insider
How long will A's be without Crisp?
April, 9, 2014
By Joe Kaiser |
Oakland's starting center fielder Coco Crisp missed his second-straight game on Wednesday with a bothersome left wrist, an injury he received a cortisone shot for on Sunday.

How much longer with the A"s be without their leadoff hitter, who just last week hit his first walk-off home run with a 12th inning blast against Seattle? Here's the latest.

A's reporter Jane Lee of reports that Oakland manager Bob Melvin isn't expecting Crisp back in the lineup until Friday at the earliest.

That rules the 34-year-old switch-hitter out for Thursday's series finale in Minnesota. As for Friday? That could depend on how Crisp's sore wrist feels by then, but with Felix Hernandez due to take the hill that night it isn't exactly a scenario where Crisp could ease his way back into the lineup. Sam Fuld is expected to continue to start in center until Crisp returns.
Tags:Coco Crisp, MLB, Insider
Is Bradley's stay in Boston permanent?
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
On March 28, Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket -- the expectation being he'd remain in the minors for some time, with no room on the Boston Red Sox for the outfielder. Things changed just a few days later, as Shane Victorino's hamstring woes allowed the team to recall Bradley to fill the void.

As Anthony Gulizia of the Boston Globe writes, "with (Victorino) on the 15-day disabled list, manager John Farrell has relied on five players to patrol the outfield this season: Grady Sizemore, Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, and Bradley." But Bradley has stood out from the crowd, hitting .421 thus far in 2014 as a starter.

Alex Speier of WEEI Radio in Boston seems to think Bradley has done well enough thus far to win an everyday job. "Things can change... By the time Victorino is healthy, perhaps Bradley won't look like the most dynamic player on the team. And maybe, by that point, Grady Sizemore will look a bit more like a center fielder," Speier writes.

"If Victorino were eligible and ready to come off the disabled list today, there's a very good chance that he would join both Sizemore and Bradley in comprising the Red Sox' default outfield alignment, something that the team wasn't considering at any point in the spring."

That would leave Nava, Carp and Gomes as the odd men out. Nava, with remaining minor league options would be the most likely candidate to be sent to Pawtucket. The Red Sox might also try to deal Carp, who has already seen very limited playing time with Victorino out. In any event, barring a complete collapse, Bradley is not going anywhere.

Kyle Brasseur
Hot Bradley could become leading man
"With Bradley heating up, in addition to his minor league track record as a leadoff man, the 23-year-old could become a candidate for the top spot in the order. 'I wouldn't close the door on it,'Farrell said. '(We're) just letting him settle in and get his legs under him and he's doing a good job right now.'"
Tags:Grady Sizemore, Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Jackie Bradley Jr., Shane Victorino
Miami's strong rotation takes hit
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Miami Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner has been scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals with a strained right shoulder. Brad Hand will get start in his place.

The silver lining for the Marlins here may be that Turner's injury did not come from throwing the ball, but rather, was suffered during batting practice. "He's going to be evaluated (Wednesday), and we'll go from there," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "It's just something that just cropped up today. The pitchers hit in a cage."

While no team is happy when a pitcher gets hurt, of the five members of the Miami rotation, Turner would probably be the most expendable. As James Wagner of the Washington Post points out, "In an age of baseball where nearly every pitcher throws, at least, in the mid-90s, the Marlins are loaded with fireballers. Jose Fernandez is averaging 95.3 mph on his fastball, Nathan Eovaldi is averaging 95.8 mph, Henderson Alvarez is throwing 93-mph fastballs, fifth starter Tom Koehler is averaging 92.6 mph... Turner throws only 90.9 mph fastballs."

Hand is unlikely to pitch more than five innings, at most, due to his having been used in relief thus far this season. Expect Kevin Slowey to get the call from the bullpen in the middle innings if Hand's pitch count builds too quickly. If Turner does need a trip to the disabled list, his spot in the rotation might end up with the pitcher who performs better against the Nationals.
Tags:Jacob Turner, Kevin Slowey, Brad Hand
Sandoval's days with Giants numbered?
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area writes that contract talks between the San Francisco Giants and Pablo Sandoval -- who would be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season if no agreement is reached on a new deal -- have been tabled.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said "we've given our best shot with good faith intended to try to get him signed and they've drawn a line in the sand that we're not going to beat nor should we meet." According to Baggarly, Sandoval is looking for a deal in the neighborhood of five years for $90 million and had previously turned down an offer of three years for $40 million.

Sandoval's agent said that "was open to in-season negotiations but if nothing was done by the All-Star break, he'll go to the open market" but chances are good that he'll have to first turn down a qualifying offer from the Giants in order to pursue free agency.

Given what has happened to Stephen Drew with his free agency tied to the loss of a draft pick, there may well be long-term ramifications to this current contract impasse for Sandoval that may yet bring these two sides back to the negotiating table. However, Sandoval would have to be the one to move that line in the sand.
Tags:Pablo Sandoval
Will Rangers lose Beltre?
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
Manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers started Adrian Beltre as his designated hitter on Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox in order to give him a day off from playing the field. Unfortunately, the move didn't prevent Beltre from having to leave the game early with tightness in his left quadriceps.

As Scott Barboza of ESPN Boston writes, Beltre "was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs before he was lifted for pinch hitter Jim Adduci in the sixth inning. The Rangers are sending Beltre back to Texas to have the quad examined by Dr. Keith Meister."

"He had the same problem in spring training, and Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team wanted to get him checked out as quick as possible. After an RBI double in the fourth, Beltre was unable to run following Michael Choice's fielder's choice, and he struggled getting to the Rangers' dugout at the completion of the frame."

Josh Wilson got the start at third base on Tuesday and may well start the next few games at the hot corner while the teams awaits a verdict on the extent of Beltre's injury. However, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, should Beltre end up on the disabled list, the Rangers would probably look to call up Kevin Kouzmanoff, "a five-year veteran who was the last player cut at the end of spring. The Rangers sent Kouzmanoff to Round Rock because they had to keep multiple middle infielders and extra catchers because of injuries at second base and catcher."
Tags:Adrian Beltre, Josh Wilson, Kevin Kouzmanoff
Who replaces Moore in Rays rotation?
April, 9, 2014
By AJ Mass |
The Tampa Bay Rays officially made the move to place Matt Moore on the 15-day disabled list, but exactly how long the pitcher will be out of commission still remains to be seen after MRI results proved to be "inconclusive."

Because of the uncertainty in Moore's fate -- the pitcher will visit with Dr. James Andrews in the next two days, which should inform the Rays as to whether or not Tommy John surgery might be something Moore would have to consider -- the team has not yet decided how to fill the now-open spot in their rotation.

As Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Time writes, "in the interim (the Rays) are recalling reliever Jeff Beliveau to add depth to the bullpen while they decide primarily between using reliever Cesar Ramos or calling up veteran Erik Bedard from Triple A to take Moore's rotation spot."

Bedard pitched on Monday, so he'd be on track to take the mound on Sunday, the next time that Moore's spot in the rotation were to come up. However, if the Rays are sure that Moore is only going to miss two weeks, they might not want to go through the hassle of finding a spot on the 40-man roster for Bedard, or to risk losing him to another team should they later decide to send him back to the minors.

As Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports, "because of Thursday's off day, the Rays could move Chris Archer up a day and have the new pitcher pitch Monday or Tuesday if they move Jake Odorizzi up a day," but he adds that manager Joe Maddon was leaning toward having the new pitcher work Sunday.

That seems to point more to Bedard than Ramos, who would likely be on some sort of pitch count if called into starting duty without being fully stretched out. However, if the news from Dr. Andrews is positive, the Rays may still end up going in that direction.
Tags:Erik Bedard, Matt Moore, Cesar Ramos
Iwakuma, Walker's return still on track?
April, 8, 2014
By Joe Kaiser |
Seattle's surprising 4-2 start has people talking baseball around the Emerald City as the Mariners welcome the Angels to town for the home-opener on Tuesday night. And the news regarding the team's two injured starting pitchers, Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) and Taijuan Walker (shoulder), is also promising.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik went on Sports Radio 950 KJR AM in Seattle this morning and said that Walker will head to Double-A this week, while Iwakuma will throw off a mound today or tomorrow. Both are expected to be activated from the disabled list later this month.

Over the weekend, Greg Johns of reported that Iwakuma was scheduled to play long toss on Sunday, then progress to bullpen sessions by midweek in Seattle as he returns from a sprained tendon in his finger.

Once the pair join the rotation, the M's starting staff has a chance to be sneaky good, provided that Iwakuma pitches like he did in 2013 and Walker lives up to the billing as the top arm in the farm system. After Felix Hernandez and Iwakuma atop the rotation, the M's can send hard-throwing lefty James Paxton and Walker as the No. 3 and 4 starters, with recently-signed veteran Chris Young or Erasmo Ramirez serving the fifth-starter role.
post #20966 of 73404
Originally Posted by JJs07 View Post

My dude, Jones pimp.gif

Love his attitude. Got a feeling he'll get suspended for charging the mound at some point this year.
If he keeps yappin, some pitchers are gonna take offense and drill him a couple times. It's just gonna piss him off even more laugh.gif
post #20967 of 73404
Avisail Garcia done for the year.
post #20968 of 73404
post #20969 of 73404
Sweep for the Nats! Jayson Werth is on fire, great stuff from Strasburg today as well. smokin.gif
post #20970 of 73404
Adam Jones talking that ****

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