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The Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Feed, this feed aggregates the work of the top fantasy baseball bloggers and columnists available via RSS.



Updated: 2017-04-25T20:03:00+00:00

 



Dodgers To Promote Cody Bellinger

2017-04-25T20:03:00+00:00

The Dodgers will promote top prospect Cody Bellinger, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (via Twitter). The 21-year-old will provide a left-handed-hitting option at first base and the corner outfield, though it’s unknown how long he’ll remain in the majors. Bellinger flew up top prospect charts with a strong 2016 season, in which he slashed .271/.365/.507…

The Dodgers will promote top prospect Cody Bellinger, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (via Twitter). The 21-year-old will provide a left-handed-hitting option at first base and the corner outfield, though it’s unknown how long he’ll remain in the majors.

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Bellinger flew up top prospect charts with a strong 2016 season, in which he slashed .271/.365/.507 over 477 plate appearances, the vast bulk of them coming at Double-A. After an excellent stint in the Arizona Fall League, Bellinger sat at seventh among all prospects leaguewide in the ranking of Baseball America.

Since that time, Bellinger has taken Triple-A by storm. Through 77 trips to the plate, he owns a .343/.429/.627 batting line with five home runs and seven steals. Adding him to the active MLB roster, though, will require the creation of a 40-man space.

The Dodgers fielded trade inquiries on the blue-chip prospect over the winter, as they have recently for other hyped youngsters such as Corey Seager, Julio Urias, and Joc Pederson. But Los Angeles has held firm on those players, all of whom will now have reached the majors. With Pederson on the DL, a need arose for another outfield bat, and it’ll be Bellinger who gets the call — at least temporarily. As Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets, Bellinger is expected to see time in left and center.

Looking longer term, Bellinger’s promotion comes late enough into the season that his path to free agency would be delayed by one year, but not so late that he’d avoid Super Two status. If Bellinger remains in the Majors to stay, he’d accrue 159 days of Major League service time, putting on track to reach arbitration after the 2019 season and free agency upon completion of the 2023 campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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MLBTR Chat Transcript

2017-04-25T20:00:00+00:00

Click here to read a transcript of today’s chat with MLBTR’s Steve Adams.

Click here to read a transcript of today’s chat with MLBTR’s Steve Adams.

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Braves Designate Chase d’Arnaud, Select Lane Adams

2017-04-25T19:59:00+00:00

The Braves have designated infielder Chase d’Arnaud for assignment, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Atlanta has summoned outfielder Lane Adams from Triple-A to take the roster spot. d’Arnaud, 30, has bounced around the league over his six seasons in the majors, but received his most extensive action yet last year…

The Braves have designated infielder Chase d’Arnaud for assignment, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Atlanta has summoned outfielder Lane Adams from Triple-A to take the roster spot.

d’Arnaud, 30, has bounced around the league over his six seasons in the majors, but received his most extensive action yet last year with the Braves. Over 262 plate appearances, he slashed .245/.317/.335. While he had managed three hits and two walks in his ten trips to the plate thus far in 2016, the Braves evidently elected to go in another direction for the time being.

The 27-year-old Adams has seen the majors, but only briefly. He was off to a strong start at Triple-A, though, with a .333/.352/.588 slash line — but also 16 strikeouts against just a pair of walks — over his 54 plate appearances. He’ll join Emilio Bonifacio in the reserve outfield mix, though it’s also possible that the former could see more action in the infield with d’Arnaud’s departure from the roster.

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Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Should Fantasy Owners Be Targeting Marcus Stroman?

2017-04-25T19:01:00+00:00

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) It had been a disappointing start to the season for Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, though he bounced back in his most recent outing and is now sporting a 3.10 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Pitching in the AL East is going toby Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) It had been a disappointing start to the season for Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, though he bounced back in his most recent outing and is now sporting a 3.10 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Pitching in the AL East is going to make it difficult to fully buy into him, to an extent, but any skepticism there helps the savvy owner acquire him at a discount. The obvious thing to point to in regards to a further improvement is his .333 BABIP (it was at .359 prior to his last outing. All of the numbers are based on small sample sizes, and with a career 19.6% line drive rate (23.3% thus far in ’17) we know he’s going to rebound. Couple that with his strong groundball rate (57.8%) and control (1.55 BB/9) and there’s obviously a lot to like. The elephant In the room is his 5.59 K/9, which would obviously limit his appeal. However it’s not that he doesn’t have a strikeout pitch working, with his slider generating an 18.46% Whiff% and he is throwing it 17.06% of the time. He obviously isn’t throwing it exclusively in strikeout situations, and maybe he’s not getting to enough two-strike counts. The thing is he’s shown the ability to get enough strikeouts in the past, and this type of Whiff% gives reason to believe he can get there again. He’s throwing the ball more than a mile per hour faster than he did last April, averaging 93.79 mph on his sinker (92.27 last April). He is throwing his sinker more as well, at 61.94% of the time (48.94% last season). With that not being a swing and miss pitch, it makes sense that the number is down. With the lack of overall results, it’s fair to think that he will make the necessary adjustments. We’ve seen him utilize his slider more, at times, though in his last start he was back to throwing it just 12.12% of the time.  There’s an adjustment to be made, and something that we’d have to expect to happen. He’s not going to be a strikeout per inning pitcher, but seeing him average around 7.5 K/9 is realistic. Couple that with the other skills and it’s easy to envision him getting on a roll and posting strong numbers. If the owner in your league has already grown frustrated, now is the perfect time to try and buy low and reap the benefits. Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings: Top 50 Prospects1-50 Catcher1-10 First Base1-10 Second Base1-10 Shortstop1-10 Third Base1-10 Outfielders:1-1011-20 Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20 Left Handed Pitchers:1-10 [...]



Bear or Bull, Week 4: Ryu Forgetting About Me?

2017-04-25T19:00:00+00:00

(image) When the Dodgers signed Hyun-Jin Ryu before the 2013 season, my first thought was, This dude looks like a Macy's Day Parade balloon; not a professional athlete. The Dodgers did shell out $36 million for him, so they obviously had more grandiose plans for him than to have him float high above Chavez Ravine to provide shade for the whole stadium. So I looked at his numbers in Korea. Not bad, but not great. Then I read the scouting reports and was meh. At the conclusion of his first season with the Dodgers in 2013, Ryu went 14-8, posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, and struck out 154 batters in 192 innings. Those numbers don't sound exciting, yet he ended that year as the 25th starting pitcher and 79th overall player in fantasy. DISCLAIMER: This was written before tonight's start in San Francisco. He is in my DFS lineups so I put my money where my mouth is. Oh God, help me. Now, Ryu has missed the past two seasons due to arm injuries. He's currently sporting a 5.87 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings. There's a ton of wear and tear on his arm, as he threw 1269 innings in Korea and 391 in the US. So, why is he the focus of this week's Bear or Bull? Well, there's this...(image) (image) When the Dodgers signed Hyun-Jin Ryu before the 2013 season, my first thought was, This dude looks like a Macy's Day Parade balloon; not a professional athlete. The Dodgers did shell out $36 million for him, so they obviously had more grandiose plans for him than to have him float high above Chavez Ravine to provide shade for the whole stadium. So I looked at his numbers in Korea. Not bad, but not great. Then I read the scouting reports and was meh. At the conclusion of his first season with the Dodgers in 2013, Ryu went 14-8, posted a 3.00 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, and struck out 154 batters in 192 innings. Those numbers don't sound exciting, yet he ended that year as the 25th starting pitcher and 79th overall player in fantasy. DISCLAIMER: This was written before tonight's start in San Francisco. He is in my DFS lineups so I put my money where my mouth is. Oh God, help me. Now, Ryu has missed the past two seasons due to arm injuries. He's currently sporting a 5.87 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings. There's a ton of wear and tear on his arm, as he threw 1269 innings in Korea and 391 in the US. So, why is he the focus of this week's Bear or Bull? Well, there's this...(image) (image)



Marlins “Moving Forward” With Jeter/Bush Group

2017-04-25T18:54:00+00:00

The Marlins are “moving forward” in negotiations with the would-be ownership group headlined by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (links to Twitter). The organization is said to be “optimistic” that a deal will be reached to transfer control from current owner Jeffrey Loria to Bush, who’d be the new…

The Marlins are “moving forward” in negotiations with the would-be ownership group headlined by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (links to Twitter). The organization is said to be “optimistic” that a deal will be reached to transfer control from current owner Jeffrey Loria to Bush, who’d be the new control person, and the four other members of the group. It’s said to be an “agreement in principle” that sets a $1.3B purchase price.

This report follows some conflicting signals sent throughout the day. Earlier, a report suggested that the Jeter/Bush group was the only possible bidder left due to a lack of interest. But even that group was said not to have submitted a firm offer, with financing still in the works. Marlins president David Samson flatly rejected this report, saying it was strewn with errors but declining to specify or correct them.

Later, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg reported that the Jeter/Bush group had “won the auction” for the organization — which presents quite a different picture of the entire process. In addition to framing it as an “auction” for the first time, this report says that there were multiple other bidding groups, including one headed by businessman Wayne Rothbaum and another led by Tagg Romney (which included Hall-of-Fame hurler Tom Glavine). When asked to respond, Samson stated that he would not offer any comment, as Tim Healey of the Sun-Sentinel tweets.

Notably, none of the reports suggest that any paperwork has been signed. It’s important to bear in mind, too, that even in the event that a preliminary agreement is struck, it would still be subject to a lengthy finalization process — between the parties and also involving authorization from Major League Baseball.

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Central Notes: Cards, Hosmer, Rodon, Nova

2017-04-25T18:18:00+00:00

The broad health arena appears to offer great potential for competitive advantage to individual MLB organizations. We have heard of medical and dietary advancements for various teams, for example, and there’s surely lots going on that isn’t being discussed fully in public. For the Cardinals, one area of focus is on training, but it’s all happening…The broad health arena appears to offer great potential for competitive advantage to individual MLB organizations. We have heard of medical and dietary advancements for various teams, for example, and there’s surely lots going on that isn’t being discussed fully in public. For the Cardinals, one area of focus is on training, but it’s all happening as part of a broader initiative, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. The club is building up a “department of performance” that will combine training, medical, and other related functions under one roof. Here’s more from the game’s central divisions: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tells Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star that he’s not looking for changes to break out of his early-season slump. “I know I’ve been through it long enough now to realize you’ve just got to stick with your approach and it will change,” said Hosmer. Of course, the 27-year-old’s offensive malaise ties into a broader picture of uneven production over his seven-year MLB career, which has continued to raise questions about his earning power on the upcoming free-agent market. And as Dodd writes, Hosmer has several teammates who are also struggling quite a bit early on. If there’s a silver lining to the club’s 7-and-12 start, though, it’s the fact that the division leaders haven’t exactly sprinted out of the gates. Entering today’s action, the Indians and Tigers sit just 3.5 games up. The White Sox were able to get a look at lefty Carlos Rodon yesterday, as he played catch under the watch of pitching coach Don Cooper, as Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago writes. But that doesn’t mean there’s any further clarity to the question of when the talented southpaw will be back to the majors. Details are murky on Rodon, whose biceps injury initially seemed minor. As Hayes notes, the club had initially hoped to see Rodon push past 200 frames this year, but that’s obviously no longer a viable target. As righty Ivan Nova continues to produce good results for the Pirates, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post looks at why things didn’t quite turn out that way when he was pitching for the Yankees. Though Nova did have his share of success in New York, he was dealt last summer on the cusp of free agency and re-signed in Pittsburgh after eleven impressive outings. He doesn’t blame the Yankees’ handling for his uneven stint there, but does say that a lack of confidence in his standing in his old organization was partially at fault. “It’s very different when you know that you’re going to pitch every five days, that’s for sure,” says Nova. He continued to explain that he previously would worry about being dropped to the bullpen or Triple-A, explaining: “It wasn’t because they told me what’s going to happen after. It was something I put in my mind. It was my mistake, my fault, to think that way instead of keeping positive all the time.” [...]



SAGNOF Report, Week 4: Picking On The Tools Of Ignorance

2017-04-25T18:00:00+00:00

As I have gone over in the preseason, streaming against a starting pitcher is sometimes a good approach.  The problem is that sometimes the blame isn't completely on the pitcher.  This isn't Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny isn't playing all nine positions versus the Gas House Gorillas.  So obviously I am referring to the catcher in this scenario.  Streaming against a pitcher is all well and good, the bad is that they only pitch once every five days and while it's fun to rosterbate the high hell out of it, why not take advantage of a starting catcher who usually gets five starts a week?  Seems like genius and a better way to try and capitalize on a three game set versus a weak catcher oriented team at gunning down baserunners. So the handy chart below gives us an early glimpse of who we should be taking advantage of with our waiver additions in the steals category.  Stay after the chart, because I drop some tidbits of grandeur.(image) As I have gone over in the preseason, streaming against a starting pitcher is sometimes a good approach.  The problem is that sometimes the blame isn't completely on the pitcher.  This isn't Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny isn't playing all nine positions versus the Gas House Gorillas.  So obviously I am referring to the catcher in this scenario.  Streaming against a pitcher is all well and good, the bad is that they only pitch once every five days and while it's fun to rosterbate the high hell out of it, why not take advantage of a starting catcher who usually gets five starts a week?  Seems like genius and a better way to try and capitalize on a three game set versus a weak catcher oriented team at gunning down baserunners. So the handy chart below gives us an early glimpse of who we should be taking advantage of with our waiver additions in the steals category.  Stay after the chart, because I drop some tidbits of grandeur.(image) (image)



Robbie Grossman Figured Out Lefties, Is Relevant

2017-04-25T17:15:00+00:00

At the time of this writing, there are 37 major league hitters with a wRC+ of 150 or higher. There are the usual suspects: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Nolan Arenado are on the leaderboard to no one’s surprise. There are exciting young prospects, including Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, and Joey Gallo. Then there are unexpected names like Eric Thames, Cesar […]At the time of this writing, there are 37 major league hitters with a wRC+ of 150 or higher. There are the usual suspects: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Nolan Arenado are on the leaderboard to no one’s surprise. There are exciting young prospects, including Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, and Joey Gallo. Then there are unexpected names like Eric Thames, Cesar Hernandez, and Robbie Grossman. Lengthy articles could be, and have been, written about any of the players above. One player who hasn’t received much publicity despite some relatively prolonged success is Grossman. He checks in with a 158 wRC+ in 67 plate appearances so far this year. Steamer projects a .322 wOBA and 99 wRC+ for the rest of the season (ROS), and that projection puts him just a few ticks behind his highly-touted teammate Max Kepler. Although Kepler is three years younger and may have a higher ceiling, the point is that name recognition can play a pretty big role in how we analyze players. Also, Grossman used to be bad. From 2013 to 2015, he had just a .281 wOBA and 77 wRC+ in 202 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, despite being a switch hitter. Since 2016, however, Grossman has a .417 wOBA and 166 wRC+ in 170 plate appearances against lefties. Even with his early-career struggles against lefties, Grossman now has a lifetime .344 wOBA and 118 wRC+ against them. Since 2016 against all pitchers, Grossman has amassed 452 plate appearances spanning 113 games and has hit .283/.398/.444 with a .369 wOBA and 133 wRC+ (these numbers are excluding results from Monday). He boasts a respectable .327 wOBA and 107 wRC+ in just over 1,200 career plate appearances. What’s behind Grossman’s newfound success? The first place to look is his swing. Did anything change from his time in Houston (2013-15) to his time in Minnesota (2016-present)? Below are images of swings by Grossman against left-handed pitchers. One is from 2015, when he was with Houston, and the other is from last season, when he was with Minnesota. The first three images are meant to display how Grossman loaded his hands before the pitch. Notice that in the first two, from 2015, he coiled his bat significantly: . This next image is from 2016, the first year Grossman had success against lefties. Notice that he does not coil his bat: The next two images show how he positions himself just before the pitcher releases the ball. In first image, Grossman continues to hold his bat in a coiled position at this late stage. Also of note, his leg kick is significantly more exaggerated in the second image, which appears to put his lower half in a better power position: The last two images show how Grossman is positioned just before the swing, when his front foot makes contact with the dirt after the leg kick. Again, in the first image, his bat remains coiled and is relatively upright. In the second image, his bat remains in its original position as well, and has a much shorter path to the ball. His lower half looks more prepared for power in the second image: Both swings resulted in home runs. Check out video of the first swing here and the second swing here. Be sure to wait around for the slow motion replays of both swings. The images and the videos make one thing clear: the second swing is simpler, quieter, and more explosive. At least from looking[...]



RCL Update, Week 3: The Week That Was

2017-04-25T17:00:00+00:00

Three weeks in and I’m sure there’s some of you out there pressing as much as Jose Abreu right now.  Is it too soon to be worried that you’re falling behind in stolen bases?  Probably not, unless of course you lost Starling Marte for 80 games.  What a bummer.  You can’t hold a guy on the bench for half the season, can you?  I’ve seen him dropped in several leagues and picked right back up.  I don’t think I’d have the stomach to waste a roster spot for 3 months, but to each their own.  After next week we’ll be at a good point to stop and assess our teams as well as start scouring for trades to address whatever weaknesses we find.  It’s still early folks and there’s no reason to be dropping a guy like Jose Abreu or doing anything else crazy just yet. A big thank you to Rudy and Malamoney this week as we now have Master Standings!  Who’s numero uno?  You’ll have to read on to see.  We also now have data that helps me put together the weekly leaders and the Team Of The Week!  I’m giddy, are you?  If so, let’s go check out the goods:(image) Three weeks in and I’m sure there’s some of you out there pressing as much as Jose Abreu right now.  Is it too soon to be worried that you’re falling behind in stolen bases?  Probably not, unless of course you lost Starling Marte for 80 games.  What a bummer.  You can’t hold a guy on the bench for half the season, can you?  I’ve seen him dropped in several leagues and picked right back up.  I don’t think I’d have the stomach to waste a roster spot for 3 months, but to each their own.  After next week we’ll be at a good point to stop and assess our teams as well as start scouring for trades to address whatever weaknesses we find.  It’s still early folks and there’s no reason to be dropping a guy like Jose Abreu or doing anything else crazy just yet. A big thank you to Rudy and Malamoney this week as we now have Master Standings!  Who’s numero uno?  You’ll have to read on to see.  We also now have data that helps me put together the weekly leaders and the Team Of The Week!  I’m giddy, are you?  If so, let’s go check out the goods:(image) (image)



Latest On Marlins’ Sale Efforts

2017-04-25T16:56:00+00:00

12:32pm: Marlins president David Samson calls the Forbes story “inaccurate,” as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, though he did not provide details on bidding parties. 11:56am: Casting doubts on recent reports of keen interest from multiple bidding groups, Mike Ozanian of Forbes writes that the Marlins are currently drawing attention from just one potential…

12:32pm: Marlins president David Samson calls the Forbes story “inaccurate,” as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, though he did not provide details on bidding parties.

11:56am: Casting doubts on recent reports of keen interest from multiple bidding groups, Mike Ozanian of Forbes writes that the Marlins are currently drawing attention from just one potential suitor. And even that group — a team of investors led by Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush — has only yet made a “non-binding indication of interest” and is still hunting for cash to support a bid.

According to Ozanian, other potential bidders have not continued their initial pursuit of a deal with current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Former hurler Tom Glavine was said to have joined forces with Tagg Romney (Mitt’s son), but that pairing has apparently fizzled already. That’s particularly problematic, per the report, since the group held out the promise of bringing a significant amount of cash to the table.

We have heard talk at times of at least one more possible challenger to take the reins in Miami. But Ozanian says that interest has also seemingly dried up beyond the two recognizable bidding groups noted above. There’s doubt, it seems, as to where an alternative to the Jeter/Bush team might come from.

If there’s truly just one passable pursuer of the organization, that surely doesn’t bode well for Loria’s sale price. As the report notes, there already seems to have been a precipitous fall in the numbers being discussed publicly. Just ten weeks ago, the club was said to be headed for a $1.6B sale.

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FantasyDraft: Wacha Time To Be Alive

2017-04-25T16:45:00+00:00

Man is baseball great and unexpected. We've got Bronson Arroyo throwing Quality Starts and getting wins versus the defending champs.. IN 2017!! Eric Thames loaded on Kimchi and Korean BBQ hits every pitch out of the ball park. One of the best pitchers in the game, Madison Bumgarner, is out for a while cuz he fell off his dirt bike. You never really know what to expect in this game. Only thing we know is that we have games every night and a chance to play the greatest game of all...Fantasy Baseball. We have a solid slate for Tuesday night, but one pitcher that really stands out to me is Micahael Wacha ($13,600) of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been pitching well this year, 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA. He has been striking people out at a pretty good rate as he has 17 Ks in his 18 innings of work this season, and he has a great matchup vs. the depleted Toronto Blue Jays. They currently rank 25th or worse in Runs Scored, HRs and Avg. Already down Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki due to DL stints, they are now traveling to a National League park and wont have the luxury of the DH. To add insult to injury, the Blue Jays ranked 5th in the MLB in Strikeouts, so a big strikeout potential is in the cards for Wacha. Clayton Kershaw is also taking the mound tonight, I don't need to tell you to pick him. He is an automatic start in DFS as long as you are willing to pay the price. He is priced at $27,600, squaring of against the San Fransisco Giants. A slugfest is expected in Coors in a matchup between Joe Ross and German Marquez. As always there will be a high own percentage in this game but it might be smart to fade Kershaw and get some bats from this game. Some solid pitching options are available on the slate tonight. Lets take a look at the picks. New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care! Man is baseball great and unexpected. We've got Bronson Arroyo throwing Quality Starts and getting wins versus the defending champs.. IN 2017!! Eric Thames loaded on Kimchi and Korean BBQ hits every pitch out of the ball park. One of the best pitchers in the game, Madison Bumgarner, is out for a while cuz he fell off his dirt bike. You never really know what to expect in this game. Only thing we know is that we have games every night and a chance to play the greatest game of all...Fantasy Baseball. We have a solid slate for Tuesday night, but one pitcher that really stands out to me is Micahael Wacha ($13,600) of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been pitching well this year, 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA. He has been striking people out at a pretty good rate as he has 17 Ks in his 18 innings of work this season, and he has a great matchup vs. the depleted Toronto Blue Jays. They currently rank 25th or worse in Runs Scored, HRs and Avg. Already down Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki due to DL stints, they are now traveling to a National League park and wont have the luxury of the DH. To add insult to injury, the Blue Jays ranked 5th in the MLB in Strikeouts, so a big strikeout potential is in the cards for Wacha. Clayton Kershaw is also taking the mound tonight, I don't need to tell you to pick him. He is an automatic start in DFS as long as you are willing to pay the price. He is priced at $27,600, squaring of against the San Fransisco Giants. A slugfest is expected in Coors in a matchup between Joe Ross and German Marquez. As always there will be a high own percentage in this game but it might be smart to fade Kershaw and get some bats from this game. Some solid pitching options are a[...]



Red Sox Place Pablo Sandoval On 10-Day DL

2017-04-25T16:07:00+00:00

1:00pm: Manager John Farrell provided some details in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, as Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com recounts. The injury was to the “medial side of the right knee,” said Farrell, who says that significant swelling forced the DL move. It is still not known how long of an absence…

1:00pm: Manager John Farrell provided some details in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM, as Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com recounts. The injury was to the “medial side of the right knee,” said Farrell, who says that significant swelling forced the DL move. It is still not known how long of an absence is to be expected.

11:07am: The Red Sox have placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the 10-day DL with a right knee sprain, the club has announced. He’ll be replaced by infielder Josh Rutledge, who has been activated from his own DL stint.

Sandoval, 30, has produced uneven results thus far upon returning from a long layoff. Through 67 plate appearances, he is hitting .213/.269/.377 with three home runs. And there are some questions about his glovework, with four errors on his ledger and poor grades from advanced metrics (in quite a small sample).

Still, there are some reasons for hope with the bat. Sandoval’s .164 isolated slugging mark matches his work from 2012, which would seem to be a positive development. But it remains to be seen whether he can right the ship in the on-base department. Sandoval is suffering from a .217 BABIP despite making plenty of hard contact, though his strikeout rate is up to 19.4% on a 14.6% swinging-strike rate — well above his career figures in both areas.

While Boston will be glad to get Rutledge back, the hope had been to see both players on the roster at the same time. The switch-hitting Sandoval has continued to struggle badly against left-handed pitching, making the pair a theoretically useful platoon match. (Rutledge hits from the right side, though he hasn’t carried noticeable splits historically.)

Instead, the Sox will lean on Rutledge — along with left-handed-hitting utilityman Marco Hernandez — to cover third base during Sandoval’s absence. It’s not clear at this point just how long the organization expects to be without the veteran.

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FanDuel MLB Picks: 4/25

2017-04-25T15:41:00+00:00

Good morning or afternoon my fellow fake-baseballers. It’s Tuesday and we nearly have a full slate of baseball on tap this evening. The…Good morning or afternoon my fellow fake-baseballers. It’s Tuesday and we nearly have a full slate of baseball on tap this evening. The…(image)



Pitching Streamers: April 25-April 28

2017-04-25T15:31:00+00:00

Hello and welcome. Twice a week this baseball season I will be taking a look at pitchers who are viable…Hello and welcome. Twice a week this baseball season I will be taking a look at pitchers who are viable…(image)



Episode 38: In Play, Beef and Bombs

2017-04-25T15:30:00+00:00

Lots of interesting stories developing, and we’re just under a week from the end of April Host Evan Davis (BtBS, FanRag Sports, THT) and co-host Nick Stellini (BtBS, FanGraphs) talk Manny Machado v. Dustin Pedroia, early season DRA, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Eric Thames, and more: Check us out on iTunes! Listen to the show, rate us, subscribe to us, and leave us glowing reviews at this location. Once again, thanks to Trapdoor Social for letting us use their songs ‘Back to Somewhere’ and ‘Sunshine’ off their new self-titled album. You can find them on iTunes here, on their website here, and on Facebook here. Listen to their great music! Make sure to follow us on Twitter, tweet us questions, and let us know what you thought of the first week of the year. Subscribe to our RSS feed here. Finally, feel free to email us questions or concerns at inplaypodcast@gmail.com.Lots of interesting stories developing, and we’re just under a week from the end of April Host Evan Davis (BtBS, FanRag Sports, THT) and co-host Nick Stellini (BtBS, FanGraphs) talk Manny Machado v. Dustin Pedroia, early season DRA, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Eric Thames, and more: Check us out on iTunes! Listen to the show, rate us, subscribe to us, and leave us glowing reviews at this location. Once again, thanks to Trapdoor Social for letting us use their songs ‘Back to Somewhere’ and ‘Sunshine’ off their new self-titled album. You can find them on iTunes here, on their website here, and on Facebook here. Listen to their great music! Make sure to follow us on Twitter, tweet us questions, and let us know what you thought of the first week of the year. Subscribe to our RSS feed here. Finally, feel free to email us questions or concerns at inplaypodcast@gmail.com.[...]



The Orioles’ rotation has been surprisingly awesome

2017-04-25T15:00:01+00:00

But we must ask the eternal April question: is it sustainable? It was not too long ago that the Orioles’ starting rotation was ranked near the bottom of MLB. USA Today, in fact, pegged the Orioles as having the 24th-best rotation in baseball in February: The Orioles won 89 games and a wild-card berth in 2016 despite a starting rotation that ranked near the American League’s basement in most meaningful categories, then rectified the situation this offseason by bringing back all the exact same dudes. Chris Tillman had a nice season despite pedestrian rate stats and Kevin Gausman enjoyed a great second half, so the best hope is that 24-year-old Dylan Bundy is ready to make good on his long-held but injury-addled prospect pedigree and joins Tillman and Gausman at the front of a rotation fit to keep the O’s offense in games. As summed up quite nicely above, most thought that the Orioles’ rotation would be the team’s Achilles heal into 2017, figuring they would struggle to keep even Baltimore’s great offense within striking distance. But through the first three weeks of the season, the players on the Orioles’ staff have almost flipped the script. Interestingly enough, the offense has struggled a bit in the early going, but the pitching is what has opened Baltimore up to a 13-5 record through their first 19 games. No AL team has a better winning percentage than the O’s, who could be considered a surprise team even after claiming a Wild Card spot last year. The Orioles’ rotation ranks 7th in the league in fWAR, 10th in ERA and 10th in FIP. Their xFIP, though, is a lot less encouraging, at 23rd, raising eyebrows as to whether this early performance is for real. Which raises the question: are the results that the Orioles are producing sustainable? Here’s a quick breakdown of the entire staff. Dylan Bundy, the ace? No pitcher on the Orioles’ staff has been better than the 24-year-old Bundy, whose top prospect pedigree finally appears to be coming to fruition. Bundy’s ERA of 1.37 leads everyone that has made at least one start for the Orioles this season, and his 4.1 percent walk rate is more than half the league average. His stinginess with the free passes has kept Bundy’s FIP down at just 1.84, again leading the Orioles’ staff by a considerable margin. He has not allowed a homer yet, though, so his 3.50 xFIP is a bit high for now, and it’s hard to know where that will go over the course of the season as his home run numbers stabilize a bit. Regardless of his home run numbers, through one month, Bundy looks to be the ace of the staff. However, can he stay healthy? If he can and is able to toss upwards of 180 innings, the Orioles should have no worries giving the ball to Bundy once every fifth day. As USA Today implied, Bundy was the biggest unknown coming into this season, and so far, he seems to be a stud. Wade Miley and Kevin Gausman, the question marks Trending in opposite directions, Miley and Gausman appear to be the biggest questions that remain throughout the Orioles’ season. Positive results from both of them would likely yield a postseason birth for Baltimore. Let’s start with Miley. Now 30, he finds himself with his fourth team in his seven-year big league career. At one time, he was thought to be part of the Diamondbacks’ future, posting a 4.1 fWAR in 2012, but has posted a quartet of seasons no better than decent since that time. To start 2017, though, Miley’s performance seems to be up one or two ticks. In his last start against the Reds in Cincinnati, Miley pitched[...]



Update Rankings (April 25): Top 15 Catchers: Lucroy Falling, Contreras’ Risky Outlook & More

2017-04-25T15:00:00+00:00

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) We are three weeks into the season so there have obviously been changes to our preseason rankings.  Who has shown signs of improving?  Who has struggled and thus has a cloudier outlook?  Let’s take a look at how thingsby Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor) We are three weeks into the season so there have obviously been changes to our preseason rankings.  Who has shown signs of improving?  Who has struggled and thus has a cloudier outlook?  Let’s take a look at how things currently stand (Note: The number in parenthesis represents the player’s ranking in our final draft guide update): 1. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants (2) 2. J.T. Realmuto – Miami Marlins (4) 3. Jonathan Lucroy – Texas Rangers (1) 4. Brian McCann – Houston Astros (7) 5. Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers (11) 6. Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs (5) 7. Matt Wieters – Washington Nationals (8) 8. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals (6) 9. Austin Hedges – San Diego Padres (19) 10. Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets (13) 11. Stephen Vogt – Oakland A’s (9) 12. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays (10) 13. Evan Gattis – Houston Astros (12) 14. Wellington Castillo – Baltimore Orioles (14) 15. Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals (15)   Injured: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees (3) Thoughts: Jonathan Lucroy has gotten off to a terrible start and also has routinely found himself on the bench in favor of Robinson Chirinos (22 PA). While we would expect Lucroy to solve his issues, especially since he’s not striking out (7.7% strikeout rate) and has suffered from terrible luck (.182 BABIP, compared to .309 for his career).  Still, the Rangers’ willingness to sit him down is a concern and something to monitor.  If he continues to sit his upside will be capped, and therefore his ranking will plummet. While Willson Contreras has produced solid numbers (.269 with 2 HR), his 32.1% strikeout rate courtesy of a 19.0% SwStr% is a significant concern. He needs to make an adjustment (Whiff% of 25.00% against breaking balls and 41.38% against offspeed pitches), and quickly, or opposing pitchers will continue to expose him.  For now we will keep him near the top, but he has a significant “bust” warning associated to him. Austin Hedges has shown that the power surge he displayed at Triple-A last season was for real (5 HR in 57 AB), the question is going to be if he can solve his current strikeout issues (29.0% strikeout rate courtesy of a 13.1% SwStr%). He was at 15.3% at Triple-A in ’16, so there definitely is hope, and it’s easy to envision him improving on his 13.95% Whiff% against Hard pitches.  At this point consider him a catcher on the rise (and you could argue he belongs a spot or two higher on the rankings). Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings: Top 50 Prospects1-50 Catcher1-10 First Base1-10 Second Base1-10 Shortstop1-10 Third Base1-10 Outfielders:1-1011-20 Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20 Left Handed Pitchers:1-10 [...]



Transactions Retrospection: The Ryan Howard Extension

2017-04-25T14:27:00+00:00

On April 26, 2010, Ryan Howard was a star. For four consecutive seasons, the Phillies first baseman had landed in the top five of the National League MVP voting and swatted over forty home runs. With the Phils in the midst of a five-year run of dominance, the sides linked up on a five-year, $125MM…On April 26, 2010, Ryan Howard was a star. For four consecutive seasons, the Phillies first baseman had landed in the top five of the National League MVP voting and swatted over forty home runs. With the Phils in the midst of a five-year run of dominance, the sides linked up on a five-year, $125MM extension. It’s easy to mock that contract now, with the Phillies still paying down the final portion of it — a whopping $10MM buyout of a $23MM option for the 2017 season. Perhaps the organization believed at the time of the signing that the $13MM decision would be an easy one, but surely since-departed GM Ruben Amaro Jr. did not expect it would be so obvious to say goodbye to (rather than retain) the slugger. With Howard now looking to make his way back to the majors on a minor-league deal with the Braves, his huge contract is no longer weighing down the Phillies. Instead, it serves mostly as a cautionary tale. It’s easy to go overboard in criticizing the Howard contract, because we know what became of it. Though he continued to hit at an above-average rate in 2010 and 2011, while playing out the remainder of his arbitration-eligible seasons (which had been bought out under a prior extension), the actual years covered by the five-year deal were a disaster. From 2012 through 2016, Howard averaged 19 home runs annually while slashing a miserable .226/.292/.427. But that outcome surely wasn’t the expected one at the time of the signing. Howard hadn’t yet suffered a devastating Achilles injury. His K/BB numbers hadn’t eroded to the point that they would. (In fact, he had posted 15% or better walk rates in two full MLB seasons — 2006 and 2007 — and had to that point never ended a full year with less than a 10.7% walk rate.) The swing-and-miss was always there, but Howard hadn’t yet seen his chase rate jump suddenly (it topped 30% in 2010 and kept going up from there). That is to say: the Phillies weren’t wrong in assessing that Howard was a heck of a player. He was! And he gave them 64 dingers and a .265/.350/.497 batting line over the next two seasons, helping the organization to two more postseason berths. That sort of reduced-but- still-useful production might’ve continued had Howard not blown out his Achilles in making the last out of the club’s stunning 2011 NLDS exit. Of course, while the Howard extension perhaps turned sour quicker than might’ve been anticipated, that doesn’t mean it was well-conceived. Even at his best, Howard was an extremely limited player; at the time of the deal, he was already thirty years old. And the real sin was committed in making the deal so far in advance of Howard’s free agency, at the end of his peak, and in expectation of a longer run of organizational success than could be sustained. This wasn’t exactly unforeseeable, either. As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes wrote at the time: “The length makes this an unnecessary risk, and at $25MM a year the Phillies didn’t get a discount for taking the gamble and locking him up two years before free agency.” The Phillies did not come up with a favorable bounce on their ill-advised dice roll. That’s clear. And the deal ended up costing the organ[...]



The Daily Grind: Thames Time

2017-04-25T14:15:00+00:00

Some nights, I’ll go against my gut on pitching matchups just to force myself to pay attention to a certain guy. That was Jason Vargas last night, and it was not the correct play. The rest of my lineup worked out though despite lacking any Rockies or Eric Thameses. AGENDA Taming Thames Weather Reports Pitchers […]Some nights, I’ll go against my gut on pitching matchups just to force myself to pay attention to a certain guy. That was Jason Vargas last night, and it was not the correct play. The rest of my lineup worked out though despite lacking any Rockies or Eric Thameses. AGENDA Taming Thames Weather Reports Pitchers to Use and Abuse Contrarian Picks SaberSim Says… TDG Invitational Returns! 1. Taming Thames Here’s Eric Thames hitting another pair of home runs… Your browser does not support iframes. So those were two terribad pitches he hammered into the seats. Which is consistent with everything I’ve been saying. Garrett tossed a middle-middle hanging slider on a full count. Next time up, he threw a middle-away crap ball that kinda just floated in the zone. Garrett’s fastball is awful. I don’t understand how it took three outings for him to melt. 2. Weather Reports The entire Northeast is at risk tonight – Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Boston. You can assume the Braves, Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox will not play. The other two games are a maybe 75 percent likely to be postponed.  Colorado is also dealing with a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain all day. It’s cold in Denver too. 3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse Main Slate: Fourteen of 15 games are in the main slate tonight. Sorry Cleveland with your goofy 6:10pm start times. Doesn’t anybody work in Cleveland? Clayton Kershaw is always a wise investment, even when he costs $14,300 on DraftKings. My personal cutoff is $13,000. Anything under that is a must-play for Kershaw. Anything over requires some thought. He’s opposed by Ty Blach at AT&T Field. No Madison Bumgarner to whack it over the fence. Danny Duffy has career worst fastball velocity, but it hasn’t affected his results. The peripherals say regression is coming, but you might opt to use him anyway versus the White Sox. Oh my, these probable rainouts really guff up the options. Perhaps you want to try used-to-be-good pitchers at a friendly park? In that case, Kyle Hendricks and Gerrit Cole are your guys. I really don’t want either of them. If you aren’t using Eric Thames, give some consideration to Scott Feldman. The mediocre righty has a habit of going on early-season hot streaks before fading. He’s done it enough times that I believe in his ability to outperform his peripherals. Some. Where did the… uh oh… that’s everyone. I guess the play tonight is Kershaw and the slowest burning dumpster fire. Stack Targets: German Marquez, J.C. Ramirez, Dylan Covey, Erasmo Ramirez, Pat Corbin, Clayton Richard, Joe Ross, Andrew Cashner, Jesse Hahn, Ty Blach, Zach Davies 4. Contrarian Picks Stars: On a deeper night, Kershaw’s ownership would be muted. Alas… Because of Kershaw and the other pitchers, any super expensive position player will have a reduced ownership. Bryce Harper ($6,100) tops the list along with Trea Turner, Daniel Murphy, Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout, Adam Eaton, Charlie Blackmon, etc. etc. Bargains: Of the rain games, Baltimore is probably the most likely to happen. Wade Miley should be virtually unowned. Miley isn’t a great pitcher, but on [...]



10 Important Stories From 04/24/17 Box Scores: Owings’ Breaking Out, The Thames Show & More

2017-04-25T13:02:00+00:00

by Ray Kuhn There are certainly worse ways to begin your week, then with a nine game evening slate of action. We saw Christian Arroyo make his major league debut with the Giants, and among other things, Jacob Turner produce a quality start at Coorsby Ray Kuhn There are certainly worse ways to begin your week, then with a nine game evening slate of action. We saw Christian Arroyo make his major league debut with the Giants, and among other things, Jacob Turner produce a quality start at Coors Field. If you needed proof to expect the unexpected, that was a very good example. Let’s take a look at some of the performances from the league. 1) Is Eric Thames for Real? This has to end at some point, right? It has now turned into a game of chicken. There is no way that Thames can keep up this pace, but how successful will he be for the remainder of the season? Not only does he need to battle the expectations he has now created for himself, but also rumors of steroid use (despite numerous negative tests in Korea). After Thames went deep two more times on Monday, giving him 10 on the season, it doesn’t appear there is a truly fail safe way to handle the first baseman. He is now batting .373 on the season with 17 RBI, but we all no that it will be impossible for him to maintain this pace. I’m not sure his value will be any higher this season than it will be this week. 2) Does Jason Heyward Have Value? We know he was value to the Cubs based on his defense, but that doesn’t help fantasy owners in the least. So far this season though, Heyward has been producing at the plate. And with Dexter Fowler now in St. Louis, center field is available, and Heyward has been finding himself there at times as well. We shouldn’t expect production in line with his contract, but perhaps we also shouldn’t ignore Heyward due to last season’s struggles. He is part of a strong lineup which means there will be pitches to hit and runners on base to take advantage of. On Monday, Heyward only had one hit, but he made it count. His three run blast was his third home run of the season, and after adding another RBI, he has 16 on the season to go along with a .294 batting average. 3) Corey Dickerson Starts Things Off Dickerson by no means is someone you would expect to see as a lead-off hitter. However, the Rays have been putting him atop the order against right-handed pitching, and it is working. The outfielder started off the game on Monday with his fifth home run of the season while also adding a double later in the game. On the season, Dickerson is batting .324 with nine RBI and 11 runs scored. It is unlikely he will continue the .473 average he has against left-handed pitching, but based on injuries and some early season slumps, there is likely room in your lineup for Dickerson. 4) A Quality Start from Martin Perez For starters, this did come against the Twins, but Minnesota has shown the ability to do some damage so far this season. What does show though, is that perhaps Perez is going to be more than a punching bag for opposing offenses this season. However, he is still not a pitcher I would feel comfortable recommending in all situations aside from as a streaming or spot start option against the right opponent. Perez worked around nine base runners in six innings of work, six hits and three walks, while allowing three runs and striking out just three batters to lower his ERA to 3.81. 5) Don’t Give up on Tim Anderson  While you are trying to win in your fantasy league[...]



Contextualizing Eric Thames’ April

2017-04-25T13:00:00+00:00

Thames’ transition from the KBO to MLB has been as smooth as possible. His April has been pretty good, but just how good, historically? If you’ve watched or paid any attention to any baseball news over the past month, you’ve probably heard or seen Eric Thames do this: Or maybe you’ve seen him do this: Or perhaps something like this: In case you didn’t notice, Thames has hit a lot of home runs this month. Ten to be exact, which leads all of baseball for the month of April. Thames also ranks fourth in all of baseball in both wRC+ and WAR. Needless to say, Eric Thames is having himself a pretty good month. That isn’t bad considering that for the past three years, Thames was playing in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). That was before he was signed by the Brewers to a three-year deal for reportedly $16 million guaranteed, with a $7.5-million-dollar team option for a fourth year. At the time, the move was a bit of a head-scratcher, considering that the Brewers hadn’t spent a lot of money during the offseason and that they are currently rebuilding. Thames would be going into his age 30 season, and while he had put up god tier numbers in KBO with a .347/.448/.714 slash, those numbers were expected to drop considerably, especially when you consider how other KBO players’ numbers have dropped since coming to the MLB. His surprisingly easy transition is one of the reasons some people (including some Cubs “weenies”) are asking how he is accomplishing this performance, hinting that Thames is actually using PEDs. But there are other factors at play here; Thames was recently tested by MLB and came through clean, and it’s not like the KBO doesn’t have any sort of PED testing of their own. Which is why the PED speculations thus far are foolish and unfounded. There are a number of reasons why Thames is having this sort of performance. Maybe, you know, he made adjustments in his three years away from the States. Baseball players, they do that from time to time, and sometimes it has big impacts on their games. Don’t believe me? Just ask Josh Donaldson. Either way, it’s undeniable that Thames is one of the best stories in all of baseball thus far. We’ll have to obviously see whether this sort of production can continue, but for the time being, I wanted to put his performance in April into context. Every month of April, it seems as though a player jumps out above the rest to surprise everyone. This year, it’s Eric Thames, and just to get a little perspective on how great his April has been, I examined how his batting in April ranks in Brewers history. (I stopped at 1974 because that’s how far back wRC+ data goes). In terms of hitting alone, Thames is currently having the best April in Brewers history. Now, this sort of production throughout an entire season is obviously unrealistic, but the fact that Thames is able to have this kind of production at all, even for just a month, says something about his abilities as a baseball player. Hitting for this much power is not easy, and it probably means that the days of Thames being a below-average hitter are over. It is also incredible just how much better Thames is hitting compared to his fellow teammates. Ryan Braun and recently acquired Travis Shaw are both having good Aprils of their own, but seem like mere mortals next to a god when compared to Thames’ performance. That said, simply comparing Thame[...]



Fly Ball Pull% Gainers

2017-04-25T12:15:00+00:00

Earlier this year, I developed the newest incarnation of my xHR/FB ratio, this time taking advantage of the Splits Leaderboard sent from the heavens. When researching the components of the equation, I calculated a 0.229 correlation between Fly Ball Pull% and HR/FB rate. That’s no surprise, as most batters have far greater pull power than […]Earlier this year, I developed the newest incarnation of my xHR/FB ratio, this time taking advantage of the Splits Leaderboard sent from the heavens. When researching the components of the equation, I calculated a 0.229 correlation between Fly Ball Pull% and HR/FB rate. That’s no surprise, as most batters have far greater pull power than power to any other part of the field. So then it follows that a batter who suddenly pulls their fly balls at a significantly higher rate could enjoy a power breakout. Let’s take a gander at the fantasy relevant hitters that have seen the largest gains in Fly Ball Pull% versus last year. 2017 FB Pull% Gainers Name 2017 HR/FB 2016 HR/FB 2017 FB Pull% 2016 FB Pull% Diff Austin Hedges 29.4% 0.0% 52.9% 11.1% 41.8% Stephen Vogt 7.7% 7.4% 53.9% 20.5% 33.3% Matt Holliday 20.0% 17.9% 50.0% 17.0% 33.0% Jason Heyward 13.3% 4.8% 53.3% 24.7% 28.7% Mark Reynolds 41.7% 15.2% 50.0% 22.8% 27.2% Dustin Pedroia 0.0% 9.9% 52.6% 26.5% 26.1% Yasiel Puig 17.4% 12.0% 47.8% 21.7% 26.1% Taylor Motter 29.4% 8.7% 64.7% 39.1% 25.6% Byron Buxton 0.0% 13.5% 57.1% 32.4% 24.7% Averages 17.7% 9.9% 53.6% 24.0% 29.6% As a top catching prospect, Austin Hedges was always known for his defense, rather than his hitting ability. But something clicked at Triple-A last year, as he enjoyed a major breakout, especially on the power front. Was it for real? 57 early season at-bats say yes. It’s silly to compare his FB Pull% to last year since he hit just nine flies, but his 52.9% mark is more than double the current 24.1% league average. There’s obviously little chance he sustains a 29.4% HR/FB rate, however the huge pull percentage is a good sign that his power gains in the minors last year were for real. Stephen Vogt is a veteran so it’s interesting to see that he has more than doubled his pull%. However, his HR/FB rate has barely budged so far. That shouldn’t last very long though, as his FB Hard% is essentially the same as it’s always been. He just needs to stop popping up, which is probably the big reason why the HR/FB rate hasn’t moved. Man, is this the same Matt Holliday?! Not only is he pulling his flies like never before (his current mark is double his previous career high), but he’s also running a walk rate above 20% to rank fifth in baseball! He’s also swinging and missing more than ever and stopped hitting line drives. This actually looks exactly like an older player making the adjustments he needs to remain productive. The shape of his performance may not be what we expected, but even at age 37, he’s not done yet. Jason Heyward homered again yesterday, suggesting that perhaps his new swing is finally paying off? His three homers on the season have now come in his last four games. His FB Pull% is a bit more than double his career average, so maybe this is all part of a conscious effort to rediscover his lost power. He’ll be an interesting one to follow this season, but the early returns are positive. It’s not just Coors Field, as Mark Reynolds has hit two of his five homers in away parks. But he&rsqu[...]



Launch angles — April 25, 2017

2017-04-25T12:00:01+00:00

All the baseball nuggets you need to start your day. The MLB season lasts half the year, and it can be hard for the average fan to keep up. That’s where we come in. Every day during the 2017 regular season, Beyond the Box Score will be recapping all the biggest action from the previous day — with a sabermetric slant, of course — and looking ahead to what today will bring. Yesterday’s biggest play Brian Dozier clears the bases — +.324 WPA Brian Dozier is so good. He’s off to a somewhat slow start to the season — his 2-for-5 night against the rangers brought his wRC+ just above average, to 102 — but he’s one of the only parts of this Twins team that is consistently worth watching. It’s him and Miguel Sano, basically, with perhaps Byron Buxton too if you can stand the pain of watching a top prospect struggle so mightily, and Max Kepler if you’re Carson Cistulli. Beyond those players, the Twins are a pretty bad team without much of a plan to get better at any point in the near future, and for that reason, I found myself surprisingly happy when Minnesota didn’t trade Brian Dozier this offseason. Reportedly, the Dodgers offered them top pitching prospect José de León, who ended up going to the Rays in the Logan Forsythe deal instead once the Twins chose to hold onto Dozier for the beginning of the season. Was that a good idea? Maybe, maybe not; prices for players do go up at the deadline, but it could be that none of the playoff hopefuls are in need of a second baseman, or that those who are can’t meet the Twins’ price. Minnesota is taking a risk, to be sure. But it means that Brian Dozier will play in Target Field for at least a few more months, and it means that the Twins will win a few more games than they would otherwise. Behind Dozier on the Twins’ depth chart is Eduardo Escobar, probably, and while he’s also sort of interesting in his own right he’s unequivocally not as good as Dozier. It feels like there’s often a sense among the analytical baseball community that as soon as a team has no shot at making the playoffs in a given year, they should pull the trigger on a rebuild immediately. But even the universe of non-playoff baseball seasons can be split into better and worse seasons; one where the Twins win 78 games and Brian Dozier puts on a show for the first half is better than one where the Twins win 64 games and are barely worth watching. There’s a real cost to rebuilding, even when a team is already bad. Brian Dozier is great. I’m glad he’s on the Twins. This was a good pitch at the bottom of the zone and he drove it to the gap. With two outs and the Twins down by two, most outcomes lead to the inning ending with the Rangers still in the lead, which is why this play had such an impact on the game. Yesterday’s best game score Miguel González — 84 Game Score was developed by Bill James as a quick way to evaluate a starting pitcher’s performance. The score begins at 50, with points added for outs and strikeouts, and subtracted for walks, hits, and runs. A score of 70 is very good; a score of 90 is outstanding. Miguel González is probably not going to be part of the next great White Sox team, but as with Dozier, he’s a player I’m glad Chicago has chosen to hold on to, because it makes their season substantially more[...]



Podcast: “I Don’t Give You The Milk, Just Because You Got The Cow Tweeting Out Stuff About The Milk!”

2017-04-25T12:00:00+00:00

We're back with a new edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast, that was recorded at some point in time recently, but we won't reveal when!  On today's show, we catch up on Madison Bumgarner losing his motorcycle's license, Starling Marte losing his GNC Rewards Card, and the Red Sox losing their shizz over Manny Machado.  Spikes up, Dan!  We also have big news from our friends at FantasyDraft with our own Podcast RAZZBALL ONLY FANTASYDRAFT CONTEST!!!!!  It's only $5 to join and you play against yours truly in our own contest tonight.  Makes me feel special!  We also play some FMK, and preview what we're looking for in the week ahead including Christian Arroyo's callup.  Here's the latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast: Download from iTunes PS - Sorry we ran outta time this week, but you now can join the Pod by leaving us a dime at this link, and we'll include as many as we can on the show.  Leave us a message and we'll answer next week!  Best promptness ever!(image) We're back with a new edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast, that was recorded at some point in time recently, but we won't reveal when!  On today's show, we catch up on Madison Bumgarner losing his motorcycle's license, Starling Marte losing his GNC Rewards Card, and the Red Sox losing their shizz over Manny Machado.  Spikes up, Dan!  We also have big news from our friends at FantasyDraft with our own Podcast RAZZBALL ONLY FANTASYDRAFT CONTEST!!!!!  It's only $5 to join and you play against yours truly in our own contest tonight.  Makes me feel special!  We also play some FMK, and preview what we're looking for in the week ahead including Christian Arroyo's callup.  Here's the latest edition of the Razzball Baseball Podcast: Download from iTunes PS - Sorry we ran outta time this week, but you now can join the Pod by leaving us a dime at this link, and we'll include as many as we can on the show.  Leave us a message and we'll answer next week!  Best promptness ever!(image) (image)



Roto Riteup: April 25, 2017

2017-04-25T11:15:00+00:00

The Roto Riteup would like to remind you that there is no place in baseball for firearms: Must be tough to be Brett Anderson and have snipers shooting at you at the time pic.twitter.com/VOer0R8hq4 — Sammy Reid (@SammyReidFI) April 25, 2017   On the Agenda: 1. Baseball Twitter Gets Pun-ny 2. Eric Thames 3. Various […]The Roto Riteup would like to remind you that there is no place in baseball for firearms: Must be tough to be Brett Anderson and have snipers shooting at you at the time pic.twitter.com/VOer0R8hq4 — Sammy Reid (@SammyReidFI) April 25, 2017   On the Agenda: 1. Baseball Twitter Gets Pun-ny 2. Eric Thames 3. Various News and Notes 4. Streaming Pitcher Options   Baseball Twitter Gets Pun-ny This blurb has no fantasy advice in it whatsoever. However, if you like bad baseball puns, there was an hour starting at about 7:40pm EST where twitter went absolutely pun crazy. Here are a few of my favorites: As Kuhl as the other side of a dumpster fire. — Dan Strafford (@DanStrafford) April 24, 2017 Eric Thames #Brewers with A-mir-aculous shot to RF…. — Greg Jewett (@gjewett9) April 24, 2017 A mere ga-regression in progress? — Vlad Sedler (@RotoGut) April 25, 2017   Eric Thames Thames continues to not only crush the ball, but he helps fangraphs writes crush baseball puns: @BrocNessMonster thame old story — Alex Chamberlain (@DolphHauldhagen) April 25, 2017 Aside from that, crazily enough, he has hit 7 of his home runs against the Reds this season and he gets to play them 14 more times this year. That means aside from the fact he is on about a 80 homer pace, he is on pace the crush the Reds for another 10 homers. His wRC+ is 258 and he is sporting a .537. I am sure he will slow down, but who knows when and how much. I would be looking to sell now because the price will be astronomical, but I understand people wanting to ride the hot streak.   Various News and Notes Aaron Nola hit the DL with a lower back strain. He is expected to miss only 1-2 start before rejoining the team. While no injury is good news, we can be glad that at least it is not an arm issue. The talent has not been the question with Nola, it has been health. Hopefully this is a speed bump that he will ride past quickly. Multiple reports have Dodgers phenom Julio Urias as the projected starter for Thursday against the Giants in spite of the fact that manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce who it will be. Kenta Maeda has been pushed back to Fri. Dave Roberts won’t say Julio Urias is starting Thursday. But Julio Urias is starting Thursday. — Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) April 25, 2017 Urias has been great in AAA, pitching 14 innings with a 1.93 ERA and a 9.64 k/9. Pick him up in all formats even if his stay is abbreviated. Miguel Sano has been suspended for one game by MLB for his involvement in a skirmish with pitcher Matt Boyd and catcher James McCann in Saturday’s game. Matt Boyd received no suspension, just an “undisclosed fine” per a press release by MLB. Sano is playing amid an appeal. In terms of fantasy, most likely Sano will either win his appeal and not have to sit out or the Twins will find him an off day to serve the suspension on. Ultimately, this just further reinforces to players that MLB won’t drop the hammer on them when they get out of line. For[...]



Bud Norris picks up another save

2017-04-25T11:14:00+00:00

Closer Monkey - Instant email alerts whenever there's a closer change. Closer depth charts to help you stay ahead. April 25, 2017 Los Angeles Angels – The Angels traded for veteran reliever David Hernandez and immediately used him in a big spot.  With the Angels clinging to a one run lead in the eight inning, Hernandez came on with a runner on first and one out.  He retired the only two batters … Continue reading The post Bud Norris picks up another save appeared first on Closer Monkey.Closer Monkey - Instant email alerts whenever there's a closer change. Closer depth charts to help you stay ahead. April 25, 2017 Los Angeles Angels – The Angels traded for veteran reliever David Hernandez and immediately used him in a big spot.  With the Angels clinging to a one run lead in the eight inning, Hernandez came on with a runner on first and one out.  He retired the only two batters he faced to preserve the lead.  Bud Norris pitched the ninth to record his second save. Updated hierarchy: *Norris | Parker | Hernandez.* = closer-by-committee Seattle Mariners — Edwin Diaz is still the closer in Seattle, but you may see him used more in non-traditional closer spots.  Manager Scott Servais said that Diaz needs to pitch and he can’t always just save him for the ninth inning.  We don’t think this will impact Diaz’s fantasy value in a huge way so don’t overreact if you see Diaz enter the game in a non-save situation. Hierarchy remains: Diaz | Vincent | Rzepczynski. Minnesota Twins — Matt Belisle pitched a perfect eight inning ahead of closer Brandon Kintzler last night.  It was Belisle’s third hold of the season, and with Ryan Pressly struggling, Belisle has likely moved into first in line for saves behind Kintzler. Updated hierarchy: Kintzler | Belisle | Pressly. VULTURE SAVE WATCH:Today1. Blake Parker – Bud Norris has pitched in four of the last five days.2. Matt Belisle/Ryan Pressly – Brandon Kintzler has appeared in two straight games and three of the last four. Wednesday 1. Jorge de la Rosa – Fernando Rodney has pitched in two of the last three and would likely get Wednesday off if he pitches on Tuesday.2, Trevor Rosenthal – If Seung-Hwan Oh pitches on Tuesday, that will make it four of the past five days. The post Bud Norris picks up another save appeared first on Closer Monkey.[...]



“Smart Baseball” Is a Baseball Statistics Education in Three Parts

2017-04-25T10:00:00+00:00

Keith Law's new book is a comprehensive guide of the past, present and future of baseball statistics.Smart Baseball has something for every baseball fan. (via Harper Collins) Given how long he’s been focused mainly on scouting prospects in his job at ESPN, one can sometimes forget just how well versed and influential Keith Law has been to the sabermetric community through the years. But we shouldn’t, and his new (and first) book, Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, serves as a reminder of his deep well of knowledge. While the whole book may not be of interest to loyal readers of sabermetric sites like FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus and this site, there is most certainly interesting material for even the most strident follower of sabermetrics. (via Harper Collins) As with many books that are meant to appeal to as broad a base of potential customers as possible, this book is tasked with educating those who are not yet sabermetrically inclined while still teaching something to those who are. It is a fine line to tread, and Law does the best he can, offering good nuggets of info and good examples to use when striking down the narratives of the past in the chapters that will be more mundane to the devoted sabermetric reader. Conversely, he does a good job of explaining core sabermetric concepts without getting bogged down in too much math that is likely to turn off the more casual baseball fan. Law lays out the book in three parts. Part One will be least appealing to loyal readers here. If you’re familiar with Law’s work or his tweets, you can probably guess what the theme of this section, titled “Smrt Baseball,” is. In case you’re not familiar with why Law would leave the “a” out of “smart” there, observe: This first section is filled with lessons that most sabermetric readers learned a long time ago. Chapters focus on individual statistics that are no longer in vogue in the sabermetric world, such as pitcher wins, runs batted in, fielding percentage and saves. This part of the book takes up the first third, and it is where Law is at his snarkiest. It is also where the book is likely to have the greatest impact generally. While many sabermetric readers pay for ESPN Insider and form a portion of Law’s audience, the reality is that the majority of people likely know him from his television appearances on the Worldwide Leader, and as such, this section is aimed at them. Examples like Bob Welch winning the 1990 American League Cy Young Award over Roger Clemens and Dave Stewart is one example Law leans on, as well as Barry Bonds losing the 1991 National League Most Valuable Player Award to Terry Pendleton. The latter example is at the end of the first chapter, titled, “Below Average: The Fundamental Flaws of Batting Average.” To close out that chapter, Law explains why some traditional stats are so hard to kick, and lays out what is essentially his mission statement for Part One — helping fans get past what they’re used to in order to arrive at a more enlightened place. So if the appeal of batting average as the lord of hitting stats isn’t accuracy, or ease of calculation, then what is it? In[...]



Bullpen Notes: April 24, 2017: New Next Up In Milwaukee/Arizona & More

2017-04-25T08:44:00+00:00

Are you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morningAre you following @Rotoprofessor on Twitter? If not you should be, as we Tweet out all the important bullpen notes every morning from the previous day’s games. Who is in jeopardy of losing their job? Who is worth the speculative add? Here are this morning tweets (Please note we won’t be posting these on the website every day, so make sure you follow @Rotoprofessor to ensure you don’t miss a thing): MIL: Interesting for Barnes after Knebel (1 R/2 H/2 BB). Even w/team down have to wonder if next up changing #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 BAL: Brach w/4th SV (1 BB/1 K). Proving he can do job & will remain must own as HLD guy once Britton returns #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 LAA: Norris gets 2nd SV (1 H/1 BB/1 K). Appears going to get opps w/Bedrosian out but won't last long in role #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 ARI: Rodney gets clean SV (1 K) w/De La Rosa (1 R/2 H/2 K) in 8th. Despite struggles latter may be next up #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 SF: Another SV for Melancon (7 K vs. 1 BB on season). Hasn't allowed R since 1st app & has steadied bullpen #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 MIN: Kintzler gets another SV (1 BB/1 K). Not much of a K pitcher but is going to hold job while succeeding #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 CIN: Ariel Hernandez opened eyes in MLB debut (5 K/2.2 IP). Had 14 K over 8.0 IP @ AAA. Control only question #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 WAS: Treinen implodes in non-SV (3 R/6 H/0.1 IP). If had any visions of returning to closers role forget them #MLB #FantasyBaseball #closers — Rotoprofessor (@Rotoprofessor) April 25, 2017 Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings: Top 50 Prospects1-50 Catcher1-10 First Base1-10 Second Base1-10 Shortstop1-10 Third Base1-10 Outfielders:1-1011-20 Right Handed Pitchers:1-1011-20 Left Handed Pitchers:1-10 [...]



ET: The Extra Thamesbeastrial

2017-04-25T07:01:00+00:00

Eric Thames went 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and hit two more homers (9, 10).  *does exaggerated yawn*  Justice Eric Ruth Thames is like, "Yeah, I had a harder time in Korea, ya'll suck."  Jer-Ru the Damaja is like, "The Sun Also Rises in the East, and sets in Milwaukee when I'm done hitting homers, goodnight."  At this point, I'm surprised Justice didn't hit, like, 80 homers a season in Korea.  Who got this guy out?  An NL team should sign that guy.  Or watch the Korean broadcasts of the games to see how they got him out, if for no other reason than the weird game show-like moments in-between innings when they'd have contestants try to find which part of the stadium is made of chocolate.  (I know this is Japanese, but it's funny, so stop with your judging.  Leave that to the Justice!) Anyway, here's what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:(image) Eric Thames went 2-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and hit two more homers (9, 10).  *does exaggerated yawn*  Justice Eric Ruth Thames is like, "Yeah, I had a harder time in Korea, ya'll suck."  Jer-Ru the Damaja is like, "The Sun Also Rises in the East, and sets in Milwaukee when I'm done hitting homers, goodnight."  At this point, I'm surprised Justice didn't hit, like, 80 homers a season in Korea.  Who got this guy out?  An NL team should sign that guy.  Or watch the Korean broadcasts of the games to see how they got him out, if for no other reason than the weird game show-like moments in-between innings when they'd have contestants try to find which part of the stadium is made of chocolate.  (I know this is Japanese, but it's funny, so stop with your judging.  Leave that to the Justice!) Anyway, here's what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:(image) (image)



Minor MLB Transactions: 4/24/17

2017-04-25T04:02:00+00:00

Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league… Mariners righty Jonathan Aro has been hit with a 50-game suspension for an unspecified violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, per an announcement. Unlike some recent suspensions, the sanction was not tied to performance-enhancing drugs, making it seem likely that Aro’s suspension…Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league… Mariners righty Jonathan Aro has been hit with a 50-game suspension for an unspecified violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, per an announcement. Unlike some recent suspensions, the sanction was not tied to performance-enhancing drugs, making it seem likely that Aro’s suspension relates to a drug of abuse. The 26-year-old reliever had been outrighted off of the 40-man roster previously. He has seen 11 innings of MLB action over the past two years, but has spent the bulk of his time since the start of 2015 pitching in the upper minors. In 88 Triple-A frames, Aro owns a 2.86 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9. The Padres announced that they have recalled outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A. With Travis Jankowski hitting the 10-day DL owing to a bone bruise on his right foot, the club was in need of another option in the outfield. The 27-year-old Blash has continued to punish pitching at the highest level of the minors, though it remains unclear how long a look he’ll get at the MLB level. For now, at least, he’s holding onto a 40-man spot and will get at least a brief shot to return to active duty in the majors. The Twins will select the contract of right-hander Nick Tepesch from Triple-A Rochester prior to tonight’s game, two sources tell Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). Minnesota recently optioned fifth starter Adalberto Mejia to Triple-A and placed long reliever Justin Haley on the 10-day DL, so Tepesch could conceivably fill either of those spots (though the Twins already made a pair of corresponding roster moves, recalling Kennys Vargas and Buddy Boshers). The 26-year-old Tepesch inked a minor league deal with Minnesota this offseason and has fired 18 innings with a 2.00 ERA and a 17-to-4 K/BB ratio so far in Triple-A. In 223 Major League innings — most of which came with the Rangers when Twins GM Thad Levine was an assistant GM in Texas — Tepesch has a 4.68 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 43.5 percent ground-ball rate. The corresponding 25-man and 40-man roster moves for Tepesch’s arrival remain unclear. [...]



Bullpen Report: April 24, 2017

2017-04-25T03:39:00+00:00

• Brad Brach had his 10th scoreless appearance tonight getting his fourth save on the year. Brach most likely will give up a run this year and he won’t run a .063 much longer but his FIP/xFIP is currently at 1.50/2.96, proving he’s pretty damn good and not just benefiting from some batted ball luck. […]• Brad Brach had his 10th scoreless appearance tonight getting his fourth save on the year. Brach most likely will give up a run this year and he won’t run a .063 much longer but his FIP/xFIP is currently at 1.50/2.96, proving he’s pretty damn good and not just benefiting from some batted ball luck. Brach will continue to close while Britton is on the DL with Darren O’Day and Mychal Givens setting up. O’Day has been more effective in his last couple of appearances but has been shakier than normal this year. He’s been a staple in the O’s pen for so long that I think Showalter will give him a pretty long leash but if he keeps struggling, Givens could leapfrog him on the totem pole. In between blaming Dustin Pedroia for not controlling his teammates, Britton can be found playing catch and should be back in Baltimore soon. Brach is certainly worth owning even if he’s not seeing the ninth inning, and so long as Britton is on the shelf he’s a near top tier option for saves. • Speaking of scoreless appearances, Brandon Kintzler had his 9th consecutive this evening getting his fifth save. Given Kintzler’s strikeout rate last year I tabbed Ryan Pressly as a draft target but Kintzler’s hot start gives him a longer leash. For what it’s worth, Kintzler still has a scary 5/4 K/BB ratio in 9.1 innings this year but his scoreless start is forcing me to change this situation to green. As far as a green is concerned though I would keep a keen eye on this situation, if things start taking a down turn it could move fast in Minnesota. Kintzler has never missed bats but historically has posted a great Ground Ball Percentage (career 58.3%)  but even that has dropped to 47.8% this season. Kintzler’s BABIP will rise from .174 and once that starts we might move the situation for yellow but for now he is safe. If/when regression occurs Ryan Pressly and Matt Belisle are waiting in the wings. •  As the weather warms on the east coast and the flowers bloom, it’s time to change a couple of colors on the grid. I’ve downgraded Washington’s situation to red as Koda Glover has seen a couple of save chances of late. He didn’t start the ninth inning in either save chance but Shawn Kelley has had some injury concerns and this is somewhat of a committee still as nobody ever truly knows what’s in the head of Dusty Baker. Kelley and Glover are still must owns. Additionally, while Matt Bush had a little injury concern with his shoulder, he’s the best reliever in Texas and is pitching in the ninth. Also, as he recently pitched on back-to-back days, there isn’t much concern that the Rangers won’t use him as a standard closer. It’s possible that Sam Dyson wins some brownie points whenever he returns but I’ve upgraded Bush to yellow.[...]



DraftKings Cheat Sheet, Tuesday, April 25th

2017-04-25T03:33:01+00:00

Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…(image)



FanDuel MLB Cheat Sheet: Tuesday, April 25th

2017-04-25T03:33:00+00:00

Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…Hello Fake Baseballers! Are you ready for another six months of the daily baseball grind? I know I am. And…(image)



The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – April 25, 2017

2017-04-25T03:19:00+00:00

Check out our DraftKings and FanDuel Cheat Sheets! Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 25, 2017.…Check out our DraftKings and FanDuel Cheat Sheets! Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 25, 2017.…(image)



Offseason In Review: Minnesota Twins

2017-04-25T01:52:00+00:00

This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s Offseason In Review series. The full index of Offseason In Review posts can be found here. The first offseason of the Twins’ new-look front office was headlined by a litany of Brian Dozier trade rumors that never came to fruition. Ultimately, the winter proved to be a quiet one for a…This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s Offseason In Review series. The full index of Offseason In Review posts can be found here. The first offseason of the Twins’ new-look front office was headlined by a litany of Brian Dozier trade rumors that never came to fruition. Ultimately, the winter proved to be a quiet one for a club that has spent the better part of a decade in the American League Central cellar. Major League Signings Jason Castro, C: Three years, $24.5MM Matt Belisle, RHP: One year, $2.05MM Total spend: $26.55MM Trades and Claims Claimed SS/2B/3B Ehire Adrianza off waivers from the Brewers Acquired Rule 5 RHP Justin Haley from the Angels in exchange for cash Traded RHP Pat Light to the Pirates for cash Extensions None Notable Minor League Signings Craig Breslow, Drew Stubbs (released), Chris Gimenez, Ryan Vogelsong (released), Nick Tepesch, Paul Clemens, J.B. Shuck, Ben Paulsen, Matt Hague Notable Losses Trevor Plouffe, Tommy Milone, Kurt Suzuki, Juan Centeno, Logan Schafer Needs Addressed The 2016-17 offseason marked the first test for new chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine — the two men that were tasked with leading the new Twins front office following the surprising dismissal of Minnesota GM Terry Ryan (now a special advisor with the Phillies). Those unfamiliar with the Twins may raise an eyebrow at calling it “surprising” for a 100-loss team to fire its GM, but virtually no organization has shown loyalty in its front office and coaching staff like the Twins. Incredibly, Falvey is just the fourth man to assume the top spot in Minnesota’s baseball ops hierarchy since 1985. While Falvey and Levine didn’t gut their new roster in the same manner that some of their peers have in recent offseasons upon being hired (e.g. Jerry Dipoto in Seattle, David Stearns in Milwaukee), the new Minnesota duo did cut ties on one of the team’s longest-tenured players in the form of Trevor Plouffe. Rather than pay the third baseman a projected arbitration salary north of $8MM, Minnesota outrighted Plouffe, clearing a path for Miguel Sano to man third base. Along those same lines, Falvey and Levine waited until late in the offseason to designate Byung Ho Park for assignment, banking on the fact that the remaining $9.25MM on his contract would allow him to pass through waivers and remain in the organization without occupying a 40-man spot. That’s exactly how the situation panned out, and he’ll now look to work his way back to the Majors after a strong Spring Training once he returns from an injury in Triple-A. While an overabundance of corner/DH options (many of whom haven’t been impressive) has been a recent issue [...]



Dodgers Place Joc Pederson On 10-Day DL; Julio Urias To Make Season Debut

2017-04-25T00:11:00+00:00

The Dodgers have placed center fielder Joc Pederson on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by outfielder Brett Eibner. Pederson, who just turned 25, has a groin injury. It doesn’t seem likely to keep him out for a lengthy stretch, but the Dodgers evidently felt it was…The Dodgers have placed center fielder Joc Pederson on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by outfielder Brett Eibner. Pederson, who just turned 25, has a groin injury. It doesn’t seem likely to keep him out for a lengthy stretch, but the Dodgers evidently felt it was worth getting out ahead of with a DL placement. He’ll look to pick up his hitting a bit upon his return, after posting a tepid .220/.322/.340 mark through his first 18 games of the season. Notably, too, Los Angeles is set to bring up talented young starter Julio Urias for his 2017 debut, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). The 20-year-old had opened the year at Triple-A as part of an effort to control his innings. Urias has unsurprisingly dominated at the highest level of the minors, though he has also permitted nine walks in his 14 frames. Still, he has nothing left to prove there; the young southpaw already turned in 77 innings of 3.39 ERA ball in the majors last season. It seems that Urias will take the ball Thursday, meaning that righty Kenta Maeda will be bumped from his next scheduled start. He’ll pitch Friday, per skipper Dave Roberts, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets. The 29-year-old has been hit hard in the early going, with 24 hits and seven long balls recorded against him through 19 innings — though he has also maintained his excellent strikeout (9.0 K/9) and walk (2.4 BB/9) rates. After this first outing, Urias could stay in the majors or head back to Albuquerque. How things shake out could also depend in part upon the status of Rich Hill, who is still on the DL with a troublesome blister.[...]



D-Backs Place Shelby Miller On 10-Day DL

2017-04-24T23:51:00+00:00

6:50pm: Miller is slated to visit orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. 4:36pm: As expected, the Diamondbacks have moved righty Shelby Miller to the 10-day with forearm tightness, per a club announcement. He was forced out of his start yesterday with an apparent injury, prompting obvious…

6:50pm: Miller is slated to visit orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets.

4:36pm: As expected, the Diamondbacks have moved righty Shelby Miller to the 10-day with forearm tightness, per a club announcement. He was forced out of his start yesterday with an apparent injury, prompting obvious concern from within the organization.

[RELATED: Updated Diamondbacks Depth Chart]

For the time being, reliever Silvino Bracho will take the open roster spot. It’s not immediately clear how the club will fill the gap in its rotation, though it seems reasonable to think that righty Archie Bradley could get a shot. The former top prospect has thrived thus far in a bullpen role.

There’s still no word on a diagnosis for Miller, who entered the year looking to engineer a turnaround following a disastrous debut season in Arizona. Through 22 innings over four starts, he had worked to a 4.09 ERA with 8.2 K/9 but also 4.9 BB/9 while sitting around a career-best 95 mph with his fastball.

All things considered, those numbers provided both cause for optimism and reason for wariness. The hope remains that the 26-year-old has avoided a significant injury, so that both Miller and the team have the chance to find out whether he’s capable of making a full rebound.

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Knocking Down The Door: Delmonico, Dziedzic, Lamet, Marte, Pivetta, Smith

2017-04-24T23:32:00+00:00

The 2017 debut of “Knocking Down The Door” is here! Over the next four months, I will be identifying Minor Leaguers who I believe are putting themselves in position to earn a big league call-up in the near future. In some cases, they get the call before the article is even published. In many others, they end up…The 2017 debut of “Knocking Down The Door” is here! Over the next four months, I will be identifying Minor Leaguers who I believe are putting themselves in position to earn a big league call-up in the near future. In some cases, they get the call before the article is even published. In many others, they end up staying in the Minors for one reason or another and end up on my All-Snub team. Here’s a look at six Minor Leaguers who are currently “Knocking Down The Door” to the Major Leagues. Nicky Delmonico, 3B/1B, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte) In what was a heated spring competition to become the team’s designated hitter versus right-handed starting pitching, the White Sox went with the known commodity, former Phillie Cody Asche, over fellow lefty batters Delmonico and Danny Hayes. But with Asche’s subpar big league track record—he posted a .669 OPS in 371 games before the Phillies non-tendered him this past offseason—he wasn’t going to enter the season with much of a leash. And after a 2-for-35 start with the White Sox, his opportunity could be coming to and end. Delmonico, a former 6th round draft pick of the Orioles who was traded to the Brewers in 2013 and released prior to the 2015 season, resurrected his career with a breakout 2016 season with the White Sox (.837 OPS, 17 HR, 30 2B between Double-A and Triple-A). While he fell short of making the 2017 Opening Day roster despite an impressive spring, he has continued to make noise down in Triple-A, where he’s slashing .328/.397/.492 after a 10-for-18 week in which he walked twice and struck out just one time. The 24-year-old will get a shot at some point in 2017 and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it happened before the end of April. White Sox Depth Chart   Jonathan Dziedzic, SP, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha) Barring injuries, cracking a spot in the Royals’ rotation will be no easy task in 2017. Even No. 5 starter Nathan Karns, who has a career 4.53 ERA and a Minor League option remaining, should have enough job security to get him through a few bad starts. But pitching well out of the Triple-A rotation, as the lefty Dziedzic has done through four starts, will not go unnoticed. With a 1.09 ERA, two walks and 23 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched, the 26-year-old Dziedzic is putting himself in position to be next in line for a big league rotation spot. Whether that happens in the near future could depend on Karns, who was knocked around in his last start (4.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 HR). The Royals could also decide that Karns is a better fit out of the bullpen, an idea that has be[...]



Bullpen Report 4.24.17

2017-04-24T22:31:00+00:00

Hector Neris is finally the closer for the Philadelphia Phillies. This after the Jeanmar Gomez trial lasted most of the…Hector Neris is finally the closer for the Philadelphia Phillies. This after the Jeanmar Gomez trial lasted most of the…(image)



Giants To Promote Christian Arroyo, Designate Chris Marrero

2017-04-24T22:24:00+00:00

5:39pm: Struggling first baseman/outfielder Chris Marrero has been designated for assignment, Shea tweets. In the other corresponding move, veteran utilityman Aaron Hill was sent to the 10-day DL with a forearm strain. 5:24pm: The Giants will promote top infield prospect Christian Arroyo, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). Also joining the MLB roster…5:39pm: Struggling first baseman/outfielder Chris Marrero has been designated for assignment, Shea tweets. In the other corresponding move, veteran utilityman Aaron Hill was sent to the 10-day DL with a forearm strain. 5:24pm: The Giants will promote top infield prospect Christian Arroyo, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). Also joining the MLB roster is veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Arroyo, who’s still just 21 years old, was taken 25th overall in the 2013 draft. Since, he has steadily moved up the ladder toward the majors, with the Giants facing steadily growing calls to give him a shot at the game’s highest level. While there have been several opportunities, San Francisco has to this point kept the youngster in the pipeline. Arroyo struggled last year upon making the leap to Double-A, causing him to drop out of Baseball America’s listing of the top-100 prospects (though he remains 89th on MLB.com’s ranking) and further extending his timeline. But that all changed with the beginning of the current season. The Giants have staggered out of the gates and will now be forced to navigate the tough NL West without ace Madison Bumgarner. Arroyo, meanwhile, has thrived in brief action at the game’s highest level. Through 69 plate appearances, he is slashing a robust .446/.478/.692. While he has drawn just a pair of walks, Arroyo has also gone down on strikes only eight times. While he has played mostly at shortstop in the minors, Arroyo will line up at third base upon his arrival in San Francisco. Indeed, he’ll plug right into the lineup, taking the sixth spot in the batting order while starting at the hot corner tonight. Eduardo Nunez is playing in left field; presumably, he’ll see a good bit of time there while also stepping into the infield when needed. Given that the season is only a few weeks old, Arroyo will be set up nicely to qualify for arbitration as a Super Two player down the road — assuming, at least, that he can stick in the bigs from this point forward. If he entrenches himself in San Francisco, Arroyo would reach arbitration eligibility in advance of the 2020 season but not qualify for free agency until 2024.[...]



Mariners: Taylor Motter could see more playing time this season

2017-04-24T20:57:00+00:00

The Mariners have lucked out by having Taylor Motter fill in at shortstop. He could also see more playing time in the outfield. The Seattle Mariners, like many other teams, are dealing with a few injuries. The major one is to shortstop Jean Segura, who is currently dealing with a hamstring issue. As a result, […]

Mariners: Taylor Motter could see more playing time this season - Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks - Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks - Practical and useful fantasy baseball advice and analysis.

The Mariners have lucked out by having Taylor Motter fill in at shortstop. He could also see more playing time in the outfield. The Seattle Mariners, like many other teams, are dealing with a few injuries. The major one is to shortstop Jean Segura, who is currently dealing with a hamstring issue. As a result, […]

Mariners: Taylor Motter could see more playing time this season - Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks - Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks - Practical and useful fantasy baseball advice and analysis.

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Steve Delabar Suspended 80 Games For Failed PED Test

2017-04-24T20:48:00+00:00

Right-handed reliever Steve Delabar, who signed a minor league deal with the Indians this winter, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine, the league announced Monday. Delabar hasn’t been active with the club in Triple-A due to the pending suspension, the Indians added in their own announcement. The 33-year-old…

Right-handed reliever Steve Delabar, who signed a minor league deal with the Indians this winter, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine, the league announced Monday. Delabar hasn’t been active with the club in Triple-A due to the pending suspension, the Indians added in their own announcement.

The 33-year-old Delabar has fallen off the radar somewhat in recent years, but he’s a veteran of six Major League seasons, most recently tossing eight innings with the Reds in 2016. Delabar was an All-Star with the Blue Jays back in 2013 and served as a very effective member of Toronto’s relief corps from 2012-13 before declining in 2014-15. (Of anecdotal note, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince reminds, on Twitter, that the Jays initially acquired Delabar from the Mariners by trading a fairly promising young outfielder by the name of Eric Thames to Seattle.)

Given the depth of Cleveland’s bullpen, it didn’t seem especially likely that Delabar would resurface on their big league roster in the near future, though a strong performance and/or injuries at the Major League level could certainly have created an opportunity. In 194 2/3 Major League innings, Delabar has a 4.07 ERA with 11.2 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 36.6 percent ground-ball rate.

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NL East Notes: Nola, Braves, Nationals

2017-04-24T19:28:00+00:00

The Phillies announced today that righty Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day DL due to a strained lower back. “After receiving treatment over the last few days, the symptoms improved, but he still felt some tightness during his side session yesterday,” GM Matt Klentak said in a press release. “Our hope and expectation is that this…The Phillies announced today that righty Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day DL due to a strained lower back. “After receiving treatment over the last few days, the symptoms improved, but he still felt some tightness during his side session yesterday,” GM Matt Klentak said in a press release. “Our hope and expectation is that this will not be a lengthy DL placement and that Aaron will miss only one or two starts.” Nola joins right-hander Buchholz on the disabled list, thus creating a temporary avenue for another of the Phillies’ upper-level arms to get a look in the Majors. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer and MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki both suggest that right-hander Nick Pivetta (originally acquired in exchange for Jonathan Papelbon) could be the preferred option to start in Nola’s place (Twitter links). More from the NL East… Earlier today, the Braves traded veteran reliever David Hernandez, who was with the team’s Triple-A affiliate, to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds a bit of context, tweeting that while Hernandez posted solid numbers in Gwinnett, he did not impress the club to the extent that fellow veteran Jason Motte has to this point while pitching in Triple-A. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, meanwhile, tweets that Hernandez had a May 1 opt-out, so Atlanta decided to move him while it was still possible to get a marginal return. Notably, O’Brien suggests that Motte could soon get a look in Atlanta’s Major League ’pen. Nationals manager Dusty Baker confirmed that the team will give Jacob Turner a spot start tonight while Stephen Strasburg is out on paternity leave, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post writes. While Turner’s track record in the Majors isn’t impressive, Baker suggested that the team wasn’t comfortable bringing someone up to make their first Major League start at Coors Field. “We thought about other guys, but we didn’t really want their first start in the big leagues to be in Colorado,” Baker said of that potentially daunting task. “He has big league experience and Stras is having a second child. If not, it would’ve been Stras out there.” [...]



Mixing Fantasy & Reality: Montgomery & Cueto

2017-04-24T19:17:00+00:00

Quick Look: Jordan Montgomery Montgomery is probably getting a little more press than the average 24-year-old mildly-touted pitching prospect because he’s a Yankee. I decided to see what is behind the hype by watching yesterday’s start. • He’s a left-handed pitcher with a high 3/4 arm slot and pitches straight to home. No weird left-handed […]Quick Look: Jordan Montgomery Montgomery is probably getting a little more press than the average 24-year-old mildly-touted pitching prospect because he’s a Yankee. I decided to see what is behind the hype by watching yesterday’s start. • He’s a left-handed pitcher with a high 3/4 arm slot and pitches straight to home. No weird left-handed pitcher angles going on here. • Fastball (Four-seam: 30, 2-seam: 50): He has a two and four-season fastball which both sit at 89-92 mph. He’s able to command both of them around the plate, but the two-seamer should perform better. It has some nice late life as seen here. Two-Seam fastball His four-seamer isn’t any faster and is just straight. I’m not surprised hitters are posting a .467 ISO against it. • Change (40):  82-85 mph. Sometimes he had a nice 12-6 late drop and other times he hung it to get crushed. This pitch was considered his best in old scouting reports but it was not effective in the game I watched (24% SwStr% on the season). This is one of his better ones. • Curveball (50+): 76-81 mph with a nice 12-6 standard break. The pitch can get loopy at times if he throws it too slow. He could throw if for strike and had no problems starting a hitter off with it as he did here to David Freese • Cutter/Slider (50): 82-86 mph with drop and glove-side run. This pitch is the new difference maker which has improved his prospect status. It’s not a devastating slider but it gives him another wrinkle to his arsenal. • One issue he kept dealing with was giving away breaking pitches way out of the zone. He wasn’t consistent with the break on his slider and change. If he wants to be an above average major leaguer, he is going to need to be more consistent with these pitches. Overall, I am buying him especially in keeper or dynasty leagues. With four decent pitches, he has a nice floor. If he drops the anemic four-seamer and focuses on refining the breaking pitches, he could fit into the mold of a Julio Teheran or Kyle Hendricks. None of the three have elite fastball velocity but they do have good control and above average breaking pitches thereby making them viable #2 or #3 fantasy options.   Johnny Cueto: Injured? I about ignored Cueto when he showed up on my injury finder. Cueto is probably the most inconsistent starter in the league and he uses it to his advantage. The inconsistencies make finding changes almost impossible with him but some are show[...]



Itchy Triggs Finger …And The Top 100 Starting Pitchers, Week 4

2017-04-24T19:00:00+00:00

So here's something ridiculous - I think the Oakland A's are my least favorite team.  Scratch that, F THE CARDS!  Even if they do have the best fans in baseball...  A's are my least favorite AL team.  And it's nothing to do with particular players, trying to be "hipster" and not liking Monyeball (It's a cool movie!  Love the music.), or residual ire due to the Warriors.  Ugh, NBA with only 2 or 3 competing teams every year - BORING!  It just seems like every year, their offense is lacking, yet they pound on pitchers when you least expect it.  Cough, James Paxton, cough.  It's so annoying!  It all started when I owned CC Sabathia on some dynos back when he started with the Yankees, and it felt like every April or May the A's would tag him for 7 or 8 runs every game.  Plus, ya know, I didn't buy into Josh Donaldson and Khris Davis decided to be a consistent power hitter in a shittier park, but we'll end this absolutely ludicrous rant here. Due to the above, I don't watch a ton of A's, so I have yet to see Andrew Triggs pitch.  His scouting report is unimpressive: his fastball actually lost velocity to be a sub-90 MPH pitch, he gets groundballs which usually means Ks should be low, is 28 and a converted closer, and it just all feels like smoke and Black Mirrors.  He's a robot!  But maybe that perception is a reaction to my A's bias, especially since he went into yesterday with three straight scoreless start wins.  Well, he did allow 2 unearned runs in one of em and 1 in another - yet another reason I think it's Black Mirrors.  So I decided to watch his start Sunday afternoon to finally get the book out on the guy, and here's how he looked against the Mariners:So here's something ridiculous - I think the Oakland A's are my least favorite team.  Scratch that, F THE CARDS!  Even if they do have the best fans in baseball...  A's are my least favorite AL team.  And it's nothing to do with particular players, trying to be "hipster" and not liking Monyeball (It's a cool movie!  Love the music.), or residual ire due to the Warriors.  Ugh, NBA with only 2 or 3 competing teams every year - BORING!  It just seems like every year, their offense is lacking, yet they pound on pitchers when you least expect it.  Cough, James Paxton, cough.  It's so annoying!  It all started when I owned CC Sabathia on some dynos back when he started with the Yankees, and it felt like every April or May the A's would tag him for 7 or 8 runs every game.  Plus, ya know, I didn't buy into Josh Donaldson and Khris Davis decided to be a consistent power hitter in a shittier park, but we'll end this absolutely ludicrous rant here. Due to the above, I don't watch a ton of A's, so I have yet to see Andrew Triggs pitch.  [...]



SSNS: Vargas, Bautista, Miley, Gausman

2017-04-24T18:15:00+00:00

Last week, I inaugurated RotoGraphs’ Small-Sample Normalization Services, or SSNS. Said services attempt to contextualize good and bad starts within a particular player’s history of achievements (or lack thereof). Assessing player performance based on small samples seems distinctly difficult in April, when, for whatever reason, we perceive players with tattered histories as blank slates. Occasionally, […]Last week, I inaugurated RotoGraphs’ Small-Sample Normalization Services, or SSNS. Said services attempt to contextualize good and bad starts within a particular player’s history of achievements (or lack thereof). Assessing player performance based on small samples seems distinctly difficult in April, when, for whatever reason, we perceive players with tattered histories as blank slates. Occasionally, there’s merit to these perceptions. More often, we find out a player’s April is no different than his May or June or July, for example, when a small-sample performance might go less noticed than it would when starting from zeroes. Here are a handful of players that have caught my eye lately. Name: Jason Vargas, KCR SPGames started: 3K/9: 10.02BB/9: 0.87EPL: 1Assessment: Paul Sporer wrote about Vargas’ recent accomplishments, noticing Vargas sharpened his command, bolstering his already-plus change-up. It has correlated with what appear to be among the best strikeout and walk rates he has ever posted, at least recently, and never before simultaneously, as evidenced by the yellow K/BB line: What I also noticed: his release points look different, and they’re resulting in different movement on his pitches (or at least his fastballs), too. If one were to ask why he’s more effective, it appears to be related to his command. But if one were to ask why his command looks better, well, I might wager it’s because of a minor mechanical adjustment. We are talking mere inches horizontally and vertically — and it might be a good time to mention I’m not a physicist nor a biomechanics expert. Alas, I’m not sure if the movement theory is legitimate. Regardless, a mechanical adjustment could very well cultivate sustainable results. We’ve seen it time and again. It’s just so hard to believe coming from a perennially mediocre starter. But maybe we should. AEPL: 2 * * * Name: Jose Bautista, TOR OFGames played: 18K%: 32.1%BB%: 13.6%ISO: .074BABIP: .190EPL: 5Assessment: Bautista had, like, one RBI through his first 15 games. Needless to say, that’s bad. Would it surprise you to know it’s unprecedented for him, at least since the beginning of 2011? Probably not. I think we’re all probably more concerned about the strikeouts and power, though: The strikeouts seem like a uniquely post-2016 All-Star Brea[...]



Judge Away: I Missed on Aaron …And The Top 100 Hitters, Week 4

2017-04-24T18:00:00+00:00

When you're 6'7", 275 lbs as an athlete there are a few limits to how you can reach the highest level. Running back? Nope. Shortstop? Nope. Quarterback? Well, Jared Lorenzen did at about 4 bills, so maybe? But as much as Andre 3000 loved singing about the prototype, you can't put that label on a 6'7", 275 lb outfielder. Remember Richie Sexson? Ugh. Hey, @JB...what would it look like with you galavanting around the outfield? #Razz30 All that to be said, I was totally out on the Aaron Judge experiment. He has massive power in his bat, but I just didn't see his build and makeup translating well into a MLB slugger. Same worry I have about Phillies minors monster Dylan Cozens. In 670 plate appearances at AAA the last two years Judge hit around .250 with 27 HR. He improved from 2015 to 2016, but I just held some big hesitations. And man...was I wrong.(image)

When you're 6'7", 275 lbs as an athlete there are a few limits to how you can reach the highest level. Running back? Nope. Shortstop? Nope. Quarterback? Well, Jared Lorenzen did at about 4 bills, so maybe? But as much as Andre 3000 loved singing about the prototype, you can't put that label on a 6'7", 275 lb outfielder. Remember Richie Sexson? Ugh. Hey, @JB...what would it look like with you galavanting around the outfield? #Razz30 All that to be said, I was totally out on the Aaron Judge experiment. He has massive power in his bat, but I just didn't see his build and makeup translating well into a MLB slugger. Same worry I have about Phillies minors monster Dylan Cozens. In 670 plate appearances at AAA the last two years Judge hit around .250 with 27 HR. He improved from 2015 to 2016, but I just held some big hesitations. And man...was I wrong.(image) (image)



Angels Acquire David Hernandez

2017-04-24T17:55:00+00:00

12:55pm: Hernandez is expected to be added directly to the Angels’ active roster, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. There’s a vacant 40-man spot on the club’s roster already, so the Angels will only need to make a 25-man roster move to accommodate him. 12:19pm: The Angels announced on Monday that they’ve acquired right-hander David Hernandez…12:55pm: Hernandez is expected to be added directly to the Angels’ active roster, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. There’s a vacant 40-man spot on the club’s roster already, so the Angels will only need to make a 25-man roster move to accommodate him. 12:19pm: The Angels announced on Monday that they’ve acquired right-hander David Hernandez from the Braves in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Hernandez isn’t on the 40-man roster, but the veteran righty could conceivably join the Halos’ Major League club in the near future to add some depth to a relief corps that has lost Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Huston Street and Mike Morin to injuries already in 2017. [Related: Updated Los Angeles Angels Depth Chart] Hernandez, 32 next month, spent the 2016 season with the Phillies, where he logged a 3.84 ERA with 9.9 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 with a 37.3 percent ground-ball rate in 72 2/3 innings. While he opened the season as the closer in Philly last year, he quickly relinquished the role following an ugly start to the year. Hernandez rebounded to finish the year with useful numbers, and while his career 4.10 ERA isn’t necessarily impressive, he’s a relatively hard-thrower (average 94 mph fastball in 2016) that has punched out 9.1 hitters per nine innings pitched in parts of seven Major League seasons. Hernandez is off to a strong start to the season in Triple-A, where he’s yielded just one run on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in eight innings of work. While Bedrosian’s injury seems likely to be rather short-term in nature, Street won’t return until at least June, and it’s not yet known how long Bailey will be out. With all of the injuries on the roster, the Halos currently have a patchwork bullpen consisting of Bud Norris, Yusmeiro Petit, Blake Parker, Brooks Pounders, Deolis Guerra and lefty Jose Alvarez.[...]



Beyond the Box Score is looking for writers

2017-04-24T17:15:01+00:00

Ever wanted to write about baseball? Now’s your chance! Beyond the Box Score has existed for nearly 12 years now: Our first post went up on May 2, 2005. Since then, we’ve published 9,313 articles (this is the 9,314th), on any and everything baseball. We’ve also had some distinguished alumni; for starters, Marc Normandin — who wrote that inaugural post — now writes for the SB Nation MLB hub. Our writers have gone on to work for Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, ESPN, and even a number of MLB teams. Now, we're looking for more! If you've always liked the analysis here at BtBS and thought you'd fit right in, apply! If you don't think you'd fit right in, apply anyway — you never know! We welcome everyone, regardless of experience; we'll pick the people whose writing stands out. If you’ve never written about baseball before, that's not a problem — just write up something you think would function well as a BtBS article, and we'll gauge your writing ability off that. Entry-level positions won't be paid, but we have several paid writers on staff; you can fill one of these positions if you stick around for a few months and improve. Everyone has to start somewhere, and we want to be your jumping-off point. We especially encourage women writers, writers of color, and gender variant writers to apply. The lack of diversity in the baseball writing community has always troubled us, and while we won't give priority to anyone, everyone is more than encouraged to apply. You’re welcome here no matter what. Send an email to btbscore@gmail.com with your clip(s)/sample article(s). Regardless of whether we hire you, we'll reply and provide feedback on your work. Good luck to all applicants! We've been around for nearly a dozen years, and with your help, we'll keep going strong. Ryan Romano is the co-managing editor for Beyond the Box Score. He also writes about the Orioles for Camden Depot, sometimes. Follow him on Twitter if you enjoy angry tweets about Maryland sports. [...]Ever wanted to write about baseball? Now’s your chance! Beyond the Box Score has existed for nearly 12 years now: Our first post went up on May 2, 2005. Since then, we’ve published 9,313 articles (this is the 9,314th), on any and everything baseball. We’ve also had some distinguished alumni; for starters, Marc Normandin — who wrote that inaugural post — now writes for the SB Nation MLB hub. Our writers have gone on to work for Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, ESPN, and even a number of MLB teams. Now, we're looking for more! If you've always liked the analysis here at BtBS and thought you'd fit right in, apply! If you don't think you'd fit right in, apply anyway — you neve[...]