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Baseball Chatter 03/28

Jung ho Kang has been denied a US work visa, so until he can go through the appeal process in Korea, you wont be seeing his drunk ass playing any baseball.

It is unclear weather he was denied because he might have even more DUI charges in a third country or if they just want to keep a close eye on him in case he messes up his probation.

 

Josh Harrison might not get to play second base everyday like he would prefer, but he will once again see plenty of at bats and qualify and multiple positions. He played third base yesterday

There was a series of strength tests done this morning in the training room and (we) felt like he was improved to the point of initiating more throwing
Price is not expected to pitch in a game before May. He wants to be sure he is fully healed before he returns.

 

Lance Lynn will make a start in a minor league game Thursday. I will be keeping a keen eye after he only lasted one inning in his last outing because of ‘a kink’ in his back

Raul Mondesi is named the Royals second baseman, and Paulo Orlando is probably going to platoon with Brandon Moss.

Scott Kazmir will begin the season on the disabled list, go figure

The Dodgers will monitor Julio Urias in the minors to start the season

You will see a combination of Ronald Torreyes, Pete Kozma and Tyler Wade at shortstop for the Yankees

Joe Maddon claims he isn’t worried about Wade Davis and his 19.64 ERA this spring. It is only 3 innings of work though. Davis did have elbow issues last season too though…

The biggest problem he’s having right now is command. Velocity looks good. The break on the breaking ball looks good. He’s just not throwing the ball where he wants it.Joe Maddon on Wade Davis

Addison Russell played catch yesterday and says his return is “probably two days out.” He could backdate a stint on the 10-day disabled list to the last time he participated in a game if he needs to.

Ben Zobrist might return Tuesday.

Ian Happ led the Cactus League in RBI and was tied for fourth in both home runs (five) and hits (20). He also tied for third in total bases (39).

Rockies’ Starters this spring have walked 15 batters combined

Colin McHugh has ‘dead arm’ after throwing 47 pitches in one outing and will start the regular season on the 10-day disabled list

Jorge Soler has an oblique strain, which can take up to six weeks. Last season he sat out from June 6 to Aug. 5 with hamstring issues.

Marcell Ozuna 2016:

 

Baseball Chatter 03/27

Matt Harvey threw his fastball between 92-94 mph for the second straight outing and even topped out at 97 mph

Koda Glover is reportedly likely to win their closer job. Reportedly likely? Come on now. That means nothing by the way. Maybe Glover will be named the Nats closer, and maybe he won’t. Here is what Dusty Baker said on Saturday.

“We’ve kind of settled on a guy, but we’ve got to tell the guy first”

If you take that as “Koda Glover is our closer” then you are much smarter than I, and might want to go read Fangraphs instead. Wait, no. Stay.

Ben Zobrist plans to return today or tomorrow after missing a week with neck soreness. The Cubs also have been without Addison Russell since Friday, when he was scratched because of back soreness. Are you still concerned about Javier Baez getting enough at bats in Chicago this season? Don’t be.

Devin Mesoraco is still recovering from the shoulder and hip surgeries he had last year and is likely to start the season on the disabled list. Imagine that. Actually, I can’t imagine him healthy so..

Jake Lamb showed some serious splits in his first full major league season (2016):

  • Overall: 29 home runs, 31 doubles, 91 RBI
  • 1st Half: .291 average, 371 OBP, 20 homers, 84 hits in 289 at bats
  • 2nd half: .197 average, .283 OBP, 9 homers, 46 hits in 234 at bats
  • Vs. Lefties .164 average, .279 OBP, 18 hits in 110 at bats
  • Vs. Righties: .271 average, .346 OBP, 25 homers, 112 hits in 413 at bats

Charlie Tilson will wear a walking boot for a few more weeks but the White Sox have yet to name a center fielder to replace him.

Although the Cardinals third base job was an ‘open competition’ heading into spring, Mike Matheny suggested Friday that Jhonny Peralta will be guy.

Jedd Gyorko owners need not fret, as he will still get plenty of at bats at several positions. He entered last season without a set position and ended up with 400 at bats and led the team with 30 home runs. Feel better? Good.

He’s looked as good as we had hoped. [I am] really happy with where Johnny is right now. I like how he’s swinging the bat. I like how he’s playing third. He’s done what he’s needed to do this spring at third base. I kind of anticipated that we’d see that strength back in his swing, But you never know for sure. It definitely looks like it’s supposed to, and like it did before he got hurtMike Matheny on Peralta

Giovanny Urshela and Yandy Diaz, are still in camp and the Indians still need a third baseman.

Michael Conforto may start the season with the Mets if Juan Lagares needs to hit the disabled list after he strained his left oblique running out a foul ball.

Brody Chernoff, son of Indians GM Mike Chernoff was interviewed by Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton yesterday…pretty funny stuff

The Rays have shown interest in Rob Refsnyder so the Yankees put his talent on display when they played against each other on Sunday. Refsnyder played a little left field and a little right field. The Yankees seem happy to make a deal as this would open up a spot on the 25-man roster for shortstop Pete Kozma.

The Twins optioned Jose Berrios to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday, so the fifth spot in the rotation will go to either Adalberto Mejia or Tyler Duffey. That’s what happens when you miss the first couple weeks of spring pitching in the World Baseball Classic.

It looks like the Padres will open the season with Yangervis Solarte at short and Erick Aybar at third.

Colby Rasmus is probably going to start the season on the disabled list because he hasn’t fully recovered from the surgeries he had late last year.

We’ve been trying to progress up to that point but it’s probably looking like I’m going to start on the DL, It’s nothing major but I don’t feel that I’m ready to run something down in the gap for nine innings. I’ve been doing a lot of outfield work and it feels pretty good but I don’t think I’m quite to that point yet. We’ll just have to see how it goes day by day. I had hoped that I would be able to maybe DH, but that’s not what they’re looking for me to do.Colby Rasmus

Manager Kevin Cash agreed.

Gregory Polanco was not in the lineup Sunday due to a sore shoulder, and GM Neal Huntington said it’s too early to make a definitive statement about his Opening Day status

Travis Jankowski, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe will man the outfield in San Diego, and Jabari Blash would make a nice fourth outfield option or a potential platoon-mate with the left-handed Jankowski. Blash hit home run number six on Saturday, putting him tied for the second most homers this spring.

Jason Heyward finally hit yesterday. There is a great article on Heyward over at mlb.com, by Joe Posnanski. It is worth a read if you are a Cubbie fan or if you happen to own Heyward. It is worth a read if you even remotely like and respect Theo Epstein. It is a great read, period.

I want to grasp on to the hope for Heyward’s comeback so bad, especially when I see Theo saying things like this:

If in baseball, you have a culture where it’s OK for guys to hide every time they struggle, you’ll never amount to anything, The critical moments are defined by how you respond to adversity, as a player but as a team too. Here is one of our highest-paid players, a huge character guy, and he’s struggling. How does he respond to that? He doesn’t hide. He holds his head up high. He takes responsibility. And he leads — he still leads. That’s just a great example for everyone. Who knows how it’s going to turn out for Jason? We don’t. But he deserves it. Everyone is pulling for him.Theo Epstein on Heyward

Carlos Rodon was scratched from his start Friday with tightness in his bicep and will likely miss the start of the season. Stay tuned, as he is on his way to getting a second opinion.

Steven Matz has no ligament damage in his elbow but his expected return is unclear. Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo might share the rotation spot until Matz is back in action.

Matt Cain and Ty Blach could share duties as the Giants fifth starter, or the Giants could do without a fifth starter altogether for the first month of the season.

The Pirates may not announce their fifth starter until hours before the game on opening day. GM Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle have both said none of the four candidates have separated themselves from their competition this spring. The four candidates include: Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault, Trevor Williams and Drew Hutchison

Cha-Cha made his radio debut in the city this past weekend when him and Tony C spoke about the Tout Wars drafts on their show ‘Fantasy Bagels and Baseball’. Plus they are joined by special guest Patrick Davitt from Baseball HQ.

Baseball Chatter 03/24

Robert Gsellman had only one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings yesterday, and now has a 1.56 ERA over five starts this spring.

Steve Pearce will play left field tomorrow for the first time this spring, but we still won’t know if he will be fully healthy by opening day. If your league uses a minimum of 20 games played to qualify at a position, he will not make the cut as he only played 19 games in the outfield last season.

Pearce underwent surgery in September to repair the flexor mass tendon in his elbow, and if healthy, would be an affordable option for power and average. That is of course, if you are willing to take the chance that he remains healthy enough to matter. The 33 year-old is the poster boy for what we call a ‘high risk, high reward’ player.

A platoon of Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera in left field is not really a viable option for the Blue Jays, because they both hit lefties better than righties. Dalton Pompey is is also out of commission due to a concussion.

Well, a platoon is what we’re looking at (Melvin Upton and Ezequiel Carrera), and we have to figure out what we’ll do with (Steve) Pearce. It’s the same thing at first base, we’ll see how much (Pearce) gets there, he’s kind of an X-factor right now. Kendrys is our DH, so we’ll figure out what’s the best spot for Pearce, and go from there. John Gibbons

John Farrell made clear that he doesn’t intend to rely too heavily on any one man at the catching position, suggesting it’ll be a fairly evenly shared platoon situation between Leon and Christian Vasquez — at least to start the season.

Yoan Moncada batted .317 with a team-high 13 RBI this spring. In his last seven games, he went 10-for-22 with four doubles and three home runs. He will start the season at Triple-A

Michael Brantleycleared another hurdle” playing in back-to-back games and has participated in three-of-four games this week.

It’s all good for Brantley, He remains every bit as good as he was before the game. He won’t play (Friday), but we will get him in the next day. Opening Day is not the finish line for him. I know it’s something everyone shoots for, but as long as he maintains his health and feels good, we’re going to be happy. His goal is to play every day, but we’re not there yet (in terms of talking about Brantley’s schedule) If we could teach everyone to swing like that, we would. He’s taking good swings … Michael was a good hitter before and if he’s healthy, he’ll be a good hitter again.”Terry Francona

JaCoby Jones has been the most consistent in the battle for the center-field job in Detroit, hitting .313 with a .371 on-base percentage, .531 slugging (two home runs) and .903 OPS.

His competition is Mikie Mahtook and Tyler Collins, both are having a horrible spring

Chris Carter struck out 20 times in 37 at-bats heading into yesterday, and then went on ahead and struck out two of the four times he went to the plate. Carter’s strikeout average of .537 (22-for-41) dwarfs a batting average of .122 (5-for-41).

 

Baseball Chatter 03/23

With Zack Greinke, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin all but locked in to the Diamondbacks rotation, it seems likely that Archie Bradley starts 2017 in the bullpen.

Shelby Miller threw his four-seam fastball between 93-96 mph yesterday, topping out at 97 mph. Manager Torey Lovullo thinks the righty is “ready to do some special things this year,”

You know there isn’t a bunch to talk about when Jose Quintana is being talked about again, even though nothing is any different than it was a month ago. The White Sox are asking a ton, and no team has been willing to give up a ton to get him. It would make sense for the Sox to wait patiently until a contending team needs Quintana to make their dreams come true. Right before the trade deadline is my guess.

Hyun-Jin Ryu had another nice outing yesterday

Max Scherzer will not miss any starts due to the stress fracture in his right ring finger, he is scheduled to start the Nats third game of the season.

You know there is absolutely no news when we feel the need to talk about the fact that the Reds want to trade Zack Cozart again. It is ridiculous…Here is what we know:

  • Cozart is an excellent defender
  • He has a little power, but not much, 25 HR in 722 plate appearances over the past two seasons.
  • His AVG/OBP is mediocre at .254/.308

Do we really wonder why the Reds haven’t found a taker???

Bradley Zimmer could push the Indians to promote him in the summer should he take a step forward at Columbus, But it makes no sense to throw him into a platoon situation at the big league level right now and don’t forget that keeping prospects down in the minors for about a month gives the team an extra year of control.

DJ LeMahieu won a National League batting title last season, partially because two strikes didn’t bother him;

Jorge Soler is having a bad spring. What is new with this guy? Maybe if he got rid of that five pound gold chain around his neck…

After being signed to a nine year $30 million contract (plus a signing bonus of $6 million) in 2012, he has done everything but what he was paid to do. Hit home runs.

Scouting report: Soler is a big, physical presence which stood out a lot at the lower minors, as his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame towered over players who were of a similar age. At the plate, Soler starts with a slightly open stance and his hands high around his ears. He has a simple load with minimal draw back and generates good hip rotation with his swing. There’s a lot of leverage present in the swing as he creates good power lean. It leads to loud contact and plus plus power.

Soler has been benched more than once for not hustling, including more than once just last year, and also rode the pine after he ran toward an opposing dugout with a bat.

Lesson learned: Just because a kid is over six feet tall with a ‘strong lower body’, looks like an athlete and has quick bat speed does in no way, shape or form mean that he is going to be successful in the majors.

Curtis Granderson hit two home runs batting cleanup yesterday. Manager Terry Collins said it is“possibly” the batting order he will use to start the season. Here is what it looked like:

  1. Jose Reyes
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera
  3. Yoenis Cespedes
  4. Neil Walker
  5. Jay Bruce
  6. Lucas Duda
  7. Travis d’Arnaud .

Because Jeurys Familia is likely to face a suspension before the season starts, the Mets might consider using Zack Wheeler in the bullpen to start the season.

Wheeler has made it very clear that he wants to be a starter. Very clear.

I feel that guys that go to the bullpen get stuck in the bullpen, and I don’t want to do that,Because either you are doing bad and you stay in the bullpen because you can’t be a starter, or you are doing really good and they can’t afford to move you out of the bullpen. So you are going to get stuck there, and that’s why I’m trying to let everybody know that I’m not a bullpen guy, I’m a starter.Zack Wheeler

Kolton Wong has hit .167 (six-for-36) this spring and all six of his hits have been singles. He’s been on base nine times total – and struck out eight. Of the Cardinals with at least 30 at-bats so far in Grapefruit League play, only Stephen Piscotty (five-for-35, 1.43) and Wilfredo Tovar (five-for-31, .161) have a lower average than Wong’s. Piscotty has been struggling as he finds his timing with a new swing that gives him more time than he’s had in the past and allows more time to recognize pitches.

Baseball Chatter 03/22

Andre Ethier had an epidural shot in his lower back to ease the pain of his mild herniated disc and will miss the next 7-10 days, at least. The Dodgers have no shortage of replacements with Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Andrew Toles, Trayce Thompson, Franklin Gutierrez and Enrique Hernandez on the 25 man roster. Expect Toles to see regular playing time against righty pitching, and my boyfriend Gutierrez, taking care of lefties.

Last June Clayton Kershaw was diagnosed with a ‘mildly herniated disc’ in his back. Kershaw spent 75 days on the DL with that injury. Manager Dave Roberts said his understanding is that Ethier’s disc herniation is not as severe as Kershaw’s injury, which leads one to believe that Ethier almost will be out for a while.

Mac Williamson is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. Jarrett Parker to the rescue

The Padres, Rays and Yankees are at least somewhat interested in acquiring Nick Ahmed in a trade.

Yandy Diaz may be the best young hitter that I’ve seen in a Tribe spring training since Victor Martinez. He has the same confidence and knowledge of the strike zone of a young Martinez. Victor first came to Cleveland in 2002. Terry Pluto

Pluto also noted that Yandy will almost certainly start the season in the minors regardless of his hit tool. He needs to play everyday and he also needs to work on his defense.

Tyler Chatwood returned from his second Tommy John surgery last season, and threw a combination of fastballs about 91 percent of the time. He finished 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA. Chatwood struggled at home, which is no surprise since he calls Coors Field his home, going 4-8 with a 6.12 ERA. However, he went 8-1 on the road with a 1.69 ERA over 13 starts. The only pitcher to have a lower ERA while pitching at least 80 innings on the road in the past ten years was Jake Arrieta, whose ERA was 1.60 on the road in 2015.

The Yankees rotation:

Zack Wheeler showed us last week that he can still throw a 97 mph fastball, the question now is what his innings limit will be in 2017. It looks like the Mets will send him to an extended spring to start the season and the Mets just might go with that six man rotation they are always talking about.

2017 – Mets’ success hinges on a six-man rotation – NY Daily News

2016 – The Mets plan to implement a six-man rotation again in 2016 | FOX ..

2015 – The Uneasy, Perfect Fit: The Six-Man Rotation & the Mets | FanGraphs

2014 – Exploring the 6-Man Rotation – The Daily Stache

2013 – Six-Man Rotation Makes Sense For Mets And Their Stable Of Young

Michael Conforto will probably begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas unless some serious injuries occur between now and opening day.

Odubel Herrera showed improvement on nearly every level last season:

  • OBP improved by 17 percent
  • Walk rate doubled
  • Strikeout rate down
  • More home runs
  • Stole more bases.

Hunter Renfroe has the power to go deep at least 25 times as a rookie. However, he needs to work on his plate discipline or pitchers will consistently find a way to get him out.

It’s an area of work for him, I think spring hasn’t showed too much improvement in that area specifically. I think Hunter’s hit some balls incredibly hard. I think Hunter’s going to hit a lot of balls out of the ballpark before the year’s out. He still has work to do in that area, and we are constantly talking to him about that, and they’re working with him mechanically, working on his timing, trying to put him in a good position so he can make better swings. He’s got the ability to change the game. … It’s all going to be predicated on his plate discipline. He’s aware of that.Manager Andy Green on Hunter Renfroe

Manuel Margot will get some at bats today, for the first time since he exited a game March 5 with knee soreness. The Padres will likely send him to Triple-A for at least the three weeks it will take in order for them to add another season of control so rushing him back too soon serves zero purpose.

Articles By Paul Martin:

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  • Use Addition by Subtraction to Improve % Catagories
  • Michael Conforto Will Not Play First Base, He will Concentrate Only on Hitting
  • Auction Tip….If you overpay for a key player, adjust by knowing cheaper comps for lesser player of importance
  • Saying “I like this player” means little without saying why.
  • Most teams use more than five starters, Find a #6 on a good team for your reserves
  • Intentional Walks take 40 seconds
  • You should now be formulating various teams and referring to benchmarks
  • Michael Saunders is being totally undervalued
  • Zack Greinke accounts for nearly half (46.7%) of the Diamondbacks $72.8 million payroll in 2017
  • Pitching is key but it doesn’t have to be Clayton Kershaw. I am targeting three starters in the first five rounds
  • Banning laptops from drafts is ridiculous. You should still make lists though
  • No More Arguments over Thought of the day. I will have my own thought of the day
  • A thought a day keeps the doctor away

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