April 17th


Arodys Vizcaino – Injury

Braves closer Vizcaino underwent season ending shoulder surgery yesterday. The surgery was to clean up and remove scar tissue in his shoulder. The Braves’ bullpen has already had some other guys down on the IL such as Tuesday’s move to sending Venters to the IL, Winkler has been optioned, O’Day still has no timetable for return so the Braves’ bullpen is really not looking too hot. The first thing to think about is a Kimbrel return to Atlanta but that has been shot down already as unlikely. 


Nick Pivetta – Demoted

The Phillies announced that starter Nick Pivetta has been sent down to AAA. While he seemed to be a budding star last year pitching to a 3.7 FIP over 164 innings, he has struggled mightily this year thus far. Allowing the most hits and earned runs in the bigs in 2019, Pivetta has earned himself a trip to AAA for the time being. With the NL East in a four team race, the Phils need every bit they can get, and Pivetta hasn’t given them a reason to keep him there. 


Matt Moore – Injury Update

While previously reported that Moore would be returning from his knee surgery after only 6-8 weeks, the club told reporters yesterday that he will be out for the rest of the season. This came as such a surprise because many other players repairing only a meniscus tear would be back around the original timeframe. Might be reason to question if there was a setback, or a problem happened during the procedure. 


Notes 

  • Harrison Bader lands on the IL with a hamstring strain, only the minimum time is anticipated 
  • Marco Estrada has hit the 10 day IL with a lumbar back strain, he is known to have back issues



PITCH OF THE DAY

Nick Pivetta just making former MVP Jose Altuve look silly



Business of Baseball – Player Option

Definition

A player option is an optional year at the end of a contract that can be applied at the player’s discretion. In such cases, the player has the right to exercise his option and lock in that optional salary as a guaranteed sum or reject the option in favor of testing free agency.

Examples

Following the 2014 season, right-hander Dan Haren exercised a $10 million player option on his contract to remain with the Dodgers (although he was ultimately traded to the Marlins prior to the ’15 season). Conversely, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon declined a $14 million player option following the ’15 season and tested the free-agent market in search of a larger contract. He went on to re-sign with the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitcherList

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Talking Chop

April 15th


Shohei Ohtani –  Nearing Return

After a successful Tommy John surgery, two way phenom Ohtani is nearing his return to a major league lineup. He had a successful checkup yesterday, clearing him to begin swinging a bat. Once that starts, he will advance quickly. The Angels really need him back in the lineup as they have had Trout out of the lineup lately, and Justin Upton is still recovering. 


David Robertson – Injury

Closer David Robertson is the latest to hit the IL yesterday. He is suffering from soreness in his pitching elbow, which is no small thing. This is very well the first thing before a chain of lots of very bad things: most notably, Tommy John surgery. Robertson is in his first year of a two year contract worth $23MM. 


Francisco Lindor – Starting Rehab

Superstar Fransisco Lindor is heading to AAA Columbus to begin some rehab games. Obviously the Indians offense, and defense, has taken a hit without Lindor, but it has just been quite abysmal. Lindor will help, of course, but he can’t pick up all the slack. Kipnis has returned to the lineup as well, hopefully these two players can bring the offense back up if the Indians are looking to keep the AL Central crown. 


Notes

  • RHP Mike Folty of the Braves is set to only make one more rehab start before joining the big league rotation, the Braves really need it
  • Chris Iannetta to the IL with a strained lat, Rockies select Drew Butera from AAA
  • Jonny Venters hits the IL with a strained calf
  • Tyler Skaggs has landed on the IL with a left ankle sprain

PITCH OF THE DAY

I love seeing Darvish back on here, the Cubs desperately needed him back, and now he is pitching great again. Just look at this slider: unhittable ⬆️



Business of Baseball – No-trade Clause

Definition

A no-trade clause is a contractual clause that allows players to veto trades to certain teams. No-trade clauses are often worked into contract extensions and free-agent contracts as a perk for the players signing such deals.

Some contracts include partial no-trade clauses, which allow a player to block trades to a specified list of teams. In the case of a partial no-trade clause, the player that agrees to such a clause will sometimes be allowed to update on a yearly basis the teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent. In other instances, teams will concede to a full no-trade clause that allows the player in question to block a trade to all 29 other teams.

Beyond that, a player that has accumulated 10 years of Major League service time and has spent the past five consecutive seasons of that service time with one team gains the right — termed 10-and-5 rights — to veto a trade to any team.

Examples

Per the terms of his contract extension signed in 2011 — which spans the 2016-20 seasons — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was given the ability to block trades to 23 of the 29 other Major League teams. On the other end of the spectrum, Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco agreed to a very limited no-trade protection as part of his four-year, $49 million contract with Minnesota. As of December 2015, Nolasco was reportedly able to veto trades to just three teams.

The Reds’ Brandon Phillips reportedly invoked his 10-and-5 rights two separate times between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, blocking trades that would have sent him to the D-backs and to the Nationals.

The Nationals had interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015, but Papelbon had a no-trade provision in his contract that allowed him to block a deal to 17 clubs — including Washington. Papelbon also had a vesting option for 2016 in his contract with Philadelphia that would be exercised if he finished 48 games. As a means of enticing the right-hander to waive the no-trade clause, the Nationals offered to exercise that vesting option in advance, and Papelbon agreed to a slightly reduced rate of $11 million as a compromise. With those roadblocks worked out, the Nationals traded Minor League right-hander Nick Pivetta to the Phillies in exchange for Papelbon to complete the deal.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of ESPN.com

April 14th


Sean Newcomb – Demoted

After back to back seasons as a competent major league starter, Sean Newcomb is now facing himself back in AAA to work on his control. Always having good stuff, he has always seem to lack some control. In 2019 so far, he has really lost the strike zone. Walking more than striking out, it seems that the Braves are now looking to give his spot in the rotation to newly recalled Touki Toussaint while Sean works on his control in the minors. 

David Freitas – Traded

On a rather quiet Sunday, the Brewers and Mariners swapped players. Veteran catcher David Freitas has been acquired by the Brewers for a minor’s pitcher Sal Biasi. While rather interesting because he looks to be blocked on the surface, with Manny Pina, and starter Yasmani Grandal already in the majors, with Jacob Nottingham already on the 40-man, Freitas looks to be the fourth string catcher.

Notes 

  • Mike Trout will return to the lineup on Monday 
  • Jeremy Jeffress will return to the roster on Monday
  • Matt Moore will undergo knee surgery and will be shut down for 6-8 weeks

PITCH OF THE DAY

In honor of his complete game, one hitter with 9 Ks – Check out this nasty curveball by German Marquez



Business of Baseball – No-trade Clause

Definition

A no-trade clause is a contractual clause that allows players to veto trades to certain teams. No-trade clauses are often worked into contract extensions and free-agent contracts as a perk for the players signing such deals.

Some contracts include partial no-trade clauses, which allow a player to block trades to a specified list of teams. In the case of a partial no-trade clause, the player that agrees to such a clause will sometimes be allowed to update on a yearly basis the teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent. In other instances, teams will concede to a full no-trade clause that allows the player in question to block a trade to all 29 other teams.

Beyond that, a player that has accumulated 10 years of Major League service time and has spent the past five consecutive seasons of that service time with one team gains the right — termed 10-and-5 rights — to veto a trade to any team.

Examples

Per the terms of his contract extension signed in 2011 — which spans the 2016-20 seasons — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was given the ability to block trades to 23 of the 29 other Major League teams. On the other end of the spectrum, Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco agreed to a very limited no-trade protection as part of his four-year, $49 million contract with Minnesota. As of December 2015, Nolasco was reportedly able to veto trades to just three teams.

The Reds’ Brandon Phillips reportedly invoked his 10-and-5 rights two separate times between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, blocking trades that would have sent him to the D-backs and to the Nationals.

The Nationals had interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015, but Papelbon had a no-trade provision in his contract that allowed him to block a deal to 17 clubs — including Washington. Papelbon also had a vesting option for 2016 in his contract with Philadelphia that would be exercised if he finished 48 games. As a means of enticing the right-hander to waive the no-trade clause, the Nationals offered to exercise that vesting option in advance, and Papelbon agreed to a slightly reduced rate of $11 million as a compromise. With those roadblocks worked out, the Nationals traded Minor League right-hander Nick Pivetta to the Phillies in exchange for Papelbon to complete the deal.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Chicago Tribune

April 13th


Chris Davis – Busts Streak

After a 3-4 day against the Red Sox on a day game at Fenway yesterday, Davis officially ended his streak of going 0-54. Against former Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello no less. Now the longest hitless streak for a position player, who got the first hit since September 18, 2018. Davis had signed a 7-year $161MM deal before the 2016 season. 


Touki Toussaint – Called Up

Yesterday top prospect Touki Toussaint has been recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to man a post in the Atlanta bullpen. Touki came up for 5 starts at the end of last year and struggled with his command. He does have a top notch fastball and curve, but getting it in the zone has always been his issue. In shorter stints we will see if he can focus in a bit more, because his stuff is there to succeed.


Carlos Gonzalez – Called Up

Veteran OF Carlos Gonzalez has been called up to play in the Cleveland outfield. After being with the Rockies for the past 10 years, he will now be putting on an Indians jersey. The former MVP candidate and All Star will be called upon to help ease that dumpster fire of an outfield and lineup.


Notes 

  • CC Sabathia made his 2019 debut for the Yankees on Saturday
  • Jordy Mercer hits the IL, the Tigers announced a righty quad strain for him
  • Right Knee sprain shelves Ranger’s Roughed Odor

PITCH OF THE DAY



Reyes Moronta NINTEY ONE MPH CHANGEUP




Business of Baseball – Non-tendered

Definition

When a club “non-tenders” a player, it declines to give that player a contract for the upcoming season, thereby immediately making him a free agent. Players on the 40-man roster with fewer than six years of Major League service time must be tendered contracts each offseason by a set deadline — typically a date in early December — or non-tendered and released to the free-agent pool.

In many instances, a club will non-tender a player because it feels the raise he will receive in arbitration would be greater than his on-field value. In other cases, a club will non-tender a player simply to clear a spot on the 40-man roster — even if that player isn’t due much more than the league minimum the following season.

Examples

Henderson Alvarez was due to receive $4 million or more in arbitration following the 2015 campaign, in which he made just four starts before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Rather than tender a contract to a player with major durability concerns, the Marlins non-tendered Alvarez in December 2015.

Also in December 2015, the Astros elected to non-tender first baseman Chris Carter rather than pay him a raise on his $4.175 million salary from the prior season. Carter had belted 90 homers with Houston from 2013-15, but he also batted just .218 while striking out in 33.7 percent of his plate appearances during that span.

And though James Jones was not eligible for salary arbitration and would have made scarcely more than the league minimum in 2016, the Rangers non-tendered him in December 2015 to open a 40-man roster spot for further offseason maneuvering. Texas soon re-signed Jones to a Minor League contract, keeping him in the organization without expending a 40-man roster spot.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of NBC Sports

April 11th


Ozzie Albies – Extended

Well, it is STILL extension season. Yesterday the Atalanta Braves extended their all star second basemen to a 7-year, $35MM deal. Yes, while that is still a *ton* of money, it is quite controversial because of how it could potentially severely limit the earnings power of Albies, but also his young teammate Acuna who just got extended also. 


Jeff Passan – State of the Market

After the Albies extension yesterday, Passan of ESPN.com had a series of tweets explaining his position on why the Brave’s duo of extensions could very well hurt baseball. It was a series of 9 tweets; basically stating that because these young players have singed so many free agent years away for comparatively little money, they are not only hurting their own earning power, but for so many generations of ball players to come. 

He also goes on to blame the Braves, but really the market overall, for scaring these young players in taking a smaller amount than they are really worth. They see how sparse the free agent market is, and they don’t want to test it out; therefore taking less money. 

Click HERE for the thread


Clayton Kershaw – Return

Bill Plunkett of the Orange Contry Register tweeted today that Kershaw will be activated Monday and start for Los Angeles. Great news for the generational pitcher to get back on a major league mound after two minor league rehab starts!


Notes 

  • Victor Caratini to undergo a CT scan for his hand
  • Former Red Sox reliever Ben Taylor picked up by Diamondbacks
  • Bud Norris’ deal with the Nationals fell through

PITCH OF THE DAY



Lou Trivino with the NUTMEG! Pretty sure a nutmeg warrants an automatic PotD honors…




Business of Baseball – Non-guaranteed Contract

Definition

Players who are on arbitration (unless specified at the time of the agreement), Minor League or split contracts are not fully guaranteed their salaries.

Players on arbitration contracts who are cut on or before the 16th day of Spring Training are owed 30 days’ termination pay (based on the prorated version of his agreed-upon arbitration salary). A player cut between the 16th day and the end of Spring Training is owed 45 days’ termination pay (based on the prorated version of his agreed-upon arbitration salary). The arbitration salary becomes guaranteed if the player is on the 25-man roster when the season begins.

A player on a split or Minor League contract will earn the prorated portion of his Major League salary for time spent on the Major League roster. Clubs can also sign players to non-guaranteed contracts but still place them on the 40-man roster. Those contracts become guaranteed upon the player making the Major League roster out of Spring Training, but he may also be cut prior to Opening Day. Such cases are identical to arbitration contracts in that the club would owe either 30 or 45 days’ worth of termination pay, depending on the time at which the player is released.

Examples

Prior to the 2016 season, the Angels signed Craig Gentry to a split contract and Al Alburquerque to a non-guaranteed contract. Each player was added to the 40-man roster, but neither player’s contract was fully guaranteed at the time of the signing. Both contracts were contingent upon the players making the Major League roster in Spring Training.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of La Vida Baseball

April 2nd


Ronald Acuna – Extension

Yesterday the Braves announced an 8 year, $100MM extension with star OF Acuna. While breaking onto the scene last year at only 20 years old, he won the Rookie of the Year award for the National League, and even was 12th in MVP voting. Acuna batted to a 144 OPS+ in 487 PA after getting his call up. This deal also includes two options which could bring this to a 10 year, $134MM if exercised. The two options both have $10MM buyouts so there is at least $110MM guaranteed. 


German Marquez – Extension

Ace and sleeper for the Cy Young award (in my book) German Marquez has inked a 5 year extension with the Colorado Rockies that is worth $43MM. While he really set himself apart in the second part of 2018, he is nearly getting the same money that Blake Snell ($50MM) got after winning the Cy Young. Marquez and Snell have the same amount of service time, making them pretty good comparables to each other. 


Kevin Pillar – Traded

The Blue Jays and Giants completed a four player trade involving stellar outfielder Kevin Pillar on Tuesday. Newly minted GM Farhan Zaidi has been looking for some OF studs to roam the expansive field at Oracle park since taking over at the helm. The Giants sent three prospects back to Toronto: P Derek Law, IF Alan Hanson, and righty Juan De Paula. Pillar is a below average hitter against righties, but offers a 100 wRC+ against lefties making for a good platoon with Steven Duggar. Pillar is an elite defender and could see time in both corners as well as mainly being deployed in CF. 


Trea Turner – Injury

DO NOT TRY TO BUNT FOLKS!! In Tuesday’s game, Trea Turner tried to bunt and caught a 92 MPH Zach Eflin fastball right to his hand. When he did not even get to finish the at bat, you knew it wasn’t going to turn out good. X-Rays showed the fracture, we will update you when a timetable surfaces on when the exciting shortstop will start getting back in action.


Randal Grichuk – Extension

There have been a surprising amount of extensions happening even though the season has started! Usually they really slow down once the season starts. Not the case in 2019! Grichuk and the Blue Jays have come to terms on a 5 year, $52MM deal with several escalators as well. While his on base skills have never been his strength, he is a speedy outfielder which allows him to have great defensive numbers. This extension is on par with many several players with the same amount of service time. 


Notes 

  • Superstar Francisco Lindor is eyeing to be back by May with his calf strain
  • Rockies lefty Jake McGee has been placed on the IL with a left knee sprain
  • Jacob Nix of the Padres has decided to only rehab his injured elbow instead of undergoing Tommy John. 
  • After the Pillar Trade today, the Blue Jays have acquired OF Scorates Brito from Padres

PITCH OF THE DAY

Blake Snell NASTY slider



Business of Baseball – Contract Renewal

Definition

Players who haven’t signed a long-term contract extension or accrued the MLB service time necessary to be eligible for salary arbitration can have their contracts renewed by their clubs as one-year deals for the coming season.

These pre-arbitration players can negotiate their salaries but have little leverage, as clubs can choose to renew a contract for the Major League minimum if they cannot come to an agreement with the player. Of course, clubs may choose to sign their pre-arbitration players to one-year deals for more than the Major League minimum to build good will for future negotiations, but they are under no obligation to do so.

Clubs cannot reduce players’ salaries by more than 20 percent of what they earned in the previous MLB season — including a player’s base salary and additional payments such as performance bonuses, signing bonuses and deferred compensation — or 30 percent of what they earned two seasons prior, per the Maximum Salary Reduction clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Examples

The Red Sox were not able to come to an agreement with Mookie Betts on a salary for the 2017 season, so they renewed his contract for $950,000 — up from the $566,000 he earned in 2016. The Astros renewed Alex Bregman’s contract for the 2018 season, giving the third baseman $599,000 after he earned $539,400 in 2017.

Conversely, the Cubs and Kris Bryant came to an agreement on a $1.05 million contract for the 2017 season in Bryant’s last year before salary arbitration, setting a record for the largest one-year deal ever given to a pre-arbitration player.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of MLB.com

March 21st


Ichiro Suzuki – Announces Retirement

In a Mariners press release, Ichiro released this statement: 

I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball, both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball. I am honored to end my big league career where it started, with Seattle, and think it is fitting that my last games as a professional were played in my home country of Japan. I want to thank not only the Mariners, but the Yankees and Marlins, for the opportunity to play in MLB, and I want to thank the fans in both the U.S. and Japan for all the support they have always given me.

There is not many words that can describe just how important Ichiro has been to this game. Just looking at his numbers in the MLB, he is a sure hall of famer. Add in the 6 years he played in the NPB in Japan, and he has the most hits ever. Just a glance at his baseball reference page, he was not only a perennial all star, but always in the race for MVP. After winning MVP in his rookie season, he AVERAGED 13th in MVP voting over his first 10 years; also being an All Star and Gold Glover in each of those 10 years. 


Paul Goldschmidt – Extension

Wow, this has been quite the extension season the past two weeks or so. This time, it will be the newly acquired Paul Goldschmidt with the Cardinals. 5 years and $130MM sounds about right for a 1B who has been an all star almost every year since he got to the bigs. I would rate Goldy and Arenado two of the most underrated performers in the game. Last offseason the Red Sox signed JD Martinez who is a little better hitter, but a worse fielder for 5/$110MM. This deal will not include any opt outs, but JD’s did given the dollar differences. Goldy’s deal with the Cardinals does have full no trade protection, so any deal moving him would require his permission. 


Blake Snell – Extension

Yes, another extension. After being disappointed with such a pitiful raise since winning (only) the Cy Young award in 2018; Blake Snell has come to terms with the Rays on a 5-year, $50 MM deal with several incentives and bonuses depending on his placement in the Cy Young race. This buys out all his arbitration years, and one free agent year. It looks like he will become a free agent in his age 30 season. Primed for another big payday if he continues this pitching dominance. 


Corey Knebel – Injury

Today it was reported that Brewers RP Corey Knebel has a tear in his UCL. UCL injuries scream Tommy John, but apparently the aren’t sure if it is bad enough for that. This is probably why they have entered into the Kimbrel market. If Kimbrel has lowered his ask to only one year, it would only make perfect sense for the Brewers to fill the void from Jeffress and Knebel starting the year on the IL. 


Sandy Leon – Trade Rumors

Marly Rivera of ESPN reports that the Red Sox are “actively shopping” catcher Sandy Leon. We have known since the beginning of ST that the Sox’s plan was to only carry two catchers this year. Last offseason they hashed out a multi year extension with starter Christian Vazquez, and so the battle really came down between Blake Swihart and Leon. Leon has never hit well, while when given ABs Swihart has a near average batting line. It has been clear to me that Swihart should be given the ABs when his average potential is clearly better, and has some defensive versatility: playing 1B, 2B, 3B and some OF. Sandy Leon is well regarded as a terrific defender and is heralded for handling a pitching staff. Those intangibles can only take you so far, as we are seeing here. 


Connor Joe – Traded

Today the Giants and Reds paired up to make a trade: Connor Joe will be going to the Giants, and the righty Jordan Johnson and cash will be going back to the Reds. To make room on the 40-man, Drew Ferguson will be DFA’d. In yesterday’s cookie, I talked about how Ferguson was part of the outfield logjam of guys trying to make it. It seemed like the Giants saw that logjam and turned it into a utility infielder.


Notes

  • Brad Miller Opts out of his minor league pact with the Dodgers
  • Braves Outright Sam Freeman
  • Phillies release Drew Butera, Andrew Romine
  • Hunter Pence has made Rangers’ roster




Stat of the Day – LEAD

Lead Distance represents the distance between the base and the baserunner’s center of mass as the pitcher makes his first movement — either to home or to the base on a pickoff attempt.

Lead Distance might be the most overlooked aspect of stealing bases. Certain baserunners — those who can react quickest to a pitcher’s move — take leads that are longer than an average player. In doing so, the distance between the base stealer and the base he is trying to swipe is cut down.

Sure, Maximum Speed, Acceleration, a catcher’s Pop Time and a pitcher’s delivery all have a major impact on stolen bases, too. But on a bang-bang play, the runner’s initial Lead Distance can sometimes make all the difference. (The same can hold true even when the runner is not attempting to steal, but rather when there is a close play at the next base after the ball is put in play.)


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Photo Curtesy of 500ish Words

March 11th


Kyle Seager – Injury

Seattle’s Kyle Seager has an injured tendon in his left hand Greg Johns of MLB.com reports and will be having surgery to repair it. Greg says that the Mariners will miss their third basemen for all of April. While Seager has been an above average batter all of his career, he had his first season struggling a bit in 2018.

Mike Foltynewicz – Elbow Not Ready

All Star starter Mike Foltynewicz will not be ready to start the season. While breaking on the scene in 2018 in his first all star appearance, he experienced elbow soreness in February, pushing back his spring training starts. Braves GM said today that they will start building out a throwing program to get him back on track.

ESPN had this to say: “Atlanta Braves ace Mike Foltynewicz will not be on the team’s Opening Day roster as he continues to recover from soreness in his pitching elbow. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Monday that Foltynewicz is “getting close to throwing off a mound” but emphasized that the team wants to remain cautious with the hard-throwing right-hander.”

Drew Smith – Injury

After leaving his fourth appearance of the spring with elbow discomfort, manager Rickey Calloway reports that Smith will undergo Tommy John Surgery. Mike Puma of NY Post talks about the current situation of the bullpen now: [All indications are the Mets will open the season with seven relievers and not eight due to the number of built-in off days in April. Lefties Luis Avilan and Hector Santiago have emerged as strong candidates for those last two bullpen jobs behind Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Justin Wilson.]




Stat of the Day – tERA

True Earned Run Average, like FIP, attempts to quantify a pitcher’s performance based on what he can control. But unlike FIP — which factors only home runs, strikeouts, walks and HBPs — tERA also accounts for batted-ball tendencies. That means pitchers who record mostly ground balls and popups, as opposed to line drives and fly balls, are rewarded for inducing weaker contact.

For example, if a pitcher has a high FIP but has also gotten a lot of weak contact on balls put in play, his tERA will be lower than his FIP.

Why it’s useful: ERA places a value on a pitcher’s performance, but it doesn’t factor misfortune into the equation (the timing of hits, poor defensive positioning, etc.). FIP, while focusing on strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches and home runs, ignores the fact that a pitcher does indeed have some influence on balls in play. tERA accounts for that element.

TLDR: tERA attempts to give a more accurate picture of a pitchers true talent level. tERA gives more credit to pitchers who have the ability to induce weak contact.

Stat of the Day curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo curtesy of Lookout Landing

February 27th

Rule Changes – Update

Commissioner Rob Manfred ponders his possible negotiating tactics

ESPN’s Jeff Passon reports that the league has pushed its plans for a pitch clock back until 2022 as a negotiating tactic to try to implement some other changes that have a much easier path to getting approved through the Players’ Union.

Major League Baseball is prepared to scuttle the implementation of a pitch clock until at least 2022 as part of a wide-ranging proposal to the MLB Players Association that would include the ability to implement a three-batter-minimum rule for pitchers and roster-size changes in 2020, sources familiar with the plan told ESPN.

Jeff Passon

Bryce Harper – Update

Several teams have now entered the mix more heavily as of late: Dodgers and Giants are among those. The Giants have been meeting with Bryce Harper for a potential 10 year deal, and while the salary that is being discussed has not yet leaked, several sources close to action are reporting that it is of record breaking size (Record being $325MM)

Peter Moylan – Retiring

[Veteran reliever Peter Moylan has opted to retire from Major League Baseball at the age of 40, he tells David O’Brien of The Athletic (subscription required). The Australian-born hurler isn’t entirely walking away from the game, as he’ll pitch for a professional team in Italy this summer and hopes to pitch for the Australian Olympic baseball team, O’Brien adds.

Moylan details his decision in the lengthy interview, revealing that although the calendar is about to flip to March, he simply never received an offer this winter. Despite the fact that Moylan believes he’s still capable of competing at the game’s top level, he also insists that there’s no bitterness or anger with regard to how the offseason played out. “The game is trending younger,” said the veteran righty. “I’m certainly not that. It’s time for me to let the kids play, so I’m done.”] – Steve Adams, MLBTR


Stat of the Day – DER

Defensive Efficiency Ratio is a statistic used to evaluate team defense by finding out the rate of times batters reach base on balls put in play. Basically, for every ball hit into the field of play, how likely is the defense to convert that into an out?

The formula for Defensive Efficiency Ratio is: 1 – ((H + ROE – HR) / (PA – BB – SO – HBP – HR)).

Defensive efficiency is a very good tool for assessing team defense, but it has its flaws. For instance, a team whose pitchers allow a high frequency of hard-hit balls will most likely have a lower DER because those balls are more likely to wind up as hits. There is also nothing in the equation that factors in luck or the ease of a team’s defensive chances. But over a large enough sample size, this concern is mitigated.

TLDR: This is an upgraded fielding percentage but used for entire teams.

 

Stat of the Day curtesy of MLB.com

February 3rd

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Chris Devenski – Houston Chronicle

TOP NEWS

Chris Devenski

Bullpen arm Chris Devenski has reached a settlement with the Houston Astros for $1.525MM. The once highly dominant reliever had one really impressive year in 2016 where he was worth (surprisingly high for a reliever) 2.8 fWAR. In 2017 and 2018, he wasn’t his 2016 self, only pitching to a WHIP of 3.49 and 4.49 respectively. This deal can been seen as a buy low with upside for the Astros as the it also includes a club option for $2.625MM which can increase by $100K if he appears in 60 games in 2019.

LATEST RUMORS

J.T. Realmuto

With teams looking to upgrade their catching situation, many teams have reached out to the Marlins to kick the tires on what the trade would take. Some said that the Tampa Bay Rays were in on that talk. Accounting to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin the Rays “appear content” with the other moves they have made.

MINOR LEAGUE NEWS

Ben Rowen signs deal with Braves

Christian Bergman signs with the Cubs