April 7th


Yasiel Puig – Fights Entire Pirates Roster

Quite the image above, wouldn’t you say? Chris Archer, who is known for showboating after a big strikeout, throws a pitch to Derek Dietrich who takes him out of the stadium into the river. Dietrich pimps the HR with a bat drop and takes a second to admire his work. Archer does not like that and throws BEHIND Dietrich the next AB and the benches clear. Puig takes exception to some words that catcher Francisco Cervelli said and runs out there basically alone to what makes for an awesome picture. 5 total players were ejected. This is what started it all ⬇️


Dallas Keuchel – FA Update

Already a week and a half into the season and starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel is still unsigned. Yesterday a report came out from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal telling that the 6 or 7 year deal approaching $250 MM that he was looking for is not going to happen and that his price is now dropping. Rosenthal reports that if he does indeed sign a one year deal, he still wants it to be more than the $17.9 MM qualifying offer he declined when he left Houston. 


Notes 

  • Reds acquire Rob Refsnyder from Diamondbacks for PTBNL or cash
  • Brewer’s RP Jermey Jeffress is projected to join team next weekend
  • Ervin Santana will get back in the bigs on Tuesday in a start against the Rays

PITCH OF THE DAY

Diego Castillo vs Pablo Sandoval. Sorry Pablo but you don’t even have a chance. 100 mph with that movement, good luck. I love his reaction!



Business of Baseball – Guaranteed Contract

Definition

Players who obtain Major League contracts — either via free agency or extensions — are guaranteed the full amount of money promised by those contracts. Conversely, players signed to Minor League contracts must earn a spot on the roster in Spring Training or via an in-season promotion in order to have their contracts guaranteed. Arbitration contracts are not guaranteed either, as a club can release a player on or before the 16th day of Spring Training and be responsible for only 30 days worth of pay. Players cut between the 17th and the final day of Spring Training must be compensated for 45 days worth of pay (at the prorated version of their arbitration salary). But if a player that agreed to an arbitration salary breaks camp with the club, his contract is fully guaranteed.

Example

Right-hander Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Padres prior to the 2014 season. Despite the fact that he did not throw a single inning for the Padres, he earned the entirety of that $8 million because he had signed a Major League contract.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of

MARCH 20th


Eloy Jimenez – Extension

The White Sox have inked Eloy to a $43MM over 6 years deal. If you haven’t heard his name before, don’t feel bad because I am not surprised. Jimenez is one of the White Sox’s top prospects. Yes, you heard right. He is a top prospect. He has not played one game yet for the White Sox. Due to that fact of not playing a major league game yet, that deal is unprecedented.

The only other deals where a minor leaguer got a multi year extension without a day in the majors are Scott Kingery of the Phillies and Jon Singleton of the Astros. Those two players have a combined -2.5 WAR since they signed those deals, so you could say a deal like this doesn’t always benefit the team. One positive of this, is that he will not start the year in the minors now. Considering that the team does not have an incentive for the extra year of control. 


Craig Kimbrel – FA Update

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, talks between Kimbrel and the Brewers are “pretty serious” (tweet link)


Matt Joyce – Minor League Deal

Today the Giants announced the signing of veteran outfielder Matt Joyce. After a dreadful season with the A’s last year (.208/.322/.353 in 246 PAs), he is looking to rebound with his second team of the spring. He was with the Indians for the better part of ST so far, but the Indians told him he was not making the roster. The Giants also have signed veteran Gerardo Parra on a minor league deal, and he is also competing with a rule 5 pick Drew Ferguson. 


Notes

  • Twins released 1B Lucas Duda
  • Brewers released SP Josh Tomlin
  • Mookie Betts does not believe they will reach an extension before before he gets to free agency



Stat of the Day – SWEET SPOT

Colloquially, a player who hits the ball solidly is said to have gotten the “sweet spot” of the bat on the ball. The sweet spot classification quantifies that as a batted-ball event with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees.

A player’s sweet spot percentage — or how often he produces a batted-ball event with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees — is presented on Statcast leaderboards under SwSp%.

Why it’s useful

While the sweet spot classification does not include exit velocity and thus doesn’t tell the complete story of a batted-ball event, players with a high sweet spot percentage are putting themselves in greater position to succeed. In 2018, Major Leaguers posted a 1.099 slugging percentage on batted balls with a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees.

Sweet spot percentage can be used in concert with hard-hit rate — the percentage of a player’s batted balls that have an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. For a batted-ball classification that takes into account both launch angle and exit velocity, check out barrels.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Photo Curtesy of CBS Sports

March 13th


Tony Sipp – signed

Today the Nationals inked a $1.25MM deal with the southpaw Tony Sipp today. Primarily a LOOGY the past several years, he has more than excelled in that role. Last year with Houston he racked up a 2.41 FIP in 38.2 IP. What can be looked at though, is the 0.9 WAR in only that many innings is pretty impressive. Sipp’s primary role could be in danger though if the rumored 3 batter minimum for pitchers goes into effect. Sipp’s deal also includes a $2.5MM mutual option for 2020 with a $250K buyout.


Charlie Morton – Last Contract

In a rare missed story by Mookie’s Cookie, yesterday Charlie Morton told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that this contract he has with the Tampa Bay Rays will be his last. While he is getting up there in age, this will only be his 35th season. After being a middle of the pack starter, and fighting some injuries for most of his career, the past two years he has really come into his own. Posting back to back 3+ WAR seasons in Houston, he turned that into a 2 year deal worth $30MM with Tampa.


roster manipulation

Today both the White Sox and Mariners have sent down prospects with what seems to be fronts to keep the player for an extra year. The Mariners sent J.P. Crawford, who is only 5 weeks in the minors away from giving his team an extra year. The White Sox sent one of their very much ready prospects down to AAA too; Eloy Jimenez who CRUSHED the minors last year. MLB Trade Rumors has this to say about him:

[Jimenez, 22, is not only considered to be among the game’s premier prospects but is also largely believed to be ready for MLB action. The Dominican-born slugger obliterated Double-A and Triple-A pitching in 2018, posting ridiculous slash lines of .317/.368/.556 and .355/.399/.597 at those respective levels.] – Steve Adams, MLB Trade Rumors




Stat of the Day – Win EXPECTANCY

Win Expectancy (WE), otherwise known as Win Probability, indicates the chance a team has to win a particular game at a specific point in that game.

Expressed as a percentage, Win Expectancy is calculated by comparing the current game situation — with the score, inning, number of outs, men on base and run environment all considered — to similar historical situations. More specifically, the percentage is derived from the number of teams that faced a comparable situation in the past and went on to win the game.

Win Expectancy is the basis for Win Probability Added (WPA), which quantifies the percent change in a team’s chances of winning from one event to the next. For example, if a team’s Win Expectancy jumps from 30 percent before a home run to 70 percent after, the player who hit the homer would have a WPA of 0.40 for increasing his team’s chances of winning by 40 percent.

TLDR: While this stat does not help you predict the future value of player, its really fun use it to see how great that awesome comeback was that your team made.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of MLB Youtube

February 22nd

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Clayton Kershaw – Shut Down Indefinitely (Arm)

“The Dodgers have shut down star hurler Clayton Kershaw indefinitely, manager Dave Roberts tells Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. The venerable southpaw is dealing with an unspecified health issue that Roberts would describe only as an “arm kind of thing.” Initial signals from the organization are that there’s nothing to worry about at this point. Kershaw says he’s “just going to take a few days right now” and adds that he expects to resume throwing in short order, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County-Register tweets.

In Roberts’s view, too, this is just an early pause “to just kind of step away, give him a couple days.” That said, he acknowledged that he “can’t say right now” just when Kershaw will be ready to ramp back up.” – Jeff Todd, MLBTR

Bryce Harper – (Kinda) Update

Yes, we know this Bryce Harper stuff is getting old. It is for the writers as well; but until he decides, its kinda our job to keep you informed.

A private jet was spotted in Las Vegas today. But not just any private jet, this one had a giant P on the back of it, with a little curl to the end of each line. This jet carried the owner of the Phillies. Jon Heyman then confirmed there was a meeting between the Harper family, Scott Boras, and the Phillies Owner John Middleton. Heyman in later tweets mentioned that the Phillies while still holding a strong position to land Harper, might not be the frontrunner everyone had thought.

Rule Changes – Spring Training Pitch Clock

“Major League Baseball has formally announced the implementation of a 20-second pitch clock to be tested during Spring Training games. Jeff Passan of ESPN reportedminutes prior to the announcement that it’d be made today. Per the league’s announcement, there has been no decision made regarding the potential implementation of the pitch clock during the upcoming regular season, though Passan tweeted that there is a “very real possibility” of that happening.

Early in Spring Training, as players adjust to the latest pace-of-play tactic put in place by commissioner Rob Manfred, there will not be any ball or strike penalties for pitch-clock violations. By the second week of games, umpires will begin to issue warnings, and eventually, umps “will be instructed to begin assessing ball-strike penalties for violations.”’ – Steve Adams, MLBTR

Ervin Santana – Minor League Deal

“Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.

He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.” – Ashley Verela, Yahoo! Sports

 


 

Stat of the Day – DRS

Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a defensive statistic calculated by The Fielding Bible, an organization run by John Dewan, that rates individual players as above or below average on defense. Much like UZR, players are measured in “runs” above or below average, and Baseball Info Solutions data is used as an input. Since DRS is measured in runs, it can be compared easily with a player’s offensive contributions (wRAA or similar statistics).

Why DRS?

This isn’t the right place to debate DRS versus another similar metric, but you should use a metric like DRS or UZR because it is a better representation of defensive value than something like fielding percentage. Even your eyes aren’t going to do a great job measuring defensive performance because you simply can’t watch and remember enough plays a year to have a good sense of exactly how well a player stacks up against the competition. You might be able to judge a single play better than the metrics (although that’s debatable), but your ability to recall every play and compare them is limited. Run value defensive stats like DRS provide you with the best estimate of defensive value currently available  and allow you to estimate how much a player’s defense has helped his team win.

TLDR: Measures someone’s defense in the quantity of runs they have saved over the course of the season. 10 runs is the common rule of thumb for 1 win. 

 

Header Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Stat of the day curtesy by FanGraphs