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 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 6th


Boston Red Sox – History

After winning the World Series in dominating fashion in 2018, the 2019 squad has now tied for their worst start in franchise history. Starting off this season at 2-8, I’m not too sure anyone could have foreseen it. It is rather surprising because of how they got better (on paper) since last year’s squad, this has really now gotten out of hand. Both the Mariners and Diamondbacks figure to be in the bottom half of the standings by the end of the year and they haven’t faced a team projected to be in the playoff picture. While the offense has been relatively good, the Red Sox have allowed 72 runs comparatively to the Rays which have allowed 19. 


Carl Edwards Jr. – Demoted

In a surprising turn of events, Edwards has been sent down to AAA Iowa. Since 2016 Edwards has been a staple in the Cubs’ pen and has been among the best relievers in the game since then. With an ERA below 3 in the last two years, he has really taken a quick regression in the first several games in 2019. In an inning and two thirds, he has already allowed 2 homers, and 5 walks meaning 6 earned runs culminating in a 32.40 ERA.


Notes 

  • Phillies Tommy Hunter is shut down indefinitely after he received a PRP injection in his pitching arm
  • Tiger’s Matt Moore has been placed on the IL with a sprained right knee
  • Rockie’s Ryan McMahon placed on IL after an elbow strain

PITCH OF THE DAY

Adam Ottovino Incredible slider



Business of Baseball – Free Agency

Definition

Players become free agents upon reaching six years of Major League service time or when they are released from their organization prior to reaching six years of service time. A free agent is eligible to sign with any club for any terms to which the two parties can agree. If a player with fewer than six years of service time signs with a club, he remains under the control of that club until reaching the requisite service time to reach free agency — even if the contract he signed does not cover the remaining years until that point.

Examples

Jason Heyward made his Major League debut on Opening Day in 2010 and never returned to the Minor Leagues. He reached six years of Major League service time at the completion of the 2015 season, at which point he became eligible for free agency. Heyward went on to sign an eight-year contract with the Cubs.

Tony Sipp was released by the Padres in May 2014 when he had between four and five years of Major League service time. The left-hander subsequently signed a guaranteed Major League contract with the Astros that ran through the end of the ’14 campaign. Because he finished the season with less than six years of Major League service time, Sipp was eligible for salary arbitration as opposed to free agency. Sipp qualified as a free agent following the 2015 season and re-signed with the Astros on a three-year deal.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of

🚨 ALERT COOKIE🚨 – March 14th


major deal – rule changes

A BIG DEVELOPMENT HAPPENED TOAY: Jeff Passan of ESPN announced several changes to the game we love. In a rare mid-CBA agreement, MLB and the Players Union came to the agreement that three majors things will happen: 3-batter minimum, single trade deadline, and changes to All-Star weekend including bonuses to the winner of the HR Derby.

Steve Adams from MLB Trade Rumors gave a great concise update to what is happening now, and in 2020:

Effective Immediately

  • There will be no trades after July 31. August trade waivers have been eliminated, though players can still be placed on and claimed from outright waivers, as they would throughout the rest of the year.
  • All-Star voting will still be conducted by fans online, but the top three players at each position, in each league, will now participate in an All-Star Election Day. The top three vote-getters at each position, in each league, (top six in the case of outfielders) will receive bonus payments.
  • The Home Run Derby will now come with $2.5MM of prize money, including a $1MM prize for the winner.
  • The maximum number of mound visits per game will be reduced from six to five.
  • Commercial breaks between innings are reduced to two minutes in length for all games.
  • The MLB and MLBPA will form a “Joint Committee” to discuss further issues and rule changes.

Effective Beginning in 2020

  • The standard roster size in regular season games and postseason games will increase from 25 to 26 players. Beginning on Sept. 1, roster size will expand further to a 28-player maximum (as opposed to the current 40). A maximum number of pitchers will be designated by the Joint Committee. (Passan reported that the league has proposed no more than half a team’s players can be pitchers.)
  • Position players are only eligible to pitch in extra innings or when a team is leading or trailing by seven or more runs. Certain position players may be designated as “two-way players,” but to be eligible, they’ll need to have accrued at least 20 innings pitched and started 20 games as a position player/designated hitter in the current season or the preceding season (including at least three trips to the plate in each of those lineup appearances).
  • A pitcher must face at least three batters per appearance unless he is removed due to injury or the half-inning in which he is pitching ends before three batters have come to the plate.
  • The minimum length of stay for pitchers who are optioned to the minors or placed on the injured list will increase from 10 days to 15 days. This change is still “subject to input” from the newly formed Joint Committee.

Michael Fulmer – Injury

After last fall’s surgery to repair his knee, today Manager Ron Gardenhire announced that they will be shutting Fulmer down to revamp his lower half mechanics. He had drastically lower velocity so far this spring, so it’s apparent that the Tigers see something different, or new in his mechanics which could be surgery aftermath, or that is just now exaggerated after his knee getting repaired.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – sent down

Today the Blue Jays officially sent down top prospect and phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to minor league camp. While it was expected that he would not begin the year in the majors, due to service time issues; because of his oblique injury, it is a bit sooner than anticipated.




Stat of the Day – Pop Time (POP)

On steal or pickoff attempts by a catcher, Pop Time represents the time elapsed from the moment the pitch hits the catcher’s mitt to the moment the intended fielder is projected to receive his throw at the center of the base.

When a throw’s flight path ends in front of or beyond the base’s midpoint, Statcast accounts for the thrown ball’s speed and projects how long the throw would have taken to reach the center of the intended base.

Pop Time is a combination of a catcher’s footwork (getting into throwing position), Exchange (glove to release), and Arm Strength (velocity of throw). Pop Time is a much better assessment of a catcher’s ability to throw out baserunners than the strength of his arm alone. A catcher with a great arm isn’t going to throw out many baserunners if it takes him a while to transfer the ball to his throwing hand and then release the throw.

A catcher with a good Pop Time doesn’t always throw out baserunners, however. A large part of his success is dependent upon the runner’s speed, the throw’s accuracy and the pitcher’s delivery length. But with a quick Pop Time and an accurate throw, a catcher is doing what he can to stop the opposing running game.

Below are the five best average pop times to second base on stolen-base attempts (min. 15 SB attempts at 2B) from the 2017 season. The MLB average in 2017 was 2.01 seconds.

TLDR: Pop time measures how fast the catcher received, and then got the ball to the intended receiver. Anything below 2 seconds is above average, and anything below 1.9 seconds is considered elite.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Cubs Insider

February 20th

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Bryce Harper – Free Agent Update

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Phillies’ “total focus” is on Harper, with other free agents a second thought. They are still being cautious, as they don’t want to outbid themselves, thus overpaying. The Giants are said to only looking for a shorter (than 10 years) deal. Also MLB.com has written an article stating that the nationals are NOT willing to go near the 10 year $300MM that Machado got. That is a curious statement because there were multiple reports stating that thats about the offer that the Nationals gave him at the beginning of the offseason. Not sure what has changed, but maybe thats the money they gave to Patrick Corbin.

 

Josh Harrison – Signed with Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have signed veteran utility man Josh Harrison to a one year, $2MM deal with an additional $1MM in incentives. Harrison has experience playing both corner outfield spots, and the defensive metrics really favor him at 2B and 3B. His bat has had some good and bad seasons, but his base running stats have always been stellar. A solid pickup for the Tigers, who could be using this signing for a possible flip at the deadline since they aren’t looking too great to contend in the AL Central.

 

Tyler Clippard – Minor League Deal

Tyler Clippard was once one of the prime late inning relievers. Now after some bumps in the road, he is now accepting a minor league deal. Even has recently as 2014 he had a FIP of 2.75, he used to be right near closer territory for the Nationals. Right then the year after his FIP skyrocketed to 4.28. It has not been smooth sailing for the righty since, as the Indians will be the 8th organization in 6 years (Athletics, Mets, Diamondbacks, Yankees, White Sox, Astros, and now Indians). Yikes.

 

Trevor Plouffe – Minor League Deal

With Machado gone elsewhere, veteran 3B Trevor Plouffe has agreed to a minor league deal with the Phillies today, where he hopes to take the reins of the 3B spot. Currently the Phillies have Maikel Franco slotted to start the season there, but Plouffe and his veteran presence have a shot at making the team. With both Franco

 


 

Stat of the Day – Catch Probability

Catch Probability represents the likelihood that a batted ball to the outfield will be caught, based on four important pieces of information tracked by Statcast. 1. How far did the fielder have to go? 2. How much time did he have to get there. 3. What direction did he need to go in? 4. Was proximity to the wall a factor?

Accordingly, each tracked batted ball to the outfield is assigned an expected Catch Probability percentage — relative to comparable catch opportunities in the Statcast era — based on distance needed and opportunity time. The more time a fielder has to react to a ball and the less distance needed to reach it, the higher the Catch Probability.

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Distance needed is used instead of distance covered, which measures the ground a fielder covers from the point the ball is struck to the time the play is made, to prevent fielders from receiving additional credit for taking longer-than-necessary routes to the ball. Meanwhile, opportunity time is calculated from the point the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand (rather than when the batter makes contact) to credit instances in which a fielder adjusts his position based on where the catcher sets up or what type of pitch is called.

There have been two updates to Catch Probability since it’s release. In May 2017: it Accounted for going back on the ball, and in 2018 it started accounting for difficulty of getting near the wall.

TLDR: A lazy fly ball and a sinking liner can both be outs; while one is exponentially harder to catch. Catch Probability puts a number on it. 

 

Stat of the Day Curtesy of BaseballSavant.com and MLB.com

Header Photo Credit Curtesy by SI.com