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 12th


Gary Sanchez – Injured

Joining what appears to be half the team, is headed to the IL with a left calf strain. He is anticipated to only need to be out the 9 days required (since the IL stint is retroactive to Wednesday), but having Sanchez off to such a hot start doesn’t bode well for the struggling Yankees.

Dellin Betances – Injury Update

After further reports, today GM Brian Cashman announced that relief ace Betances has a bone spur in his shoulder. He will have three weeks of rest then will be re-evaluated. The timeline, if all goes planned, is to be back in game action within 6-8 weeks. 

Notes 

  • Jermey Jeffress only needs one more rehab outing before he is activated
  • Rockie’s Daniel Murphy will not need surgery to repair his fractured index finger
  • Allen Craig joined the front office of the Padres, yes don’t ask questions

PITCH OF THE DAY

Steve Cishek pretty much impossible 90 mph two seamer



Business of Baseball – Non-roster Invite (NRI)

Definition

A non-roster invite (NRI) is an invitation for a player who is not on a club’s 40-man roster to attend Major League camp in Spring Training and compete for a roster spot. Clubs can extend NRIs to their upper-level Minor Leaguers and also include NRIs in Minor League contracts given to free agents in the offseason.

Example

In February 2015, the Kansas City Royals signed left-hander Franklin Morales to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Morales attended Spring Training with the club and won a roster spot with a strong performance. He went on to post a 3.18 ERA in 62 1/3 relief innings for the eventual World Series champions.


Pitch of the Day Curtesy of @PitchingNinja

Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of New York Post

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 29th


Justin Upton – Injury

Friday news broke that Angels LF Justin Upton will miss 8-12 weeks with turf toe. While he has been resting the past few days from it, after further inspcection he will need several months for it to heal. This is the longest I’ve heard of taking for healing turf toe; so hopefully this does not take the full 12 weeks to heal. The Halos really need that middle of the order bat with Ohtani still not back in the lineup. 


Corey Knebel – Injury

Another injury, I always hate typing these blurbs when they are on injuries. Closer/ Relief Ace Corey Knebel will now miss all of 2019 and most of 2020 with Tommy John surgery. It was reported that he went to multiple doctors to ensure there was nothing else they could do to fix his elbow without having to go full blown TJ. Agreeing to $5.125MM this year makes for potentially the same salary next year in arbitration; meaning that would be really expensive for (maybe) less than half a years worth of a recovering TJ patient: They could non-tender Knebel next year. With Kimbrel and Keuchel out there, that money could easily be re-invested in the free agents. Rumor has it that the Brewers are in talks with Kimbrel, and with this news regarding Knebel, it makes even more sense. 


Notes 

  • Dipoto of the Mariners has acquired Tom Murphy from the Giants. 
  • Mason Williams signed minor’s deal with Orioles, will report to AAA
  • Cameron Maybin finds another team with the Indians. Minor’s deal



Business of Baseball – Competitive Balance Draft picks

Competitive Balance Draft picks were implemented in the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement to create an additional way for small-market and low-revenue clubs to add talent to their organizations. The process to assign picks was amended in the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The 10 lowest-revenue clubs and the clubs from the 10 smallest markets are eligible to receive a Competitive Balance pick (fewer than 20 clubs are in the mix each year, as some clubs qualify under both criteria). All eligible teams are assigned a pick, either in Competitive Balance Round A or Round B. Round A falls between the first and second rounds of the Rule 4 draft, while Round B comes between the second and third.

Under the 2017-21 CBA, six clubs will be awarded picks in Round A based on a formula that considers winning percentage and revenue. Those six teams will pick in Round A in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The remaining teams — estimated to be between six and eight — will pick in Round B in those years. The groups of teams, which will not change for the duration of the 2017-21 CBA, will switch picking in Round A and B in alternating years based on their initial assignment of round in 2017.

Clubs drafting in the Competitive Balance Rounds also receive more international bonus pool money than the minimum of $4.75 million. Those drafting in Competitive Balance Round A will receive $5.25 million, while those in Competitive Balance Round B will get $5.75 million.

Unlike other Draft picks, Competitive Balance Draft picks can be traded. However, they cannot be dealt simply in exchange for cash, and can be traded only by the club to which it was awarded. In other words, the picks may be traded no more than once.

History of the rule

Under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 10 lowest-revenue clubs and the clubs from the 10 smallest markets were entered into a lottery. The first six clubs selected in the lottery received a Draft selection in Competitive Balance Round A, while the next six clubs selected received a pick in Competitive Balance Round B.

Example

On June 1, 2014, the Marlins traded their Competitive Balance Round A selection to the Pirates in exchange for right-hander Bryan Morris. The Pirates received the 39th pick in the Draft that followed just days later.


Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of LA Times

March 24th


Jose Ramirez – Injury Scare

In the third inning of Sunday’s game Jose fouled a ball off his left knee and was CARTED off the field. Stunningly the X-Rays came back negative on a break in the bone. News still hasn’t come out if this would require an IL trip to start the season. If it does, it could be a major blow to the Indians who are already down Lindor and Kipnis.


Erik Kratz – Traded

After being out of options, and being third on the depth chart in Milwaukee, they knew he had to move. The Brewers have found a suitor, getting SS C.J. Hinojosa from the Giants. 


Brad Miller – Signed 

The Indians have signed some IF/OF depth with the signing of Brad Miller. Miller’s best season came in 2016 when he had 30 balls hit over the fence, but over his whole career he owns a 99 wRC+, good for basically league average. His defense has always been below average, but his versatility has always been his strength. 


Daniel Hudson – Signed

After releasing John Axford, the Blue Jays have signed a major league deal with Daniel Hudson for one year worth $1.5MM. 

Notes

  • Hanley Ramirez has a really good chance to make the opening day roster
  • Matt Duffy will start the year on IL
  • Sandy Leon has been placed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox. 
  • Nick Green will be returned to the Yankees after being selected in the rule 5 draft by the Diamondbacks
  • Jordan Romano has been returned to the Blue Jays after being selected in the rule 5 draft by then Rangers



Business of Baseball – 25 Man Roster

A club’s 25-man roster is its full roster of active Major League players. Typically, a club will have some combination of 12 position players and 13 pitchers or 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Players on the 25-man roster (or the Major League injured list) accrue Major League service time. All players on the 25-man roster must also be on the 40-man roster. Teams are required to have a minimum of 24 players on their 25-man roster.

In the case of doubleheaders, clubs are allowed to recall one additional player who is on the 40-man roster to serve as the 26th member of the active Major League roster only for the day of said doubleheader. That player accrues one day of MLB service time and is returned to the Minor Leagues following the completion of the doubleheader.

Upon being optioned to the Minor Leagues, a player must remain there for a minimum of 10 days before he is eligible to be recalled to the Major League roster, unless he is serving as the 26th man for a doubleheader or replacing a player who has been placed on the injured list. In these exceptions, there are no minimum number of days in which the optioned player must remain in the Minors.

On Sept. 1, teams can carry up to 40 players on their active roster until the start of postseason play, at which point the maximum reverts back to 25. All players added to the active roster during this period must be on the 40-man roster.

THIS IS ONLY FOR 2019 – 2020 ROSTERS WILL EXPAND TO 26 MEN


Business of Baseball Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Minor League Ball

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 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 19th


I hope you liked today’s Special Cookie!! Trout is a beast and that contract looks to be an underpay, for a such an amazing player.

Alex Bregman – Extension

The Astros and Star third basemen have come to terms for a 5 year, $100 MM extension that will begin after this season. Spanning 2020-2024, that will buy out his three arb years, and two free agent years. Bregman is one of the primer players in the game and even got him enough recognition that earned him 5th in the MVP voting for the American League. Only 25, he has really ascended to the top of the ranks since being the number 2 overall pick in 2015 out of LSU. 


Craig Kimbrel – Signing Rumors

What could become one of the best bullpens of all time, the Brewers (the *one* team that probably doesn’t need another bullpen arm) are rumored to be talking to Closer Craig Kimbrel. One thing that really jumps out to me first off, is that Craig has voiced his opinions of being used as a 9th inning only guy in the past. The Brewers (and the Rays) have really pioneered the creative bull penning that strikes this game today. One has to wonder if he would change his opinions and come into a tight situation in the 7th inning, for example. Man, the backend of a bullpen with Josh Hader, Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress and Craig Kimbrel sounds so daunting. Puts them atop the NL Central in my book if they can pull it off. 

At the beginning of the offseason, it was reported that Kimbrel was looking for a 6 year, $100MM contract. The Brewers are already projected to have a franchise highest payroll entering 2019: at $127.5MM, so it looks to be like Kimbrel has come down some from that, as a lower revenue team such as Milwaukee to be linked to him. Since they will already be surrendering their top draft pick in 2019, they would only have to give up their next pick to sign him. Less than most other teams. (Don’t get me started on having to surrender draft picks to sign free agents, rant for another day).


Ryan Pressly – Extension

Another Astro extension happened today. Setup man Ryan Pressly was inked to a 2 year/ $17.5 MM. Like Bregman’s deal, it does not kick in until 2020, making him cheaper for this year; allowing the Astros to make more in-season moves without going over the Luxury tax threshold. Since getting traded to the Astros this past trade deadline, he really came into his own. It looks as though that the Astros and their cutting edge tech saw something in him; Pressly pitched to a 0.77 ERA once he got to Houston. He turned into a legit bullpen ace. 


Brandon Lowe – Signed

This one is a shocker. Reported from Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter) Brandon Lowe only has 43 days of major league time. While this could have significant value for the team, it secures Lowe’s future in case of an injury, etc. He was widely regarded as a top 100 prospect in the game, and the Rays seem to think he is that valuable. This buys out basically all of the team control that the Rays have. While he would now have a raise the first three years, up from $525,000, he potentially could really be limiting his potential payouts throughout the arb process


Notes

  • Both Jeremy Jeffress and Jimmy Nelson will open the season on the injured list, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed today. Jeffress is only trying to build up arm strength and is not injured per se.
  • In another Yankee ruled out for opening day (Sabathia, Severino, Ellsbury, Gregorious) and now Dellin Betances, he is facing an impingement and inflammation in his throwing shoulder.



Stat of the Day – PROJECTED HR DISTANCE

(HR-DIS) Projected Home Run Distance represents the distance a home run ball would travel if unhindered by obstructions such as stadium seats or walls. This metric is determined by finding the parabolic arc of the baseball and projecting the remainder of its flight path.

Projected Home Run Distance is a pivotal tool when comparing individual home runs. Looking at Hit Distance alone is not an optimal practice for comparing home runs. This is because each stadium has unique obstructions that prevent balls from completing a full flight path.

Of course, Major League stadiums have different climates, dimensions, wind currents and elevations, which affect the distance batted balls travel. But comparing the distances of monstrous home runs has long been a hobby of baseball fans. And Projected Home Run Distance gives us a slightly fairer way to do that.


Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Houston Chronicle

March 3rd


Zack Granite – Traded

“The Rangers have acquired outfielder Zack Granite from the Twins for minor league pitcher Xavier Moore and cash, Phil Miller of the Star Tribune tweets. Texas has placed outfielder Scott Heineman on the 60-day injured list to create 40-man room for Granite, per a team announcement.

The 26-year-old Granite had been in limbo in Minnesota since Feb. 25, when the club designated him for assignment after signing free agent Marwin Gonzalez. Granite had been a member of the Twins since they used a 14th-round pick on him in 2013. The fleet-of-foot Granite was successful at times during his tenure with the Minnesota organization, including during a 56-steal season with its Double-A affiliate in 2016 and an outstanding offensive campaign (.336/.392/.475 in 313 plate appearances) with its Triple-A team in 2017.” – Connor Byrne, MLBTR

Vladimir Guerrero Jr – Prospect Watch

Today in a normal Blue Jays-Yankee matchup, phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Son of hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr.) hit a double off the LF wall. Nothing special, right? Watch how effortless this swing is:

Vlad Jr. has crazy power. Some evaluators have him hitting 40+ homers his rookie season. He just one handed a low pitch almost out.

Bobby Wahl – Torn ACL

“When your pitching plan revolves around the bullpen, depth is important, and the Brewers lost an important depth reliever Friday afternoon. Hard-throwing righty Bobby Wahl managed to tear the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while throwing a pitch … A baseball player tearing his ACL is not all that uncommon in and of itself. In Wahl’s case, he managed to tear it while throwing a pitch, which is extreme rare. How rare? On Sunday Brewers GM David Stearns told reporters, including Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Sophie Minnaert, that Wahl is only the third pitcher in MLB‘s central injury database to tear the ACL in his push-off knee. This injury is one of the rarest in baseball history.” – Mike Axisa, CBS Sports




Stat of the Day – WPA

WPA (Win Probability Added) quantifies the percent change in a team’s chances of winning from one event to the next. It does so by measuring the importance of a given plate appearance in the context of the game. For instance: a homer in a one-run game is worth more than a homer in a blowout.

As an example: When Josh Donaldson came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth on May 26, 2015, the Blue Jays trailed by two and had men on second and third with no one out. That gave them a 43-percent win expectancy. After Donaldson’s walk-off homer, their win expectancy jumped to 100 percent. Because Donaldson boosted the Blue Jays’ chances of winning by 57 percent, his WPA for that plate appearance was 0.57.

A player’s WPA can also be affected on the basepaths. It will increase if he steals a base but decrease if he is caught stealing or picked off.

WPA should not be used as an indicator of future performance. But WPA is a fantastic “story stat” — meaning it does a good job of putting context to what has already happened. Its best use is for deciphering the impact of a specific player or play on a game’s outcome.

TLDR: WPA gives the number of how a specific play contributed positively or negatively to winning the game.

Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Zimbio

February 25th

Aaron Hicks – Extension

Aaron Hicks won’t be testing the open market next winter after all. The Yankees announced on Monday that they’ve signed Hicks, a client of CAA Baseball, to a seven-year contract extension that supersedes his previous one-year, $6MM contract for the 2019 campaign. The new pact will reportedly guarantee Hicks $70MM and come with a club option for an eighth season, meaning Hicks is now controlled by the Yankees through his age-35 season.

Hicks will reportedly receive a $2MM signing bonus in addition to a $6MM salary in 2019 before earning $10.5MM annually from 2020-23 and $9.5MM in 2024-25. The club option is said to be valued at $12.5MM (with a $1MM buyout), and while Hicks doesn’t have any no-trade protection on the deal, he’d receive a $1MM assignment bonus upon being traded.

Hicks, 29, has quietly emerged as one of the game’s more underrated players over the past couple of seasons. The former first-rounder, acquired in a lopsided deal that sent catcher John Ryan Murphy to the Twins, struggled in his first season with the Yankees but has since hit .255/.368/.470 with 42 home runs, 36 doubles, three triples and 21 stolen bases in 942 plate appearances. Hicks has generally graded out as a quality defensive center fielder in his career at the MLB level and provides plenty of value on the basepaths beyond his raw stolen base totals, as well.” – Steve Adams, MLBTR

Bryce Harper – Update

Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote that Bryce Harpers decision should come this week. Hopefully bringing this painfully slow offseason to a close. There are still some other notable free agents looming, but with. Harper off the board, it should speed up the rest of the FA market.

Jimmy Nelson – Set Back

It has been a long road back for Jimmy Nelson. After having surgery in 2017 to repair his labrum, he still hasn’t seen action. Now in February of 2019, he is facing another setback; David Sterns tells reporters today that Nelson is struggling with “Arm Fatigue Discomfort.” The killer AFD is at it again on a pitcher. The Brewers need Nelson healthy if they are looking to take the NL Central away from the Cubs and the fighting Cardinals.

Andy Pettitte – Hired

“The Yankees announced Monday that they’ve hired Andy Pettitte as a special advisor to general manager Brian Cashman. As is often the case with such appointments, Pettitte’s responsibilities are somewhat nebulous. The long-time MLB lefty will “help coach both the physical and mental side of being a champion and pitching in New York,” Cashman told reporters today (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). It seems the initial plan is for Pettitte to ease into things with the Yankees organization while remaining a resident of Texas. ” – Steve Adams and Jeff Todd, MLBTR

Red Sox – No More Signings

Rob Bradford offered some insight into the Red Sox’s potential future today. In his article today, there is this prime quote:

Talking at LECOM Park prior to the Red Sox’ Grapefruit League game against the Pirates, the president of baseball operations didn’t mention the free agent closer by name but did offer a definitive approach when it came to how his club was moving forward.


“As far as signings are concerned I would say we’re through at this point,” Dombrowski said.

It looks as if the Red Sox roster is set when it comes to signees. While there is still some competition going on for the catcher position and of course the bullpen, it doesn’t look like Kimbrel is making a comeback to Fenway as a home player.

Bud Black – Extension

The Colorado Rockies have announced they have come to an agreement with Manager Bud Black to a three year extension which will keep Black as the skipper until after the 2021 season. Black has gone 178-147 in his first two years and gotten to the wild card in both years.


Stat of the Day – Spin Rate

A pitcher’s Spin Rate represents the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute.

The amount of spin on a pitch changes its trajectory. The same pitch thrown at the same Velocity will end up in a different place depending on how much it spins. (For instance, a fastball with a high Spin Rate appears to have a rising effect on the hitter, and it crosses the plate a few inches higher than a fastball of equal Velocity with a lower Spin Rate. Conversely, a lower Spin Rate on a changeup tends to create more movement.)

As more data have become available, most experts have agreed that fastballs and breaking balls are tougher to hit when they possess higher Spin Rates. In fact, some data suggest that Spin Rate correlates more closely than Velocity to swinging-strike percentage.

Stat of the Day Curtesy of MLB.com

Header Photo Curtesy of Pin Stripe Alley