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Archive for March 2013

Petco Modifications

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petco-park upper deck 1st base sideIt is so gorgousm Petco Park, but it doesn’t play close to fair. Target Field is a pitcher’s park, but Petco has been ridiculous. They are moving the fences in. (They made the decision last fall.)

Here is a photo of what it used to look like:

Petco Park RF before photo

But that view distorts how extreme it was. This diagram should help:

Petco before EXTREME

Two views of where the new wall will be in relation to the old one:

PetcoPark RF after 1

PetcoPark RF aft 2

Well, they will probably want to work on improving their pitching, particularly by looking for higher groundball rates. If so, they won’t need as speedy of corner OF players and so could focus on bigger bats (though having Carlos Quentin’s interesting “mixture” of leather and lumber may have been a preemptive nod in that direction).

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 31, 2013 at 19:49

Stating the Obvious

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If you follow baseball closely, FanGraphs is your friend. Obviously.

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 31, 2013 at 12:59

Cubs Primer

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For the commissioner of the FOR KEEPS Dynasty Fantasy Baseball League, Sean Flynn. It’s as unsettling as the Twins Primer was, though, so you may just wish to remember that there’s always next year.

The Cubs are in re-building mode, and the exit of the Astros from the National League Central division to the American League West means the Cubs must play other, non-Astro opponents 15 more times than in 2012. As the Astros lost 106 games in 2012, and as the Cubs managed to win 8 of the 15 games, even if the Cubs get a little better they still are looking at a 90-loss season.

There are some good young players here: Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, maybe even Wellington Castillo. They imported an intriguing relief pitcher from Japan, Kyuji Fujikawa. But they still have a lot of holes in the lineup to be filled.

NEWS

Chicago Sun-Times

MLB

Chicago Cubs Report

Cubbies Crib

Obstructed View

The View from the Bleachers

SPRING STORYLINE

Following 2012 dumpter sale by Epstein and Jed Hoyer, Cubs bring 63 players to 1013 camp, 25 of whom were not with the organization last season. That’s kind of like Major League, but…wait, that’s what happened in Houston. The Cubs resemble nothing so much as a northern, quieter version of the Astros: blowing stuff up to get talent for the future.

Cubs fans are faithful (excellent piece from the Sun-Time worth the time to read).

 

ROSTER

Rotation

Jeff Samardzija

Edwin Jackson

Scott Felman

Travis Wood

Carlos Villanueva

Injured

Scott Baker (Tommy John 4/17/2012)

Matt Garza, strained lat, doubtful for start of season.

Others

Alberto Cabrera MLB

Arodys Vizcaino (Tommy John 2012)

Robert Whitenack A+

Brooks Raley MLB

Chris Rusin MLB

Casey Coleman MLB

Barret Loux AA

Nick Struck AA

Bullpen

CL Carlos Marmol

Setup Kyuji Fujikawa

Shawn Camp

Mid James Russell

Michael Bowden

Rafael Dolis

Long Hector Rondon

Others

Trey McNutt AA

Drew Carpenter AAA

Jaye Chapman MLB

Jensen Lewis AAA

Blake Parker MLB

Zach Putnam MLB

Cory Wade MLB

Hisanori Takahashi MLB

Fujikawa, Marmol’s competition, had an INSANE record in Japan.

Projected Lineup

1 David DeJesus CF

2 Nate SCherholtz RF (v RHP)

3 Anthony Rizzo 1B

4 Alfonso Soriano LF

5 Starlin Castro SS

6 Ian Stewart 3B

7 Wellington Castillo C

8 Darwin Barney 2B

Bench

C Dioner Navarro

IF/OF Brent Lillibridge

IF/OF Luis Balbuena

OF Scott Hairston (v LHP)

OF Dave Sappelt

Others

C/1B Steve Clevenger MLB

3B Christian Villanueva A+

3B Josh Vitters MLB

SS/3B Junior Lake AA

IF/OF Logan Watkins AA

OF Brett Jackson MLB

OF Jorge Soler A

OF Matthew Szczur AA

IF Alberton Gonzalez MLB

IF Edwin Maysonet MLB

OF Brian Bougusevic MLB

OF Johermyn Chavez AA

OF Darnell McDonald MLB

Infield Primer

Outfield Primer

Minors & Prospects

Minor League Affiliates

Prospects–Baseball Prospectus

Prospects—FanGraphs

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 30, 2013 at 21:27

Posted in Baseball, Cubs, NL Central

Tagged with ,

Twins Primer

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Yes, I play fantasy baseball. Yes, I did a bunch of research starting the minute the Super Bowl ended so I could be ready for the season. Yes, that is all true. But it is not the case that I filter all baseball news through the fantasy prism. (Well, it is mostly not the case.) Anyway, my point here is that I did do a bunch of research and now I might as well recycle that work into posts for this here blog.

So, to start with we will take a look at the Minnesota Twins. What follows is a bunch of summary from a variety of sources. Link-clicking will prove rewarding if, in fact, you care about the link upon which you click. 

A further note. I am not happy by what I learned about the Twins. While I am a lifelong Pirates fan (yes, yes, the horror, the horror since ’92), I lived in Rochester, MN for 13 years, and the Twins grew on me to the point that I still really like them, and still watch them quite a bit thanks to MLB TV. And my friends back in Minnesota are suffering as well. Especially my friend Sean, who is both a Twins and a Cubs fan, implying a level of masochism on his part which is hard to assess; he also likes the Vikings (I do too, but it is obvious I have issues.)

MINNESOTA TWINS, AL Central; 2012 record 66-96, 5th (last) place in division. They didn’t underperform or get too terribly unlucky as their Pythagorean record was 68-94. 4.33 runs/game; 5.14 runs allowed/game. .325 OBA (which is above the MLB average of .319), but their pitchers gave up an opponent’s on-base of .333, which is also above average and 28th in the Majors, trailed only by Cleveland and Colorado.

NEWS—Where to find news about the Twins, from the local beat reporting to MLB.com’s official team news page, to a few selected Twins’ bloggers.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

MLB

Aaron Gleeman (Gleeman lives near Target Field, and he’s a very good writer. Visit his site and keep up to date on the Twins. His verbal face palms over the Twins’ front office are pure gold.)

Puckett’s Pond

Twinkie Town

Twins Daily

Twins Insider

Season Previews

Beyond the Boxcore

Sports Illustrated

Aaron Gleeman

SPRING STORYLINES

Twins Try to Stay Optimistic


ROSTER

Rotation Primer

Vance Worley

Kevin Correia

Mike Pelfry (recovering from Tommy John surgery 5/1/2012)

Liam Hendricks

Cole DeVries

Injured

Scott Diamond, 15-day 3/22, rb 4/6

Others

Brian Duensing MLB

Kyle Gibson AAA (getting LIT UP in spring training)

B. J. Hermsen AA

Pedro Hernandez MLB LHP

Nick Blackburn MLB

Samuel Deduno MLB injured in minors

Rich Harden

Bullpen Primer

CL Glen Perkins LHP

Setup Jared Burton RHP

Casey Fien RHP

Mid Josh Roenicke (no options) RHP

Alex Burnett RHP

Brian Duensing LHP

Long Ryan Pressly RHP

Projected Lineup

1 Darin Mastoianni CF

2 Jamey Carroll 2B

3 Joe Mauer C

4 Josh Willingham LF

5 Justin Morneau 1B

6 Ryan Doumitt DH

7 Chris Parmelee RF

8 Trevor Plouffe 3B

9 Pdero Florimon Jr SS

Bench

C Drew Butera

1B Jeff Clement

IF Eduardo Escobar

OF Brandon Boggs

Others

C/OF Chris Herrmann MLB

C Josmil Pinto AA

SS Brian Dozier MLB

SS/2B Daniel Santana A+

OF Oswaldo Arcia AA

OF Joe Benson AAA (knee surgery 8/29/2012)

OF Aaron Hicks AA

C Kyle Knudson A+

C Danny Lehmann AAA

C/OF Eric Fryer MLB

C/OF Daniel Rohlfing AA

1B/3B Chris Colabello AA

2B/OF Brian Dinkelman AAA

3B Mark Sobolewski AAA

SS/2B James Beresford AA

IF Ray Olmedo MLB

OF Wilking Ramirez AAA

OF Clete Thomas MLB

Infield Primer

Outfield Primer

Minor Leagues & Prospects

Minor League Affiliates

Prospects—Baseball Propectus

Prospects—FanGraphs

Aaron Gleeman’s list.

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 30, 2013 at 11:23

Posted in Uncategorized

Baseball Generates Elegant Prose

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Jack Daugherty’s column in Thursday’s Cincinnati Enquirer contains the best prose I’ve read yet today.

I like small moments. They’re the best, no matter the arena. Baseball is made of small moments, strategic and monumental. The gamewinning, three-run homer Joey Votto hits in the bottom of the 9th on a hot August night is a monumental instant. It’s no more vital than the snapshots that precede it, when Votto is working a pitcher, fouling off pitches, going through the mental computations that help make the home run possible.

Baseball can consume you. It doesn’t demand that you be consumed. It is something to do while doing something else. I used to listen to the Reds on the radio while helping my kids with homework. I listen on headphones while cutting the grass or reading. In the stands, baseball is OK with you socializing, wandering the ballpark or simply gazing at the evening. Football yanks you into your seat and makes you pay attention.

*Sigh* The season starts for real on Monday, for baseball season is only really baseball season when there are at least eight scheduled games every day.

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 29, 2013 at 12:52

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized, Writing

Tagged with

Have Glove, Will Travel

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“Fourth outfielder with superior glove seeks a field to patrol.”

So should read the headline of the piece explaining that Jackie Bradley’s ascent to Boston’s opening day roster leaves Ryan Sweeney without a major-league job.

Sweeney’s bat can’t be confused with Ryan Braun’s, but he swings left, shows good on-base skills, and his glove should be enough that if released he easily catches on with a team that has thin leather in the corner OF spots as Sweeney’s  UZR is significantly above average for both LF and RF. (For a much longer and deeper discussion of UZR, see the FanGraphs essay here.)

While the Rays and Braves and Angels demonstrate little, if any, need for such a player, there should be plenty of others who could use a plus defender with above-average on-base skills.

Philadelphia, for example; even if Dominic Brown and Delmon Young produce offensively, and Young’s wOBA may not exceed Sweeney’s by much), they are significantly below-average defenders.

Just think about it.

 

Twins Salary Data

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Twins salary data dumped here.

Blackburn at $5.5 million. Kind of makes one wonder about replacement level (Blackburn career WAR of 5.2…Verlander put up 7.0 in 2012).

Written by jjvedamuthu

March 29, 2013 at 00:32