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Mailbag: Throw Him a Bone, CL!

CL,

Dutch Bot pulls off a trade! He even proposes it! Where’s his write-up?

Curious

Dear Inquisitive,

Oh ok, fine. It’s low level stuff, but here you go.

CL

Dutch Boy gives:  Steve Pearce

Saget Gives: Brad Miller, Nick Hundley

At the risk of pushing Dutch Boy back into his shell, Saget won this one because he got Steve Pearce, who did something last year and is somehow now 2B eligible. Long one of the Quad-A crowd, Pearce hit 21 bombs last year (seemingly ten of them in two weeks) but has struggled terribly to start this year. If he finds his stroke he’ll be the most valuable guy in this swap by some distance.

If not, Saget didn’t give up much.

While Pearce was the top-150 sleeper that never made good from about 2008-12, Brad Miller was that guy last year. Miler appears to have fought off the playing-time challenge from Chris Taylor, at least for now, but the Mariners somehow want Taylore to take the job. The Mariners’ front office never seems to make a lot of sense, and as long as the M’s find AB for Miller in CF and Cano at DH, maybe everybody gets AB. But Austin Jackson is back in a matter of hours and Brad Miller is outhitting his peripherals and…. I hope it works out but I’m not excited. Taylor getting sent down would be a start.

The other player headed to Dutch Boy in this one is Nick Hundley, who we find unrosterable going forward. Hundley’s .310 BA is about 75 pips above where it should be, and look, his .376 BABIP is about 75 points above where it should be. Hundley has 4 HR to start the year, and double-digit power from catcher can sometimes be interesting in a one-catcher format, but he only has 15 RBI and his 11/36 XBH/H ratio isn’t anything special. The claim is that Dutch Boy should cut him ASAP.

Other Pace-of-Play Ideas: Basketball

MLB’s new points-of-emphasis for pace-of-play have shaved, on average, nine minutes off games this year. This space has long been a fan of speeding up play and thinks MLB should not rest on its laurels but should try to take another nine minutes, at least, off games next year.

Without turning the game in its head (one independent league this year, on Sundays, is trying three-ball-walks and K’s for foul balls with two strikes) I think we can easily trim another ten minutes by:

–Forbidding pitching coach visits to the mound (the pitcher doesn’t want to see you; he knows his his command is lacking and doesn’t need you to tell him)

–Limiting catcher-visits to the mound to one-per-pitching-appearance

–Requiring that any pitcher brought into the game face at least one batter (or, more fun, record at least one out)

–Spare us the ritual of intentional walks by simply having the catcher tell the umpire “we’re putting him on” and then having the umpire instruct the batter to take his base

–A replay clock of 45 seconds: if it’s not obvious after 45 seconds of looking at tape, the call stands.

Other sports are looking at pace of play stuff too. Here’s a link to tonight’s beaverball scrimmage rules:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/wp/2015/05/22/brave-new-world-mystics-and-lynx-to-test-analytic-scrimmage-at-verizon-center/

I can’t watch the NBA because, among other things, I don’t like the pace of play. And I don’t watch beaverball because it’s just awful. So not only am I not an expert, I’m not even a fan. But here are a couple of the more intriguing ideas:

— A 20-second shot clock; the shot clock resets to 14 seconds following offensive rebounds.

More possessions is good. I don’t know if their regular clock is 24 or 30, but whatever, 20’s enough. And there’s no need for a full clock on an offensive rebound

— One point automatically granted on all two-point free-throw situations, with one free throw taken for additional point.

I quite like this for a couple reasons. First, it should cut down on the strategy of simply hard-fouling poor shooters. Second, it might shorten the interminable last minute of a game where the team trailing by six-or-so with a low chance of winning repeatedly fouls the in-bounded pass.

No, I won’t tune in, but I will read the reviews. (There’s another scrimmage period where they’re doing something weird: you can only score from inside the paint or outside the 3-point-arc. Not sure how clever that is.)

But the knock-on effect is interesting: if other sports are also looking at changing their rules, maybe baseball can be bold and strive to take another ten or fifteen minutes off games next season.

Why You Need to Check the ChatBox Often.

  • Tazman
    crap guess I shouldn’t have say Elias today.
  • Copper
    Thinking too much.
  • Ultrasurblanco
    Not that great of a start really. Nice ERA, QS. Tater, 1.50 WHIP, 2.00 K/BB don’t help you. Good sit.
  • Tazman
    somewhat. I was expecting Detroit to rock him. The odds were against him.
  • Ultrasurblanco
    Good sit IMO.
  • Ultrasurblanco
    Would have been something if Detroit wrecked him, given he was pitching against the Rays though.
  • Tazman
    Oops. thought he was playing the tigers. either way I was expecting him to get rocked.
  • Copper
    Brutal!

Josh Celebrates 8-5 loss. Josh’s Therapist Explains Why.

“I think love is the key element. What drives him to [play fantasy baseball], for him this very difficult task. For him it’s something very personal. He’s doing what he is doing because he wants to save his people and his land.”

Balks. And not-balks.

Umpires have been instructed as a point of emphasis to call balks tightly this year. I guess that’s OK. On replay, if I’m looking for it, I can see what the umpire saw 80-90% of the time. The rest of the time I can’t, and those situations seem a little stupid to me, but there are other things in baseball that are more stupid, so, whatever.

What I don’t get is that if faking a throw to third is a balk, and faking a throw to first is a balk, why is faking the throw to second OK?

It’s Time to Sit Big Papi vs. Left-Handed Starters

It has indeed come to this.

David Ortiz, 2015, vs LHP: 6/52, 3 2B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 11/0 K/BB, .286 OPS

Dear me, that’s bad. Big Papi remains lethal vs. righties:

David Ortiz, 2015 vs. RHP: 28/94, 4 2B, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 18/21 K/BB, .954 OPS

Some people might complain I’m going after a small sample size, pointing out that Ortiz had an OBP over .800 vs LHP in three of the five seasons from 2010-14. .893 last year in fact.

It’s not completely about the numbers… you can see it as Ortiz walks up to the plate and digs in. Against lefties, he walks up there. Against righties, he swaggers. Yogi Berra’s oft-ridiculed quote about 90% of baseball being half-mental has some truth to it.

The most informative numbers above are the K/BB ratios.

If Ortiz doesn’t think he can hit lefties, he can’t. His unwillingness to try to beat the shift doesn’t help.

The answer is to DH a banged-up HanRam against LHP, giving Brock Holt platoon-time in left field against southpaws. Panda has always been poor vs. LHP, and the Sawx can’t afford both Panda and Big Papi in the heart of the order, especially if Big Papi is lacking confidence.

If this becomes a permanent thing, that sort of sucks. The Sawx are paying Big Papi $16M this year and a somewhat more reasonable $11M next year. But the risk of doing this is far worse than the risk of not doing it. For all the rotation problems and spotty offence the Sawx have had this season, they’re only 3.5 games back in an underwhelming division that remains there for the taking.

This won’t end well.

Via Rotoworld:

“Will Middlebrooks will make his first career start at shortstop Saturday against the Dodgers.

Middlebooks played one inning at shortstop against the Diamondbacks on May 10. With Middlebrooks occupying shortstop, Cory Spangenberg will draw the start at third base. Alexi Amarista, who has started at shortstop for 31 of San Diego’s 44 games this season, will get the night off.”

Middlebrooks has a reaction time best compared to Teddy Ballgame’s… three years after his head was severed and cryonically frozen.

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