MLB 2018

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by HatterDon, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    Walnut, CA
    Sigh...Just another year of the Halos wasting Mike Trout’s prime. First 2 games in Seattle he’s had 4 HRs, 5 RBIs, robbed Cruz of an HR, while the rest of team has 1 RBI combined in 2 losses. Seattle/Houston, NY/BoSox look to be locks for the Division/Wildcard spots. Add in Ohtani’s injury (he’s been fantastic both ways) and all Angel fans can hope for is Pujols to retire early and free up $$ to get Trout help.
     
    #21
  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Well, he may not win a World Series in Anaheim, but at least he's still qualified for the Hall of Fame -- which is more than you can say for Charlie Blackmon, Arenado, or Cargo -- not to mention Larry Walker.

    Excepting this site's brilliant journalist, sports writers are really ignorant about what makes a brilliant career.
     
    #22
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I take some small solace in the fact that Albert will not win another World Series as a player.
     
    #23
  4. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Nearly half of Seattle’s wins (22 I believe) have been by a single run. I’m not sure that is going to hold up over the long term.
     
    #24
  5. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Wow. Just wow. I'm pretty sure I couldn't even hit .696 off of a tee.

    "Widely regarded as the best player in baseball, Trout's production has surged to an otherworldly level over the last week. He has recorded only seven outs over his last 37 plate appearances (.778 OBP), batting .696 (16-for-23) with four home runs, nine RBIs, 11 walks (four intentional) and one hit-by-pitch. In addition to leading the Majors with 23 home runs and a 1.158 OPS, Trout also has more walks (64) than strikeouts (60) this season."

    https://www.mlb.com/news/mike-trout-spurs-angels-rally-to-beat-d-backs/c-282053562
     
    #25
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  6. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Mar 18, 2006
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    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    You young fellers and gals should enjoy this season. It's been a long, long time since the American League has had two brilliant position players like Trout and Altuve as well as two brilliant starting pitchers like Kluber and Verlander.
     
    #26
  7. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
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    And this from my bro in MN

    By the way, PR is one of the best sports columnists ever. Don't have a link, so here's a looooong read:

    Twins' Eduardo Escobar helps usher in new era of players with pint-sized pop
    PATRICK REUSSE, Star Tribune



    Jimmy Wynn was 25 and in the midst of a 1967 season when he would hit 37 home runs and drive in 107 runs. This was extra impressive, with Wynn playing his home games in the spacious Astrodome with the Houston Astros.

    John Wilson, writing for the Houston Chronicle, started referring to Wynn as the “Toy Cannon” that summer. Legend has it, Wynn initially thought the moniker was a belittlement of his stature (5-9, 160 pounds), but soon was convinced it was praise for amazing power in a small frame.

    The legend of Wynn has been chronicled often in Houston in recent seasons, as Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has become the ultimate weapon in a baseball machine. He’s listed at 5-6 and 168, although the height is liberal and the weight is conservative.

    A half-century after “Toy Cannon” became a nickname of lore, there are undersized hitters doing amazing things in this age of super-velocity for pitchers.

    There were dramatic examples of this at Target Field on Wednesday night, with Eduardo Escobar batting third for the Twins and Mookie Betts leading off for Boston. Escobar is listed at 5-10 and Betts at 5-9. It’s a better guess that both are 5-8.

    Escobar has joined Eddie Rosario in attempting to carry an otherwise impotent Twins lineup. Betts served a 10-day stay on the disabled list and yet is Mike Trout’s main rival as the American League’s MVP to this point.

    Eduardo has an astounding 32 doubles, and a total of 46 extra-base hits and 48 RBI. Mookie is batting .340 with 55 runs scored, 18 home runs and 38 RBI.

    Terry Ryan was watching as a scout for Philadelphia. He was the Twins general manager and made the trade on July 28, 2012, that sent lefthander Francisco Liriano to the White Sox for pitcher Pedro Hernandez and Escobar, then 23 and serving as a lightly used utility infielder in Chicago.

    A reporter offered this smart-aleck aside to Ryan on Wednesday: “This is what everyone expected Escobar would become when the trade was made, right?”

    Ryan smiled and said: “Call your guy in Chicago. He said Escobar would be more than a utility infielder … that he would become an everyday player.”

    The Chicago guy was Billy Milos, a Twins scout then and today. Milos was home Wednesdayafter watching a game in Chicago.

    “That’s awesome that he said that, but Terry made that trade,” Milos said. “All I said was that Escobar was a good-looking player; that he was a utility player then but could develop into more than that.

    “No one … I mean no one … could see Eduardo as the hitter he is today. He swung hard even as a backup infielder. I’m sure he was told by some people to cut down on his swing, but he kept swinging hard and now we’re seeing the results.

    “Eduardo’s always been driven. You could see that back in Chicago, how much he wanted to play and to get better.”

    Roy Smalley is very informative on hitting in his role as an FSN analyst for Twins games. In a conversation Wednesday, Smalley said:

    “Escobar’s leg drive into the ball is as good as there is. He’s been perfect mechanically, getting all that torque to his left side. And all these guys — Eskie, Mookie, Altuve — might be small in height, but they are rocks in strength.”

    Dustin Pedroia was the first of this generation’s mighty mites, winning the MVP in his second full season as Boston’s second baseman in 2008. He is 5-8 tops, and has been running into injury problems lately in what was looking like a Hall of Fame career.

    There have been suggestions that in this age of constant, 97-mile-per-hour fastballs that players of smaller stature can benefit from a naturally quicker stroke. Smalley was a 6-2 switch hitter, and buys the theory to a degree.

    “If I’m taller and have to extend my arms farther to get to the ball, it might be more difficult to be on time,” Smalley said. “That hitting display Escobar put on Tuesday: going down to his shoes to hit a breaking ball from Chris Sale for a double, and then turning around 98 [mph] from Joe Kelly for another double. … He’s getting there awful quick and with great drive.

    “Hitting with power is all about extension. And if there’s less movement required with your arms to get the big end of the bat to the ball efficiently, that can be an advantage, I’d guess.”

    Whatever the reason, baseball in 2018 has become a Land of Well-Fit Toys.
     
    #27
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  8. encorespanish

    encorespanish Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    Minny
    I do enjoy me some Reusse up here in Minny! And it's been incredibly fun to watch Escobar and Rosario explode onto the scene this year!
     
    #28
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  9. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    South Carolina
    It seems that hitters these days don’t think getting singles is good enough. They’d rather strike out trying for extra bases than to adjust to the defensive shifts.
    I’m curious as to what HD thinks about this.

    https://es.pn/2MWhQAI
     
    #29
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  10. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Thanks for the invite, my friend.

    I'm not sure why those three players are missing the obvious. The solution to the shift isn't "ground ball to shortstop" as much as it is "line drive to left." The idea that a leadoff batter getting a single is hurting his team is ludicrous. If that's the case, however, I guess Joey Gallo is the role model for the next few generations.

    Here's the thing. I was a lefty when I played. When I took batting practice in HS, the drill was bunt, line to left, bunt, line to center, bunt, line to right. Then we had a dozen or so swings to do wherever we could with pitches all over the place. If ANY of us had tried to hit home runs during BP, we'd have teeth marks in our asses for a month. I can't imagine any major league player who is incapable of that regimen.

    Look, I know MLB and the TV networks want homers. Hell, they pretty much dictated that every new ball park in the last 40 or so years has to have at least two fields with fences shorter than 8 feet. The ball is juiced, the fences are shorter, the game has been dumbed down. Team defense is just two words that mean nothing when placed next to each other.

    Here's the thing: they get a kid in the minors now and talk about exit velocity and launch angle. They tell him, it doesn't matter how many times you get on base, just hit LONG homers and you'll have a major league career. For the last 15 or so years, players have incurred a major DISincentive to play baseball the way it's been played for 100 plus years.

    There's been a shift in use for years and years. They pulled one on Teddy Ballgame in the 1950s. What did Williams do? Continue to line the ball to right. What was the result? 512 HRs and a .345 lifetime BA, that plus a ton of walks and not a lot of Ks. What's the result now? Swing even harder and try to hit a HR. Rack up 175 Ks and hit .206 and make $5m a year.

    Perhaps the best hope we have is for the Astros to win the next 5 or 6 World Series. They're spray hitters that keep their strike outs down and their walks up. They also hit home runs. They also play fantastic team defense.

    And keep them kids off my lawn.
     
    #30
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  11. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Four years ago I took up vintage base ball one summer (like 1860s rules; yes the same stuff Conan pilloried soooo many years ago) and what I took away most from it is how the game's purpose was originally engineered to put the ball in play and how the game now has totally moved away from that central tenet.

    Obviously things change in 150 odd years. Footy, basketball, and throwball look nothing like they did 100 years ago, let alone 50 years ago, and there's a similar argument going on in the NBA with the 3pt shot. But the only time the ball is in "play" is when its leaving the pitchers glove, or careening over the wall. I've lost a lot of enjoyment the past few years.

    Also, having the local team that isn't just bad because they're AAAA-level, but refuses to acknowledge its bad and continually bat a .158 hitter 5th like the good ol' days, probably has something to do with it. My word the O's are trash.
     
    #31
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  12. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    Alamo City, Texas
    For me, this season will be summed up by the sentence, “With the first pick in the 2019 MLB draft...”

    Aside from an interest in what the O’s get back in return after the fire sale, I’ve pretty much pretended this season has been cancelled.
     
    #32
  13. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    The funny thing is, for all the "get guys who hit homers" stuff. The last 3 world series winners have led the league in contact rate

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
    #33
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  14. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    South Carolina
    One of my thoughts was regarding the “pitcher’s advantage” that they mention. If the pitchers are so advantaged, then why don’t we stop giving them a new ball every time a pitch bounces in the dirt? I wonder how many balls are used in a single game. To me, it’s ridiculous to replace every ball that may or may not be dirty. I’m sure the pitchers have a dissenting view of who has the advantage though.

    Overall, I’m just surprised at the current mindset. I’m not a player (nor was ever a good one), but I don’t understand how they can justify getting out over getting on base. The defenses typically only shift with the bases empty, so slapping a shot the other way to get on base does have an effect on the subsequent batters and how the defensive team plays them. It also puts more pressure on the pitchers.

    I’m with HD though. I hate the statcast era. Maybe if I were a scout, I’d worry more about exit velocity or spin rates. But an out is an out regardless if it had an exit velocity of 86 or 106. I thought the whole point was to “put it where they ain’t”.
     
    #34
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  15. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Sep 5, 2006
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    Walnut, CA
    A little surprised the Cards fired Metheny. I'd imagine he'll have his choice of gigs next Spring if he wants back in.
     
    #35
  16. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Newburgh, IN
    I don’t think Metheny is the problem in St Louis.
     
    #36
  17. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Rarely is. But the rule book says Somebody has to be the fall guy though. And it's almost always the manager. Doesn't just happen in baseball either.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
    #37
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  18. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Mike Matheny is definitiely not the problem in St. Louis. They've tried to skimp on player costs while making awful deals for veterans who haven't panned out. Along the way they've managed to assemble a group who can't play defense very well. They're on pace to exceed the '76 version for most errors in a season. And we were 0 for the Seventies. And this despite the return this season of Jose Oquendo, fielding guru, master fungo bat wielder and aggressive third base coach. He's gonna be a manager soon, apparently not with St. Louis, however, who promoted somebody named Mike Schildt instead of Oquendo to interim. And reports suggest he's not even a candidate for the permanent job. Joe Girardi and Jim Riggleman are the most mentioned. This is wrong. But they need a roster overhaul before anybody gets the permanent job. Not the kind of baseball knowledgeable fans expect.
     
    #38
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