About Me

My photo

Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, July 31, 2017

No trades during the season! And a no trade clause as part of the standard contract.

Jaime Garcia:
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Left • Throws: Left
Born: July 8, 1986 (Age: 31 and 23 days)
Debut: July 11, 2008
Career: 1,015 innings, 166 starts, 67-52, ERA+ 107

June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 30th round of the 2004 amateur draft, but did not sign.
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 amateur draft. Player signed July 16, 2005.
December 1, 2016: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Atlanta Braves for Luke Dykstra (minors), Chris Ellis (minors) and John Gant.
July 24, 2017: Traded by the Atlanta Braves with Anthony Recker and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Huascar Ynoa (minors).
July 30, 2017: Traded by the Minnesota Twins to the New York Yankees for Dietrich Enns (minors) and Zack Littell (minors).

Garcia will be a free agent after the 2017 season. That's why the Cardinals traded him between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The Twins traded for Garcia because five days earlier they beat the Yankees making the Twins record 48-46 and only a half game behind first place Cleveland.

The Twins traded Garcia only six days after acquiring him because their record had fallen to 50-53, seven games out of first place. The Twins went from buyers to sellers in less than a week.

What the heck?

Constitutional amendments for team sports. Friday, June 8, 2012

Team sports really means baseball, football and basketball, the only sports that count...

3. No trades during the season.

I'm a Yankee fan but when Garcia was just traded to the Yankees I thought: who? Even after looking him up I still have no recollection of this guy. Why should I care? And the Yankees are still trying to trade for yet another starting pitcher, Sonny Gray, who has spent his entire career with Oakland but is now expendable in the wacky world of major league trading during the season with a bit more than one third of the season remaining. Gray is still only 27.

Career: 705 innings, 112 starts, 44-36, ERA+ 114.

Here is the problem that Oakland has with Sonny Gray:
YearAgeTmSalarySrvTmSourcesNotes/Other Sources
201424Oakland Athletics$502,5000.061contracts
201525Oakland Athletics$512,5001.061contracts
201626Oakland Athletics$527,5002.061
201727Oakland Athletics$3,575,0003.061
2017 StatusSigned thru 2017Earliest Arb Eligible: 2018, Earliest Free Agent: 2020

Yes, Oakland doesn't want to pay Sonny Gray, one of their own, so they will probably ship him away.

But pay isn't the only dynamic in this wacky world. Consider the rebuilding Chicago White Sox, who traded TWO lefty starting pitchers, both of whom are in their late 20s and were under club control at reasonable salaries relative to their value:

Chris Sale:
December 6, 2016: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox for Luis Alexander Basabe (minors), Victor Diaz (minors), Michael Kopech (minors) and Yoan Moncada.

Jose Quintana:
July 13, 2017: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Chicago Cubs for Dylan Cease (minors), Bryant Flete (minors), Eloy Jimenez (minors) and Matt Rose (minors).

But, hey, those are the White Sox. Let's get back to the Yankees. One year ago the Yankees tanked and traded talent rather than add talent as they are doing now. The Yankees got a pass from both the media and their fans because it was presented as a youth movement and two players whom the Yankees ALREADY had were called up and performed spectacularly: catcher Gary Sanchez in late 2016 and Aaron Judge in 2017.

The Yankees have been hot and are now in first place. But how good could their starting pitching be if they just traded for one, Garcia, and are supposedly in negotiations for another, Sonny Gray? Oh, and lest we forget, the Yankees showed no interest during the off season in Chris Sale, even though it was obvious that their arch rival, the Boston Red Sox, were interested and eventually traded for Sale.

And another lest we forget: the aforementioned White Sox lefty starter Jose Quintana:
March 10, 2008: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
November 6, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
December 15, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
November 2, 2011: Granted Free Agency.
November 9, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.

Yes, Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman released Quintana TWICE! Quintana never pitched an inning for the Yankees. Now Cashman is out there bargain hunting at the trading deadline acting like the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Yankees.

The actions of the teams in July has become largely random, disguised as clever maneuvering. Analysts are reduced to Las Vegas odds makers. And fans are cheering without reason.

The bottom lines:
- Trading players during the season undermines the most basic level of integrity of the game: the team is the team for that season. No do-overs during the season.
- Fan loyalty to a team is eroded so deeply that it drifts into the mentality of online betting on individual daily performance, supported by the Major League business partnership with the likes of Draftkings.

If the player's union had any sense, it would push for a no trade clause as part of the standard contract for individual players. Any trade would require the individual's consent. What player would not want that? And it would force the owners to act in the best interests of their own team and their own fans.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Home Run leaders through 2/3 of 2017: Judge, Stanton, Moustakas, Smoak, Bellinger, ... Morrison.

Home Run leaders July 30, 2017:
1.Stanton • MIA33
Judge • NYY33
3.Moustakas • KCR30
4.Smoak • TOR29
5.Bellinger • LAD28
Davis • OAK28
7.Harper • WSN27
Springer • HOU27
Bruce • NYM27
10.Morrison • TBR26
Votto • CIN26

Let's take a closer look at the top five and Morrison.

Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are rookie HR hitting sensations who were addressed a bit in the previous post.

Giancarlo Stanton will probably exceed his previous high of 37 in 2012 and 2014.

Mike Moustakis, who will be 29 Sept. 11, is well past his previous high of 22 in 2015 in 549 AB with 30 in only 366 AB.

Thirty year old Justin Smoak in 2013 hit 20 HR in 454 AB; in 2017 29 HR in 351 AB.

Finally, tied at number ten is Logan Morrison who will be 30 August 25. Previous high: in 2011 23 HR in 462 AB. 2017: 26 HR in 333 AB.

So, in addition to the twin rookie marvels Judge and Bellinger we have late career HR success stories in Moustakis, Smoak and Morrison.
201720172017Prev HiPrev HiPrev Hidif/Prev Hi

So what the heck? Is there something in the water? In the ball? Juice?

Aaron Judge: 33 HR in same number of AB as in AAA in 2016 with only 19 HR.

Aaron Judge has this inexplicable oddity. How can such sudden improvement be explained?


2016 AAA 352 AB, 19 HR

2017 Yankees 351 AB, 33 HR

Pitching should be tougher playing for the Yankees in the Major League. Could it be the juiced Titlist baseballs in the Major League that are not being used in the minor leagues? Didn't we see this with Gary Sanchez when he came up in August 2016 and hit 20 HR with the Yankees? What the heck?

Judge's Dodger rookie home run hitting counterpart, Cody Bellinger, had much less minor league experience when he burst on the scene in 2017 at the age of 21, just turned 22 July 13. In 2016 Judge was already 24 and Sanchez 23. And Bellinger's minor league numbers suggested what was to come.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Just Enough" distance home runs: warning track power boosted by juiced baseballs for shortstops in 2017.

Warning track power aided by juiced Titleist baseballs: Didi Gregorius is an example. Friday, July 28, 2017

Didi Gregorius has become something of a power hitting shortstop ...

... extraordinary improvement in Home Runs (HR) per At Bats (AB)...

ESPN Home Run Tracker!


"Just Enough" home run - Means the ball cleared the fence by less than 10 vertical feet, OR that it landed less than one fence height past the fence. These are the ones that barely made it over the fence.

"No Doubt" home run - Means the ball cleared the fence by at least 20 vertical feet AND landed at least 50 feet past the fence. These are the really deep blasts.

"Plenty" home run - Everything else, except for the 2 above Homerun types

Lucky Homer - A home run that would not have cleared the fence if it has been struck on a 70-degree, calm day...

The league averages for 2006 were 27% JE, 55% PL and 18% ND.

50% of the 2017 Home Runs (HR) by Didi Gregorius have had "just enough" distance. Let's look at the top HR hitting SS in 2017.

2017, Played 75% of games at SS, (requiring HR>=14 ), sorted by greatest Home Runs
1Carlos Correa20166201722HOUAL843753256410418167444712041000.320.400.566.966*6
2Corey Seager18134201723LADNL94405351651032405351493201931.293.385.516.901*6/H
3Didi Gregorius16117201727NYYAL7832830944951404913146203521.307.336.508.844*6/H
4Francisco Lindor15102201723CLEAL99450406561092924836359242651.268.330.461.790*6
5Elvis Andrus14106201728TEXAL9842740261116243562307110117207.289.328.468.796*6/D
6Trevor Story1478201724COLNL87332299427014147321116100640.234.310.428.738*6/H

Correa has not played since July 17 because of injury. He last homered July 9, 2017 when he hit two HR in Toronto.

Here are the top three HR hitting shortstops:

Seager may be benefiting from juiced baseballs even more than Gregorius. What would these players be worth if the balls returned to be reasonable? How would they do hitting non-Titleist baseballs? Their JE HR would become outs or doubles.