Author Archive

Jason Collette – Baseball Chat Transcript

Last one for me, let’s make it count. Chatting from 11am until 12:30pm ET

11:02
Jason Collette: It’s been 4 years since Jose Lima passed away — I loved watching that guy on the mound
11:06
Jason Collette: No wonder it was quiet in here, I’m an idiot and posted the scripting in the “view” mode rather than in the coding mode.
11:07
Comment From Vliet
Jason – Is not a good time to sell high on Ventura or Gray and what level of position player can I expectin return?
    Jason Collette: I think that time has passed on Ventura & for Gray, just ride it out. Great team, great park, enjoy the ride 

11:08
Comment From Guest
will Fielder be ok next year? do guys lose power after the surgery?
    Jason Collette: Anything related to the back is never a good thing for a power hitter. I don’t see myself ranking him in the top 50 next year. 

11:08
Comment From PS
IT WORKS
    Jason Collette: I’m such an idiot 

11:08
Comment From Chet Lemon
Drop T. Hunter for B. Shaw?
    Jason Collette: Tommy? Yes. His closing career is circling the drain. 

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat Transcript

2 hours today beginning at 11am ET – and, no, I have no idea if the Rays will yank Grant Ball-four from the closer role and who they will replace him with.

11:00
Jason Collette: Has Grant Ball-four thrown a strike yet? Let’s chat

11:01
Comment From RotoLando
What are The Ray’s

   Jason Collette: A disappointing baseball team. Next question

 

11:02
Comment From Graham
Messed up. I’m 124.1 over for my projected IP max currently. Should I trade some pitchers or just allocate my innings better? or both?

   Jason Collette: Be more choosy about who you use moving forward. Also, don’t understand the obsession with leagues putting caps on innings. Floors – sure, but if someone wants to punt saves to max out their K’s & wins, let them.

 

11:03
Comment From RotoLando
What are The Rays’ problems this year? Seems like the AL East is as wide open as it has ever been, but they can’t capitalize.

   Jason Collette: Bullpen has been overtaxed because of too many five and dive outings. They have 13 quality starts as a team, which last I checked, is worst in baseball. Also lack a deep bench so they have been victimized by suboptimal matchups in key situations late. When you lose 60% of your rotation and your top pitching reserve, stuff like this happens.

 

11:04
Comment From RotoLando
Juan Carlos Montoya Lopez Nunez Oviedo!

   Jason Collette: Prepare to die!

 

11:05
Comment From Schilling and Pence
Two questions: (1) What’s your guess as to how Singleton performs when he gets up? (2) Is Kuroda a buy-low candidate, or is Kuroda done?

   Jason Collette: 1 – He’ll struggle. 2 – I’ve always been fine owning Kuroda until mid-August when he fades off

 

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Wade Davis, Dominant Reliever

If one were to review the data for pitchers with the highest strikeout rates in baseball (at start of play Thursday), they would rightly expect to see names like Kenley Jansen, Jose Fernandez, and Max Scherzer near the top. All three are in the top 15, but a surprising name owns the top spot on that leaderboard – Wade Davis.

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat Transcript

11:32
Jason Collette: Good morning. I don’t know when Polanco, Pederson, Taveras, Buxton, et al are going to be recalled so please don’t ask. If it were up to me, I’d have them all in the majors right now.
11:36
Comment From Steve Z
Is Juan Francisco for real?
    Jason Collette: His power is legit, but his playing time is crowded with Lind back and Lawrie not exactly sounding happy about playing second base. Play him in matchups & anything is possible but I don’t think Milwaukee was wrong for letting him go as they did despite the short term success thus far. 

11:36
Comment From wes
Got offered Abreu for my Fielder in 10-team redraft with OPS. Should I do it?
    Jason Collette: Yes, Fielder may hit for a better average, but Abreu is going to finish with 8-10 more homers 

11:37
Comment From John
When is my favorite prospect being called up
    Jason Collette: June 31st 

11:37
Comment From Smalls
Do I keep holding onto Sandoval?
    Jason Collette: Take the round you drafted him and subtract that from 26 weeks. That’s how long you have to hold onto any player. 

11:38
Comment From Manchester Steve
Predictions on Abreu and Morneau’s stat lines to finish the year(R/HR/RBI/AVG). Thanks!
    Jason Collette: Abreu: 75/44/110/.268 ; Morneau: 66/22/82/.285 

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Joey Votto and Protection Up Front

Twice this offseason, Joey Votto has uttered a comment that goes against the baseball orthodoxy that lineup protection is best done behind the hitter. Votto believes it is done in front of him, and is best done by Billy Hamilton.

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Baseball Chat – Jason Collette

11:46
Jason Collette: Good day! You can start adding questions to the queue. Will begin answering them just before noon.
11:57
Michael F. Weber via Twitter :
  Zorilla has a message for #RedSox fans. #Rays #BeatBoston #DHSweep pic.twitter.com/mOVM7K4ven
11:58
Comment From I changed names!
The angels put Mike Trout on the block (hypothetically), how many teams have the chips to actually get him?
    Jason Collette: Chips & cash? One – Boston 

11:59
Comment From Rated Rookie
Better things ahead for Chris Archer? Seems like not so many strikeouts and lots of hard contact. I mean, that’s what it looks like when MLB.TV isn’t buffering.
    Jason Collette: He looked fantastic yesterday through the first 4 innings and then completely lost his release point. 

11:59
Jason Collette: Be right back – auto glass guy just showed up. Oh yea, never go to dealerships that crack your windshield while doing an oil change on your car and then say the car was like that when you brought it in.
12:08
Jason Collette: OK, sorry. Back. Let’s get rolling!

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Baseball Chat Transcript – Jason Collette

11:21
Jason Collette: Chat will begin at 11:30 ET — opening up now to get some questions in the queue
11:30
Comment From Graham
Do you think Danny Duffy gets a spot in the Royals rotation anytime soon?
    Jason Collette: Not unless they waive the white flag on the season and trade Shields, or someone gets hurt. They’re not going to demote guys they just signed this offseason and Ventura sticks in. Their main problem is the abyss that is Billy Butler’s stat line right now. Yikes 

11:31
Comment From Quinton McCracken
Can you justify Josh Lueke’s roster spot for the Rays? Unless there is a compelling options-related reason or some explanation beyond that, I just can’t see it.
    Jason Collette: I would rather see Brad Boxberger in the spot. Boxberger has passed the eye test as a MLB reliever and has swing and miss stuff. Lueke is a low-leverage type, but the Rays have always been hesitant to give away any pitching asset. 

11:32
Comment From Pale Hose
I’m going to Progressive and PNC for the first time next week. Any suggestions?
    Jason Collette: 2 of the 8 parks I have not yet visited. I would say you need to go to the Great Lakes Brew House while in Cleveland; it’s not near the park but it is still very much worth the trip. 

11:32
Comment From Biff
Reasonable ROY projections for Viciedo? 10-team mixed worthy?
    Jason Collette: 20 HR, .260. Barely 10 teamer 

11:34
Comment From The Cell
Anything to suggest Adam Dunn can keep it up this year?
    Jason Collette: K rate is the same, drawing more walks, but everything else is right in line with what he has done in the past except he’s not as pull happy with his batted balls. 

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat Transcript

12:01
Comment From Shawn Kelley
Am I worth hanging on to after David Robertson returns?
    Jason Collette: In AL leagues, yes, you still have value 

12:02
Comment From Autodraft Problems
My autodraft left me with Andrus, Segura and A. Ramirez. Any advice on moving a surplus at one position?
    Jason Collette: Play one at utility unless you have a dire need elsewhere. 

12:03
Comment From randplaty
Are getting swinging strikes more important than getting called strikes? Should we worry about Andrew Cashner, who has an extremely low swinging strike rate this season?
    Jason Collette: Just get strikes. If the stuff is moving so much it is fooling batters and locking them up so be it. Zero concern with Cashner on my end. 

12:04
Comment From Alam
What are your thoughts on Matt Cain?
    Jason Collette: More hittable right now and all of those flyballs that never left the yard in previous years are catching up with him now. 

12:04
Comment From Guest
Arenado for Homer. What side do you like OBP, and Whip leauge
    Jason Collette: Bailey’s worst baseball is behind him. I’d be trying to buy him up everywhere I could right now. 

12:05
Comment From Tony the Tiger
Hi Jason. Thanks for doing the chat today! I have to replace Calhoun for the next six weeks, and the only half decent options available are J.B. Shuck and Daniel Nava. Who would you target of the two?
    Jason Collette: I’ll go with Nava – more upside in the bat. 

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Other Signs Of Decline

Matt Moore‘s injury afforded an opportunity for his naysayers to point back to their predictions for him in 2014. Bradley Woodrum did a great job in pointing out Moore’s flaws in his Fangraphs+ player profile:

But Moore needs to improve his control and his swinging strike rate if he wants to develop into anything more than an innings eater who doesn’t eat innings. Add to the warning flags: He missed a month in elbow inflammation and his fastball slowed almost two miles per hour from 2012. On the merit of his tools alone, Moore is still worth keeping on a roster, but he has too many shortcomings at his point to expect much more than 175 innings and a league-average FIP. Whether he’ll beat his FIP or not depends on how you see his career-best .259 batting average on balls in play.

There were those issues, and there was no overlooking the fact that Moore’s velocity was in decline. However, that was not the only indicator in decline for Moore and it did not take this most recent injury to find a problem with him.

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat Transcript

11:57
Jason Collette: ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssorry, had pinetar on my ring finger and it got stuck to the keyboard. Let’s chat
11:58
Comment From Pale Hose
What’s the deal with Drew Smyly? Is he still a starter?
    Jason Collette: Yes, schedule issues have permitted them to skip over the 5th starter and let him work long in the pen. The rain delay led to the first one, and the second one made sense because of how the schedule was at the time. First start coming here in a few days. 

12:00
Comment From Sam
How can I find swinging strike % for each of a pitcher’s individual pitches?
    Jason Collette: BrooksBaseball.net has the on the pitcher cards. Here is the one for Roberto Hernandez, who has the second-highest SwStr% in the league right now! 

12:00
Comment From Jeff
Which pitcher will the Mets trade for a bat?
    Jason Collette: Montero 

12:01
Comment From yojiveself
Is Morse/Cingrani a fair offer to Heyward or am I offering too much?
    Jason Collette: It’s fair. I have not been a Morse guy as I thought he looked done last year, but the early start is surprising. 

12:02
Comment From Tron
Are you sitting Eovaldi @PHI?
    Jason Collette: It isn’t a good matchup for him. Philly is one of the better teams in the league (dating back to start of last year) vs RH pitchers featuring FB/SL as Eovaldi does. 

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat

12:42
Jason Collette: Sorry for the late start — I pulled a Pascual Perez and got stuck in traffic, albeit at a BBQ restaurant and not I-285
12:43
Comment From Guest
Teixeira looks dreadful at the plate. Is he cooked?
    Jason Collette: Aprils have never been a good month for him, but as long as he’s complaining about that wrist, things won’t be good for him. His history buys him some leash, but early results have not been encouraging. 

12:43
Comment From jocephus
can we determine the world series after 3 games?
    Jason Collette: Mariners vs Marlins — Selig’s worst nightmare! 

12:44
Comment From Mikey
Jason! Thanks for the chat, was getting concerned. Thoughts on Corey Dickerson? Does his talent push him above Blackmon by late April?
    Jason Collette: Yes, I think the talent wins out here. Someone has to stand out from the crowd here eventually. 

12:44
Comment From benj
Who is a better offensive player right now: Jean Segura or Brad Miller?
    Jason Collette: Two of my favorite players to watch. I’m biased with Miller as he’s from Orlando, so I’ve watched him quite a bit. I love his motor. 

12:46
Comment From john
Please tell me I am dreaming. Lucas Duda over Ike Davis? There is nothing that Duda does better than Davis. Even saber-knowledgable Sandy Alderson idolaters must be going insane. Can this team get any worse?
    Jason Collette: When you have three first basemen, you really have no first basemen. Still, they’re in a better position than Milwaukee or Pittsburgh at the moment at the position. Can the Mets get worse? Are you double-dog daring them to? 

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Cleveland Goes Long With Yan Gomes

Eighteen months ago, Yan Gomes was considered the “other guy” in the deal where Cleveland strengthened its infield depth and added Mike Aviles. Cleveland made the move for Aviles after going through myriad replacements at shortstop in 2012, when Asdrubal Cabrera was injured or needed a day off. The move was also made to beef up the team’s right-handed-batting depth because the team had an American League-worst .234 team batting average and .296 wOBA against left-handed pitching. Aviles came to Cleveland with a career .276 batting average and .317 wOBA against lefties in 421 plate appearances, while Gomes had very limited exposure at the major league level.

Ben Zobrist is the exception to the thought that if you can play multiple positions, you can’t play any position. If a player is good enough at any one position, organizations will leave that player there as long as possible until skill or better talent behind that player dictate a move. The latter scenario victimized Gomes as Travis d’Arnaud was coming through the organization at a similar pace. The team exclusively used Gomes at catcher in 2009 and 2010, but then gave him 20 games at first base in Double-A New Hampshire. In 2011, Gomes got  47 games behind the plate in 83 games and d’Arnaud did a majority of the catching. In 2012, Gomes caught 39 games while spending 42 games at other positions on the field as d’Arnaud once again did most of the catching. Gomes was never ranked in the top 30 prospects by Baseball American while he was in Toronto’s organization; he was 27th in Cleveland’s rankings after his trade.

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat

11:59
Jason Collette: bienvenue…let’s chat
12:00
Comment From AL Pitching Coach
Yordano Ventura, and to some extent Tanner Scheppers, have picked up a ton of fantasy buzz over the past week or two. Thoughts on what to expect from them in 2014?
    Jason Collette: Eno and I discussed both guys on the podcast that dropped overnight. I like Ventura more than Scheppers, but Ventura’s delivery worries me. “his arm looks like it is attached to a rubber band” is the phrase I got from a pitching guru and that’s not a good thing. 

12:01
Comment From Tony the Tiger
How badly does the loss of Iglesias affect the fantasy values of Porcello and Smyly?
    Jason Collette: It certainly does not help.I was really looking forward to seeing what that infield could do for Porcello. Knocks them down a round/round and a half and a $1 

12:01
Comment From Guest
Miggy’s contract is the n-th worst contract in baseball in the last 25 years. n equals???
    Jason Collette: Vernon Wells, Joe Blanton, Albert Pujols, 50 feet of crap, Ryan Howard….so maybe 6th? 

12:03
Comment From jocephus
swydan is not a fan of martinez/rosenthal going into BP without chance at starting…yer thoughts?
    Jason Collette: I side with him on this, to a point. You’ve already started down the path with Rosenthal, so if you’re going to stretch him out, do it in the minors. Martinez has drastic R/L splits and would be better served in the minors working on that as well, but I get putting both on the major league level in their current roles. 

12:03
Comment From Chris
What is your outlook on Jose Abreu? Does he have the ability to be an elite first baseman
    Jason Collette: He was a hot topic of discussion at Foley’s last Saturday night. Crowdsourcing his numbers gave me a .270 avg with 32-35 homers 

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2014 Positional Power Rankings: Center Field

What do we have here? For an explanation of this series, please read this introductory post. As noted in that introduction, the data is a hybrid projection of the ZIPS and Steamer systems with playing time determined through depth charts created by our team of authors. The rankings are based on aggregate projected WAR for each team at a given position. The author writing this post did not move your team down ten spots in order to make you angry. We don’t hate your team. I promise.

If you’ve been looking at the scale of these charts and wondering why we set the top end of the range to +9 when the best team is usually closer to +6, here’s your answer. Stupid Mike Trout.

PPRCF

Trout’s dominance actually obscures McCutchen’s own greatness, as the gap between #2 and #3 would be the largest at any position if there wasn’t such a huge gap between #1 and #2 at this same spot. After the two franchise center fielders, things get a little more normal. Because of the strength of CF right now, no one is carrying a total zero at the position, and this group overall is stronger than most. It doesn’t hurt that two of the game’s premier players are carrying the top end either.

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Baseball Chat – Jason Collette

12:02
Comment From Co-founder of the USSMariner.com
when is Matt harri hitting the DL officially? i need to stash him

   Jason Collette: Those moves usually don’t happen until the final days of camp

 

12:02
Comment From Los
For this year only: I have XB @ SS, Longoria @ 3B, and Abreu @ UTIL. Should I have Headley or Brad Miller for upside/bench role.

   Jason Collette: Headley for certainty, Miller for upside

 

12:03
Comment From Rated Rookie
Carlos Martinez and Yordano Ventura: which logs the most IPs as a starter this season? Which (or both) do you prefer in a dynasty, keep-forever format?

   Jason Collette: Ventura, in both cases. Heard some positive reports on Martinez this morning in talking with Cards folks here in Kissimmee as he’s working on his approach vs lefties.

 

12:04
Comment From Marty
what are your thoughts on Texiera? Don’t think you mentioned him in the sleeper and bust podcast.

   Jason Collette: .240/22/75 is my projection for him. Until he decides to give up pulling the ball to beat the shift, he’s capped .

 

12:04
Comment From Marty
Do you think Corey Hart will hit 20+ HRs?

   Jason Collette: I will take the under on that. His career road splits are not good, and the ballpark is tougher on RH batters.

 

12:05
Comment From Bo Porter
From a fantasy standpoint, do you expect Jose Altuve and Jonathan Villar to regress, improve or stay around the same in 2014?

   Jason Collette: I see more chance of regression than I do improvement., less so with Altuve.

 

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Best Shape 2.0: Adding a New Pitch

A variety of indicators tell us that Spring Training is here. The “Best Shape of My Life” stories, the ” _____ has reported to camp” tweets, and pitchers coming to camp talking about new pitches.

When not staring out the window waiting for spring to arrive, pitchers have a lot of time to review the previous season. As Albert Einstein famously said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That quote fits pitchers extremely well. Sometimes, they themselves realize their process is not working and want to add a new pitch. Survivor bias can set in for pitchers as they see new blood coming to camp and want to stand out from the crowd in camp. Other times, the team will have seen something and want to correct it.

Recently retired pitcher Jensen Lewis believes other factors are in play as well. “Adding pitches in camp rarely happens for an established pitcher unless the following happens,” Lewis said.

  • Performance of the pitcher suffers so much that the front office or coaching staff decides it is necessary to add a pitch to survive at the major league level
  • A veteran pitcher adds something to compensate for a loss of stuff/velocity
  • You add a pitch by mistake just by playing catch or trying something different in a side session

“Most of the time, we pitchers will mess around playing catch and during side sessions with grips and anything we glean from fellow teammates or opposing pitchers, ” he said. “The art and craft of pitching is ever-evolving and thus breeds multiple avenues to get hitters out. Remember, deception is the common theme every pitcher is trying to accentuate,” Lewis said. “Only a few dozen guys have the overpowering stuff that you simply have no chance to hit. The rest of us go about each year tweaking our arsenals to further that deception. It boils down to one simple creed: hitters get themselves out; pitchers merely develop and hone ways to miss the sweet spot of the barrel on a consistent basis.”

Lewis went on to say that, “It’s your career, so any inch of ground you can gain by adding to your pre-existing repertoire or augmenting that arsenal through an additional pitch is completely individual. Pitchers can get really mental and think they need a new pitch when they merely need only to refine what they throw and have confidence in what they throw.”

Josh Zeid from the Houston Astros shared similar thoughts. “In this game, everyone is evolving. The hitters are getting better, and the other pitchers are getting better, ” he said, “so if I can add a pitch or fine tune a pitch so much that it gives me another weapon, I have to give myself that chance.” Zeid has been working more on his splitter in camp and says, “It’s a pitch that I have used sparingly to lefties and it’s given me a leg up when I’ve used it.” He is gaining confidence in his ability to throw it to both sides of the plate, and would like to use it against righties, “to stop them from sitting away as it brings a pitch back into them.”

Adding the pitch was more of a self evaluation for Zeid over the winter and he says the coaches have been receptive and supportive of the idea. He noticed right-handed batters had more success against him than left-handed batters (.305 batting average vs .178 batting average) last season, so he feels that, “without trying to change a whole lot, I can adapt and mold what I already have to give myself a better chance against all hitters.” He plans to continue working on the pitch in camp and once camps breaks and recognizes that if it is going to be a successful pitch for him in the long run, he has to use it in games. “If I’m confident in it AND having success with it, then I can’t wait to use it a lot more,” Zeid said.

This spring, over 25 pitchers are working on new pitches in camp. The reports have come from stories, both in print and on radio, and sometimes as in the case of Brian Wilson, the pitcher just surprises us by whipping out the pitch unannounced on the mound.

These are the things pitchers are reportedly working on this spring:

Some of the pitchers, in explaining their new pitches to the media this spring, echoing the insights from Lewis and Zeid. Sabathia is incorporating a true cut fastball this season, under the encouragement of Andy Pettitte, to help with his decreasing velocity. O’Day is adding a changeup to help make him more effective against left-handed batters. Cincinnati brought the slider to Cingrani. McGee, coming off a season in which he allowed the fifth-fewest balls in play for all relievers, bringing his curveball out of the mothballs. He told Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio broadcast team that he feels the larger speed differential will make his fastball even more effective.

Martin Perez tells Richard Durrett he is adding the cutter this season because he wanted a power pitch in his arsenal:

“Everybody knows I have a good changeup, but I wanted something with speed,” Perez said. “This year, my curve is better and I wanted to try the cutter. In the past, I tried it and if it wasn’t good, I’d throw it out. But now I’ve got more confidence. I can throw it and I feel great.”

Doolittle tells Susan Slusser he is refining what he throws as well as his confidence in this new pitches.

“Just because I have a new toy, I can’t change the way I pitch too much,” he said. “But I had a lot of innings last year where I had a lot of long battles with hitters fouling balls off. If I can get a guy on three pitches instead of having those kinds of battles, that will be a lot better than those 20-pitch innings.”

Odorizzi tells Roger Mooney he is evolving his changeup into a splitter to mimic the one his teammate, Alex Cobb, throws.

“I had an all right change-up. It wasn’t anything special, wasn’t anything terrible. It was just average,” Odorizzi said. “I wanted something I could throw more consistent and have more movement as opposed to speed-wise. I don’t know how they are speed-wise compared to each other, but the movement alone on the new pitch makes a world of difference, honestly. Even if it’s bad, it’s got movement.”

Adding a pitch to one’s repertoire is no magic elixir to cure a pitcher’s ills on the mound. It did help Wade Davis when he moved from the Tampa Bay rotation to the bullpen in 2012 as the addition of a cutter plus the increased velocity he utilized as a reliever allowed him to dominate in high leverage situations that season. Detwiler added a slider in 2012 and saw his overall SwStr% improve 18% from the previous season. Buchholz added a splitter after the 2011 season and his SwStr% declined from the previous season as did his K%. Kevin Correia added a cutter in 2010 and saw his K% improve five full percentage points, only to plummet six percentage points the next year. Sometimes, adding a new pitch is not enough and is only a temporary band aid to the problem and a pitcher decides to blow it up and start from scratch

Danny Farquhar serves as a most recent example of how rebuilding from square one can change a pitcher’s fortune. In a two-month span during the 2012 season, Farquhar was involved in the following roster moves:

DFA’d by Toronto
Claimed by Oakland
DFA’d by Oakland
Claimed by New York
DFA’d by New York
Outrighted to Double-A
Assigned to Triple-A
Traded to Seattle for Ichiro Suzuki

During all of those moves, Farquhar went through multiple reviews and arm angles before finally settling on his current one with the Mariners. Once he nailed down an arm angle, he added a curveball to his repertoire. A strong start to the Triple-A season with the new approach vaulted him to the Seattle bullpen for good in mid-May. As he explained to Ryan Divish:

“It’s a big off-speed pitch that I need to continue to throw for strikes; continue to mix in there because I have the fastball and cutter, which are two hard pitches…..even if it’s just showing it to hitters, it’s changing the speed, changing the plane and the eye level. The curveball is a big difference maker.”

The new arm angle and new approach helped Farquhar post one of the 50 best K% for a reliever with at least 50 innings of work in a season in the past 15 seasons. Rather than rest on his laurels, he is continuing to evolve as a pitcher in 2014 joining the cool kids by adding a new pitch – a two-seam fastball – as well as utilizing his changeup more frequently. Normally, the addition of those two pitches would be suggested for a reliever that has issues against opposite-handed batters, but that is not the case for Farquhar as left-handed batters hit 84 points worse and struck out 17% more frequently against him than right-handed batters.

Farquhar’s proactive approach to his craft is something he explained to Jason Churchill back in January:

“My big work-in-progress is a two-seam fastball, like a good, consistent two-seam fastball, and I want to start it on the left-hander’s hip and let it run back over the plate.” As Farquhar went on to say, he uses his cutter in on the hands of lefties and a biting two-seamer is the perfect counter for that, since it’s movement is the exact opposite, despite the pitch looking nearly identical to the hitter.”

The new pitch will give left-handed batters more to think about when he comes inside on them. Instead of just being able to guess cutter, they’ll now have even less time to read cutter or two-seam fastball and may allow Farquhar to collect a few more strikeouts looking as well as some poorly-struck baseballs as he sets up new closer Fernando Rodney.

Farquhar and the other 25 pitchers on the list are simply heeding the advice of Tupac Shakur who once said, “I want to grow. I want to be better…We’re made to grow. You either evolve or disappear.” That applies to one’s hip-hop career as much as it does one’s baseball career as starting pitchers attempt to remain in rotations and relievers avoid becoming the next fungible commodity.


Jason Collette – Baseball Chat

11:28
Jason Collette: Greetings and salutations. My latest MRI is clean and I have no soreness in my fingers, so let’s get rolling

11:29
Comment From kevinthecomic
Where were you last week? You ruined my whole friday.

   Jason Collette: At a funeral. One of those family friends you call “Uncle ____” passed away. Was a huge baseball fan – we went to many Jax Suns games together when I lived up there. Diabetes sucks

 

11:30
Comment From Guns of Buxton
Asked a few weeks ago if Segura’s second half was a product of fatigue or the league building a book on him and you said to ask at a later time. Any new input here

   Jason Collette: Yes, Zimmerman wrote about that here – http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/relevance-of-first-and-second-half-stats/

 

11:32
Comment From john
Pablo lost 40 lbs. This year like 2011?

   Jason Collette: Amazing what guys do in the face of their final year before free agency. His second half stats didn’t hint at any wearing down for him. Good for Pablo for dropping the weight, but we’ll always have this http://gifrific.com/pablo-sandoval-of-the-san-francisco-giants-takes-a-spill/

 

11:33
Comment From Tru Bull 69
does Buxton have any shot at making the team by ~May?

   Jason Collette: I’d say a near zero shot. I helped the ESPN crew the top 50 fantasy prospects for the 2014 season and he wasn’t even on that list.

 

11:34
Comment From Guns of Buxton
Are you in the Best Shape of your Life?

   Jason Collette: Not even close. Pneumonia beat me up in late Jan/early February

 

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Ron Washington Loves to [Bleeping] Bunt

The non-appendix portion of The Book is 367 pages long. Chapter 9, “To Sacrifice or Not” is 50 pages long and represents nearly 14% of the entire book.  The math within may not be for everyone to read, but the information is simplified with the addition of several “The Book Says” callouts that would be easy for any reader, say a manager, to find.

Ron Washington tells us to take those “analytics on that and shove it up our [bleep][bleep]”

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Jason Collette – Baseball Chat 02/21/2014

11:56
Jason Collette: Happy Friday, everyone. Only an hour today, so let’s make it a great one!

11:59
Comment From Kris
Andrelton the best of the Braves extensions?

   Jason Collette: The Braves must really believe in the power. The defense is not something that would have played up in arbitration as defensive runs saved means as much to an arbiter as vegetables mean to Ron Swanson. It’s a ballsy move to guarantee 7 years to a guy with barely one full season under his belt & pay him more than Ryan Braun in doing so.

 

12:00
Comment From JV
Where is Nick Franklin on opening day?

   Jason Collette: I read something earlier today that McClendon considers Franklin & Miller on equal footing for the shortstop job and potentially the leadoff role. As much as I like Franklin, I think he is the inferior player in both situations.

 

12:02
Comment From Guest
O’s going to regret the Jiminez contract? AL East is a division of patient hitters who can devour his wildness

   Jason Collette: They had to do something here as their window to contend is shrinking. I prefer him over Big Erv in terms of the ballpark and the division, but this is the best they could do given their medical constraints.

 

12:02
Comment From JV
Kershaw-Medlen-Salazar-Ross-Kluber ok rotation in 12 team mixed?

   Jason Collette: Absolutely – lots of upside with the back 3

 

12:03
Comment From Guest
Do you think Homer Bailey can be a top 15 pitcher by the end of the year?

   Jason Collette: I’ve said it a few times this offseason; in a Kershaw vs the field bet for Cy Young, give me Homer Bailey.

 

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Patience Is a Vice

The emotions that surround a player’s promotion to the big leagues are intense. Dealing with the realization of a lifelong dream coming true, sharing the moment with friends, family and loved ones, and putting on that uniform for the first time in a 24-hour span takes a special mindset to separate the emotions from the moment. Even veterans still talk about having butterflies on opening day, or the start of a postseason series.

When a prospect gets to the major leagues, they want to do everything they can do to stay there. Sometimes, they know up front they are only up for a specific assignment and will be sent back down at a later date, but everyone gets one chance to make a first impression. Often, that impression is made with the bat and players will try to force that issue.

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