Phillies History: Stealing Them All
The Philadelphia Phillies have had three players in franchise history who have stolen 2nd and 3rd bases, and then home, during the same sequence of baserunning.
Jeremy Hellickson avoids arbitration, becomes Phillies' 5th highest-paid player | NJ.com
Top 5: Howard ($25 M), Harrison ($13 M), Ruiz ($8.5 M), Morton ($8 M), Hellickson ($7 M).
Crashburn Alley – Who Are You: Peter Bourjos
It’s not that Bourjos is just a little playing time away from transforming into an All-Star talent, but he has more promise than most 29-year-old waiver claims.
Ryne Sandberg returns to Cubs as ambassador | Centre Daily Times
Talk of Ryne Sandberg returning to the Cubs organization started as early as last October when the Hall of Fame second baseman threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
Rebuilding shouldn't be a dirty word around baseball - SBNation.com
When you say, "They're doing what the Astros did," you should get excited, not roll your eyes.
The Top 10 Third Basemen for 2016 | Baseball Essential
WARNING: Slide show. This is a very odd list. It references Steamer projections, yet includes Trevor Plouffe (100 wRC+, 1.6 WAR), but not Maikel Franco (110 wRC+, 2.7 WAR)
Crashburn Alley – New Catching Metrics at Baseball Prospectus
Already 27 years old, Rupp seems unlikely to become a solid backup catcher through defensive value added, but we basically knew that already.
On the Farm
Six prospects poised to be impact rookies in 2016 - CBSSports.com
Crawford's yet to see the Triple-A level, so it's entirely possible he won't head north with the Phillies after spring training. Soon enough, though, he'll dislodge Freddy Galvis and perhaps provide plus fielding, on-base skills and power to the gaps for years to come.
Mr. Nice Guy: Mark Appel starts anew with Phillies | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Mark Appel has a reputation of being too nice for MLB, but the right-handed pitcher seeks to realize his potential with the Phillies' organization.
Prospect Notes: High Schoolers, Perez, Astros - MLB Trade Rumors
The NCAA has voted to allow high school players to use an agent when negotiating with major league teams, writes Teddy Cahill of Baseball America. Previously, the use of an agent could qualify a player as a professional and invalidate his NCAA eligibility or result in a suspension. For now, the rule applies to five major conferences. Other D-I conferences have the option to opt in.
Shortstop Delvin Perez is the best prospect in Puerto Rico and a legitimate option as the top player in the draft, writes Keith Law of ESPN.
Major League Scouting Bureau Restructuring Under Bavasi - BaseballAmerica.com
For one, the focus domestically will shift away from providing detailed reports on the current draft class. Instead, the Bureau will focus on identifying prospects in future classes—looking at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes instead of 2016. Furthermore, the Bureau will take on a more administrative role, gathering medical information and video on draft prospects, Bavasi said. He stressed that high-quality video is something all clubs are looking for.
With Chris Davis Deal, Scott Boras Strikes Again | FanGraphs Baseball
As an agent, he has perfected the ability to go around the baseball operations department, dealing directly with owners who simply don’t have the same level of knowledge as the people they employ to run their team on a daily basis.
Uncovering a possibly troubling trend for slugger Chris Davis | FOX Sports
In the end, I can't say much of anything with certainty. I don't love this trend, but Davis obviously made the pull-hitting thing work just last year. He still has the power to hit the ball out the other way, and maybe next year the trend will suddenly reverse.
Royals agree to five-year deal with Ian Kennedy: Four things to know - CBSSports.com
1. Kennedy's contract is way over projections.
Royals Hand Underwhelming Kennedy Overwhelming Contract | FanGraphs Baseball
But the Royals needed a pitcher, and Kennedy’s a pitcher, and the Royals are better today than they were yesterday. Is the rotation good enough to contend again? Only time will tell...
Around the League
Jake Arrieta and Cubs Have Biggest Gap in Arbitration - The New York Times
After going 22-6 and helping the Cubs reach the NL Championship Series, Arrieta asked Friday for a raise from $3.63 million to $13 million. Chicago offered $7.5 million, leaving the sides $5.5 million apart.
Chapman, under investigation for domestic violence by Major League Baseball, requested a raise from $8,075,000 to $13.1 million. The Yankees, who acquired him from Cincinnati on Dec. 28, offered $9 million to the reliever, whose fastball regularly tops 103 mph.
Blue Jays go to arbitration with MVP Josh Donaldson over $450,000 - CBSSports.com
Donaldson seeking $11.8 million and Toronto has countered at $11,350,000. The Jays stand to lose more than they'd gain in the long run (even with money) if they drag him to an arbitration panel.
Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts doesn't seem to like Mets fans - CBSSports.com
So to hear Mr. Ricketts tell it, Mets fans are neither obnoxious nor really obnoxious. Rather, they are "really, really obnoxious." [In other news, rain is wet.]
Did the best outfield of all time feature Ruth -- or Mays? - SweetSpot- ESPN
The two greatest outfields of all time -- based on a single-season standard -- featured Hall of Famers and a high combined WAR.
Evan Scribner and the Cruel Realities of Relief Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball
Because no matter how good your stuff is, sometimes Adrian Beltre is there to go down on one knee and hit it 400 feet. Baseball is cruel, and it's crueler to no one more than relief pitchers.
A Modest Proposal: Making Second Base Optional | FanGraphs Baseball
The batter smacks one into the gap. The center fielder takes a deep angle and cuts it off. Now, before the batter reaches first base, he has to consider his options. He can stop there, he can continue going from first to second, or he can take a much sharper turn and head for third! Now we’ve got some excitement on our hands.
Sunday Notes: Orioles Analytics, Kyle Freeland, Expos, more | FanGraphs Baseball
"Matt Klentak (at the time Baltimore’s director of baseball operations, now the GM in Philadelphia) was my boss, and there was certainly buy-in from him in terms of wanting to expand our analytic capabilities," said Gelles.
Minor Leaguers Weigh Risks in Minimum-Wage Lawsuit | FanGraphs Baseball
...the plaintiffs contend that MLB violates federal and state minimum-wage and overtime laws by paying many minor leaguers as little as $3,300 a year. If plaintiffs were to obtain a favorable ruling, the cost of doing business for major league teams would increase dramatically.
Cricketer Kieran Powell tries to make it in baseball – HardballTalk
He has confidence and talent, but can a 26-year-old who has never played the game before cut the mustard?
2016 ZiPS Projections – Los Angeles Dodgers | FanGraphs Baseball
As for second base, there doesn’t appear to be an optimal arrangement yet: both Enrique Hernandez (437 PA, 1.3 zWAR) and Chase Utley (464 PA, 1.1 zWAR) receive rather modest forecasts.
What's in a name? For 6 teams, not what you might think | MLB.com
A new ownership group wanted to make a splash after a disappointing season, so the team signed second baseman Lou Bierbauer away from the Philadelphia Athletics (a legal move, since the A's hadn't put Bierbauer on their reserved list). Still, Philly was irate, and decided to file an official complaint -- even going so far as to call the Alleghenys "piratical," a scathing critique that would surely shame the team for their misdeeds ... or, alternatively, serve as inspiration for an awesome new nickname.
The Physics of Broken-Bat Homers – The Hardball Times
So, next time you see a broken bat result in a weak dribbler, check out the replay. It will most likely show the batter hit an inside pitch near the handle. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to see a broken-bat homer, the replay will show a ball hit further up on the barrel.
2015 Batted Ball Distance Surgers | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
...batters who gained at least 15 feet of distance from year one to year two, gave back half those gains in years three, settling right into the middle of years one and two in that third year.
2015 Batted Ball Distance Decliners | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
So essentially, it’s an ominous sign if a hitter loses significant distance. Sure, he’ll probably rebound some, but not to the degree you might be hoping for.
All-time great bullpens: 1970s - SweetSpot- ESPN
2. 1976 Philadelphia Phillies (101-61): 26-17, 2.55 ERA, 44 saves, 82-4 when leading after seven