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MLBits: Padres Fire Black, Royals All-Stars, the Hidden Danger of Young Player Extensions, More

Chicago Cubs

mlb logo featureContinuing on with some news from around the league …

  • When the front office goes nuts to add to the big league roster in the offseason, and the wins don’t come immediately, sometimes they panic:

  • The Padres, for what it’s worth, were only one game under .500 (32-33) and six games back of the Dodgers at the time of the firing. Even if that is below expectations, it’s not as though they are entirely out of the race. This is a very rash move, and one that is reminiscent of the Marlins 2012 season. I’m not sure we’ll see the same type of a sell off the Marlins did, but who would have guessed Bud Black would have been fired this soon (or at all, for that matter)?
  • The AL All-Star voting continues to be a farce:

  • This is getting to be a little ridiculous. Most people know that the All-Star game isn’t actually representative of who deserves the title of All-Star, but this is making it look almost meaningless. Omar Infante, for example, is hitting .204/.213/.283 with a 30(!) wRC+. [Brett: Agree with all of this, and would only add: burn, baby. Burn.]
  • Dave Cameron has an interesting read on the surprisingly woeful start the Boston Red Sox have had to the 2015 season and what the immediate future may hold for them. At 27-38, the Sox are 11 games below .500 and in last place of the AL East. Primarily let down by their big offseason acquisitions, the Red Sox may face some tough choices at the trade deadline, this year.
  • Grant Brisbee examines the rarely discussed downside to contract extensions; specifically, deals handed out to promising youngsters that fade away quickly. Focusing on Trevor Cahill, Ricky Romero and Jedd Gyorko, Brisbee reminds us that locking up a top young talent is still very much a risk, especially if the player in question is a pitcher. I think this may be an especially important read for fans of the Chicago Cubs, who figure to have several young extension candidates over the next few years. Sometimes, even a young player’s best days are behind him.
  • Remember Andy MacPhail? The former president/CEO of the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006 (and led the Orioles through 2011) may be on his way to the Philadelphia Phillies, according to CSN’s Jim Salisbury. However, it’s not yet clear what role MacPhail would play in the front office or when he would come aboard. Salisbury speculates that MacPhail could begin working mid-season as a consultant, to get an intimate understanding of the team, before taking over a larger role down the line.
  • Technology continues to be an increasingly important aspect of baseball; so being ahead of the curve, in any way you can, is as crucial as ever. The Rays, who always seem to be on top of things, are introducing a new piece of arm tracking technology called Kinatrax at Tropicana Field. The technology captures the movement of every pitchers’ arm in a way that was only previously accessible in a laboratory. While its primary use will be for arm strength and health, how the Rays will interpret the data is still unclear.
  • Ian Harrison looks into how and why Carlos Delgado was dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot this year, after failing to receive enough votes (5%) to remain on the list. Jayson Stark believes Delgado was, “the best player in history to get booted…” and this is just one of many stories that underscores the messiness of the Hall of Fame’s voting system.
  • An armless man threw out the first pitch in San Francisco, and it was a strike.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami