Soccer is back on the agenda for Saturdays and the Taylor crew, so that means delayed Bullets …
- The Marlins aren’t just coming for one outgoing veteran Cubs reliever, they’re coming for two:
Sources : In addition to pursuing RP Pedro Strop the Marlins are also very much in pursuit of RP Brandon Kintzler (as I’ve previously reported.) It appears they are very serious about signing one of those two, presumably to handle the 9th.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 24, 2020
- Each of Strop and Kintzler could represent cost-effective late-inning options for the Marlins (who might hope they turn into flippable pieces by midseason). I’d been hoping the Cubs would try to bring Kintzler back after he made some tweaks with Tommy Hottovy to really turn it around in 2019, but he’s going to get a big league deal and the Cubs have already used up their allotment of one. Can’t blame a guy for looking for a more certain opportunity and a shot to close.
- Ugh. I knew this was coming, and there’s probably no way around the problems that have evolved around the baseball, but this is still gonna be such a dang pain in the ass when it comes to evaluating player performance:
The Double-A leagues will continue using the minor league ball in 2020. The Triple-A leagues will continue using the MLB ball https://t.co/9hHxScSQCv
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) January 24, 2020
- As we’ve discussed, the extent to which things went completely off the rails and ridiculous at AAA this year cannot be overstated (I mean, the league average slash line was .277/.354/.477, and the league average ERA was 5.48, for crying out loud!). For whatever reason, using the juiced up big league baseball had a disproportionately hyper-power impact at AAA. The good news is that MLB has at least some understanding of how the seams are impacting the ball, and is going to try to improve the process of baseball craft to “de-juice” the ball at bit, which would help at AAA, too. But I don’t think anyone expects it’ll immediately take things back to pre-2017 (in part because a lot of the “juicing” is still caused by unknown factors), so I’d expect inflated power numbers at AAA again this year.
- Even setting aside the toxic clubhouse stuff implied by questioning whether Mike Fiers was a rat or whatever, the “good teammate” angle really pisses me off:
Today marked the first time we'd heard from Mike Fiers in 73 days. A question has been hotly-debated since then: what constitutes a good teammate? In this case, the answer is murky. Fiers says he wants to move forward. Will baseball move with him? https://t.co/u7gXEdThJO
— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) January 25, 2020
- Why are we framing the “goodness” or “badness” of Fiers as a teammate around how he treated a group of cheaters, and not how he’s treating his CURRENT teammates, who may have been screwed by the cheaters? Wouldn’t he be a shit teammate if he DIDN’T say something? Why don’t you think about that for a second, fellow former Astros?
- Among the other folks who could have been hurt by the Astros’ cheating? Non-players who lost out on the very generous shares of playoff proceeds that can be life-changing:
Asked about the Dodgers’ World Series losses to Houston and Boston and what may have impacted those series, Rich Hill discussed the people most affected by those moments, clubbies, video guys, trainers. pic.twitter.com/UWrrsVBEPA
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesMLB) January 25, 2020
- Jon Lester has jokes:
Not sure I understand all the hype. pic.twitter.com/HhAvynFGWs
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) January 24, 2020
- Get that endorsement deal, Willy:
- At the Pirates’ fan convention, their owner hung out with the fans to talk to them one-on-one, hearing their criticisms and absorbing it all for hours:
I thought it would be interesting to observe Bob Nutting this year at PiratesFest. So I did, and we wound up talking about a few things: https://t.co/XP0mK2808u
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 25, 2020
- With all their additions, the White Sox are feeling hyped, and I am fine with it:
Nomar Mazara is not feeling sorry for himself that he may he stuck near the bottom of the White Sox batting order
“I feel sorry for the opposing pitching staff”https://t.co/mGnrNkLsZf
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) January 25, 2020