Archive for Mining the News

Mining The News (3/16/20)

Today’s edition is abbreviated but I felt I needed to draw a line from the first Spring Training to the second one whenever it occurs. A few tidbits snuck through before everything came to a halt.

For the next few articles, I’m going to grind through the velocity gainers and losers next, cross-check those with Jason Collette’s new pitch tracker, and find some possible breakouts.
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Mining The News (3/11/20)

The useful news coming out of camps is drying up. Reporters are transitioning to the standard format of regurgitating the boxscore with a few standard (i.e. lame) starting pitcher comments thrown in.

There may be a bit more content coming since I’m not going to New York for Tout Wars and instead it will be online. I will publish something late on Friday. It might be another Mining the News or I might rank the current closer crop.

American League


Chris Bassitt is likely making the rotation.

Puk’s recent shoulder injury likely flips he and Bassitt’s roles to begin the season. The A’s have not announced an Opening Day starter yet, but let’s assume Mike Fiers gets the nod again. You’re looking at a starting five of Fiers, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Jesus Luzardo and Bassitt.

Blue Jays

Shun Yamaguchi has not perfected a grip on the MLB ball and may be headed to the bullpen.

Yamaguchi, who is a contender for Toronto’s fifth rotation spot but might slot in as a reliever when the team breaks camp, has spent every day of Spring Training getting acquainted with the baseballs he will be using in the Majors. But he admits that his education will continue when he travels to the new locations and the varying climates he will experience for the first time.

Yamaguchi’s primary focus has been on his grip, as he continues to search for the spin he had in Japan. Facing the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Toronto’s 4-2 win on Tuesday, the hurler made progress over his three innings, allowing one run — a Kyle Higashioka homer — on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

What I took from the article, is that he’s just not comfortable and probably going to relieve. I think his status could change mid-season once everything clicks. I’m backing off for now, but I’ll keep an eye on him and could pick up shares once the Jays believe he is ready.
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Mining The News (3/9/20)

I’ll be Mining the News until Thursday and then I’m off to New York for Tout Wars and an NFBC Main Event Draft. I’ll be back around Tuesday to start up again.

American League


Matt Andriese is trying to bring back his slider.

Andriese is working on his slider this spring, as it’s a pitch he utilizes more when he starts than when he’s in relief. He hasn’t thrown it much over the last four seasons, but Andriese did throw a slider regularly as a rookie in 2015.

This might be a huge improvement for him. While not a great pitch (12% SwStr%, 52% GB%), it’s significantly better than his curve (7% SwStr%, 56% GB%). His change (16% SwStr%, 62% GB%) is still his best non-fastball.
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Mining the News (3/5/20)

I’m caught up with a mix of recent or older news. I’m now off to the Spring Training fastball velocity tracker to catch it up.

American League


• While Kyle Tucker hasn’t dialed in his swing yet he seems to have a spot on the MLB team.’

Tucker seems to have a spot locked up on the big league club, and he will push for playing time in right field with Reddick, but there’s progress that needs to be made at the plate.

Baker said he sees signs that Tucker’s long left-handed swing is coming around.

“That’s why I’m trying to give him as much time to get ready as possible, because he’s a long-lever guy and the long-lever guys tend to take longer, just like older players take longer to get their timing and get warmed up,” Baker said. “The shorter-lever guys tend to have a shorter stroke, tend to get it quicker than the guys like him being a longer-lever guy.”

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Mining The News (3/4/20)

After taking last week off from Mining the News, I’m back with a partial recap and almost no in-depth commentary. It’s still almost 3000 words of projection altering nuggets. Also, I’m trying to catch up on the Spring Training fastball velocity tracker. Hopefully, both will be up-to-date in a day or so.

American League


• The Angels are considering Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Matt Andriese, and Jaime Barria for the rotation.

Patrick Sandoval (the Angels’ top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) started one of the team’s two games on Sunday, while Jose Suarez took the ball in the other. Both are considered candidates for the rotation, as are Matt Andriese and Jaime Barria.

“The candidates are great, it’s just a matter of experience and how they’ll be able to deal with all that,” Maddon said of the 22-year-old Suarez and 23-year-old Sandoval. “If you’re a scout and maybe just ran a fantasy baseball team, you kind of like this stuff. …

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Mining the News – 3/2/20

An abbreviated version of the “Mining” on a Monday afternoon.

Blake Snell feels good and plans to play catch on Tuesday afternoon a cortisone shot in his elbow

On Sunday, neither Snell nor Cash would rule out being ready at the start of the season nor assure that he would be. Snell would likely to have been penciled in for the March 28 second game, with Charlie Morton working opening day.

I’m not moving Snell down my board at this moment. I’m keeping an eye on this situation, but holding firm on his #6 SP ranking for now.

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Mining the News (2/26/20)

I’m trying to crank this article out three times a week to limit how long it takes me to assemble each one. That said, I’m not sure if/when the next one will be posted since I’m traveling Friday to BHQ’s First Pitch Florida for my mixed LABR auction. I’m guessing sometime late on Friday or sometime Saturday.


• I’m going to shy away from any current headline injury news (Luis Severino and J.D. Davis). Instead, I’ll try to dig a little deeper to find some “hidden” news that everyone isn’t “breaking”.

• I’ll continue to add in Spring Training velocities whenever I find them to my tracker.

American League


Dillon Peters plans on emphasizing his slider to get left-handed hitters out.

Peters spoke after his first appearance of how he planned to begin mixing in a slider during the spring to give left-handed hitters another look. He threw the slider just 3.9 percent of the time last season.

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Mining the News (2/25/20)

A couple of items before digging into projection adjusting news.

1. I’ve started collecting spring training fastball velocities and will update them as I find the time.

One name which immediately sticks out is Alex Wood with a 2 to 3 mph jump. Wood lives off his sinker (50%+ usage). While it’s not a huge swing-and-miss pitch, it does better at 93 mph and higher.

While healthy, he’s a must-own in all formats.
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Mining the News (2/19/20)

A new format, the same in-depth notes. Again, this took too long to dig through. Paul and I are trying to find a way to expedite it.

American League


Josh James is being stretched out as a starter.

Hard-throwing right-hander Josh James was working out of the full windup during his first bullpen session of the spring on Friday, which is an indication the Astros plan to stretch him out this spring to be a starter. James entered camp last year competing for a rotation spot, but a right quad injury early in the spring derailed those plans.

• Don’t expect the Astros hitters to play over 150 games this season. Dusty likes to rest.

Former Astros manager AJ Hinch was a proponent of giving players regular days off, and Dusty Baker agrees. Baker said regular players would likely play about 150 games this season, meaning they would get two days off a month.

“I believe in rest days and I believe in telling guys when they have rest days,” he said. “There’s mental rest days, there’s baseball rest days, there’s days you say, ‘Hey man, go out and have a good meal and a couple of drinks and let your hair down a little bit and you won’t be off for another couple of weeks.’”

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Mining the News – 2/14/20

In an effort to lighten the load on Jeff for this fantastic series he started, I’ll be doing some MtN pieces during the spring.

Shohei Ohtani is targeting a mid-May return to the mound

Ohtani will open the 2020 season as a DH, Billy Eppler said. They’re targeting a mid-May return for him on the mound. The new rules let him rehab while remaining on the big league roster.

I had been hearing something to this effect on MLB Network recently just in passing from different analysts but without any concrete news so I wasn’t sure if it was their speculation or news. We now have the concrete news. Of course, given his excellent bat this isn’t a total disaster for us in the fantasy realm. In a weird twist, I might actually be moving him up my rankings since he’s locked in the lineup everyday for 6 weeks so he’ll pile up the hitting stats early and then shift into the pitcher/hitter hybrid over the last four and a half months.

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