Archive for Mining the News

Mining the News (1/5/22)

Dan Straily 스트레일리 is looking to join a major league club after pitching in Korea.

Here is a brief history of his recent results.

The righty posted a 3.22 ERA and 24.75% strikeout rate over 360 1/3 innings with the Busan-based Giants, and perhaps the most intriguing statistic is the fact that Straily allowed a modest 22 homers in the hitter-friendly KBO.

Straily also allowed 22 home runs during his time with the Orioles, except that total came over only 47 2/3 innings, resulting in an ugly 9.82 ERA in 2019. A move to the bullpen didn’t help Straily get on track, and while the Phillies acquired Straily at that year’s trade deadline, he didn’t see any big league action in Philadelphia. Injuries contributed to that down year, as Straily mentioned in the reader chat that he only discovered after the season that he had been pitching with a torn meniscus.

Straily said in his chat that “we changed something on almost all of my pitches to make them better,” using such familiar pitching analysis “toys” as “Rapsodo, Driveline, and Edgertronic cameras” to both improve his changeup and add velocity to his fastball.

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Mining the News (12/16/21)

American League


Michael Lorenzen has a guaranteed rotation spot.

If and when spring training begins in 2022, Lorenzen will not come in needing to earn a rotation spot. He confirmed his spot is “locked in.”

Lorenzen disagrees with the perception he’s a “failed starter” because he believes his arsenal has evolved significantly. Throw that rookie year out the window, he argued, because he’s a totally different pitcher.

“I don’t think people understood how rudimentary my skills were when it came to being in the rotation my rookie year,” Lorenzen said. “I had no idea what I was doing. … I’m surviving with no skill.”

His changeup now, he says, is 10 mph slower than his fastball. His two-seamer is different from his four-seamer. And his curveball is refined and he’s excited to use it as a starter. It wasn’t often called upon when he was a reliever.

He needed to sell himself on these changes because he’s been horrible as a starter (4.95 ERA, 4.68 xFIP, 1.50 WHIP). The biggest issue while starting was the walks (4.3 BB/9) and those didn’t go away last season in the bullpen (also 4.3 BB/9). He’s fine as a late-round flier, but I don’t expect some major step forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Mining the News (12/7/21)

Free agents

Masahiro Tanaka will not be coming back to the MLB to play.

Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka’s two-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles contained an opt-out clause this winter, but the team announced that Tanaka will return to the club in 2022 (hat tip to Yahoo Japan). Tanaka’s comeback season in NPB went well, as he posted a 3.01 ERA with a 20.19% strikeout rate and a 4.65% walk rate over 155 2/3 innings with the Eagles.

American League


Lance McCullers Jr. is still about a month away from throwing and may not be ready by the start of Spring Training.

The right-hander said that he is “about a month” away from beginning to throw, which represents a longer rest timeline than the six-to-eight weeks McCullers projected in late October.

Still, it would seem like McCullers is still tentatively on pace to proceed relatively normally during Spring Training, and then be ready for Opening Day

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Mining the News (11/30/21)


Charlie Morton talks about how rehabbing players won’t have access to team training facilities if a lockout happens.

Yeah, I don’t think many people have given much thought to how a lockout could affect things like injury rehab. Folks think mostly in terms of starting spring training and the season on time. But yeah, for guys rehabbing, it could be a pretty significant thing for them.

Yeah, because their life as a professional doesn’t stop. I mean, you go from working out at the team facility — I mean, Acuña and Soroka, those guys are working out at the stadium and rehabbing with our PTs — and then you’re on your own. Which I’m sure is probably pretty unsettling, especially if you have, like, franchise-caliber players involved.

It’s tough to know if this situation should move back any player return timelines, but it’s something to consider going forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Mining the News (11/12/21)

Free Agents

Justin Verlander touched 95-96 mph in his latest tryout.

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Mining the News (11/5/21)

American League


• Even if healthy, Evan White might start the season the minors.

1B Evan White (signed through 2025, club options for ’26, ’27, ‘28)

White’s recovery from left hip surgery in July will be one of the biggest storylines entering Spring Training, especially given that Dipoto wasn’t sure if the 25-year-old would be 100 percent healthy by then. Given his $24 million contract, Seattle is invested in his future. But his spot at first isn’t necessarily written in ink like it was after he first signed that deal — and the Mariners won’t have any hesitation playing him at Triple-A Tacoma if his bat needs more work.

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Mining the News (10/25/21)

Free Agents

• Seiya Suzuki of Japan’s Hiroshima Carp might get posted this winter.

The Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball could make top outfielder Seiya Suzuki available to Major League teams via the posting system this winter, according to a report from Yahoo Japan. The Carp have begun taking some of the necessary steps, per the report, conducting a recent MRI for updated medical records and beginning to put together the requisite paperwork.

Hernandez quotes a big league scout calling Suzuki a “five-tool guy” and “the best player in Japan the last few years.” Sung Min Kim 김민, who’s written for both FanGraphs and The Athletic, tweets that several MLB Pacific Rim scouts have considered Suzuki the top NPB or KBO player with a realistic chance of being posted in recent years.

Suzuki is an interesting add for leagues where every player is rostered. I looked around for some projections or MLE’s and no one has any yet. Once they become available, I’ll post them here. Read the rest of this entry »

Mining the News (10/13/21)

American League


• The six-man rotation is staying with Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez in the rotation.

The Angels are expected to use a six-man rotation next year with Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez essentially locks to be part of it.

For those in early season draft-and-holds and best balls, Sandoval and Suarez are reasonable mid to late-round options. Read the rest of this entry »

Mining the News (10/8/21)

American League

Blue Jays

Nate Pearson pitched with a hernia this year and he’s still being considered as a starting pitching option.

Former No. 1 prospect Nate Pearson is meeting with a doctor today to assess whether he’ll need a procedure to address a sports hernia he pitched through in 2021, though Atkins said the big right-hander felt strong physically as the season ended. Atkins also said that he envisioned an “extended outing, closer to a starter look” for Pearson in ’22.

“We have to factor in workload, factor in development and doing what’s best for him,” Atkins said. “It’s just too hard to say exactly what it will look like, but on the spectrum of things, I hope it looks a lot more like a starter than a reliever, but we’ll be open to all roles and all ways to have him help us win.”

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Mining the News (10/1/21)

American League


Matt Thaiss is moving back to catcher.

Maddon reiterated Thursday that the organization views Thaiss as a catcher in the long term. He threw out 21 percent of 28 would-be base stealers this season, and registered five passed balls in 461 1/3 innings behind the plate.

He’s currently working with Angels catching coach Jose Molina, and Maddon said the reports back have been positive. Thaiss didn’t single out any one thing he needed to improve, but said he’s worked on just being able to handle the duties the position requires in a competitive game.

He might be a nice draft-and-hold dart in the later rounds. I could see him being the backup. Read the rest of this entry »