Weekend Rumblings - News for November 5, 2016
Lee Judge looks at the Gold Glove case of Salvador Perez.
There’s certainly some skill involved in receiving a borderline pitch and making it look like a strike, but the catcher’s skill isn’t the only factor. Umpires may like or dislike the pitcher or batter or be swayed by hometown crowds. If a hitter showed up the umpire in an earlier at-bat, and the umpire decides to get payback by calling a borderline pitch a strike, the catcher’s skill doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it.
And if a catcher has to handle pitchers with nasty-nasty stuff — and the Royals have a few pitchers who throw nasty-nasty — framing pitches might go out the window; it’s all the catcher can do to keep the ball from going to the backstop.
I just read a piece on pitch framing that said Erik Kratz was one of the five best receivers in 2012, and after watching Kratz catch for the Royals over parts of two seasons, that seems pretty unlikely. So don’t get too worked up about framing reports that show Salvy as a bad receiver.
David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City is looking for some undervalued pitching.
One name that does intrigue me on the free agent market is Charlie Morton. He hurt himself last year running the bases, so he only made four starts, and it’s not like he’s been great throughout his career, but he did post a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts in 2013 and a 3.72 ERA in 26 starts in 2014. He’s had injury issues all over the place which has led to just 146 games started since 2009, but I kind of like what he brings to the table. His DRA by season since 2013 is 3.40, 3.89, 4.04 and 3.53. He was averaging nearly 95 MPH on his sinker this year before getting hurt, and it’s a good sinker. He has a 55.4 percent career ground ball rate, but it’s been higher than that every year since and including 2011. It was at 62.8 percent in 2016. Given the change in the home run climate in baseball, these sinker pitchers might be the way to go when looking for rotation depth.
Greg Holland’s showcase for teams will be on Monday.
The Royals officially activated Mike Moustakas and others from the 60-day disabled list.
Danny Duffy helps out at an animal shelter.
Royals minor league first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor is hitting well in Venezuela.
Steve Bartman is reportedly overjoyed by the Cubs World Series win.
Rany Jazayerli writes that the Cubs ended the analytics war.
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs wonders if post-season baseball has become too different from regular season baseball.
The Diamondbacks hire Torey Lovullo to be their skipper.
Taiwan is becoming a place for baseball teams to scout.
The Cardinals fan’s guide to the new Cubs world.
Rob Neyer wonders why there aren’t more publicly gay baseball players.
HBO cancels Bill Simmons’ show Any Given Wednesday.
Why do millennials hate groceries?
Will Westworld collapse under all it mysteries?
Dave Chappelle will host Saturday Night Live for the first time.
Your song of the day is Duke Ellington with Rem Blues.