May 2024 News and Notes

Sad Sam Jones

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In less than shocking news, Byron Buxton left with a sore knee in the 2nd inning today after he was caught stealing. It followed his 100th plate appearance of the year, so this was pretty deep into the season for him to still be healthy.
 

jon abbey

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So maybe because we have been binging Line of Duty and I suspect everything, but gun to my head, I would bet there is nothing wrong with him and they are just giving him a few weeks. My evidence:

1) He is 23 and threw 163 innings between AAA and MLB last year, so they probably don't want him over 180-185, including any postseason.

2) He threw 101 pitches on Tuesday, only the 2nd time in MLB he has hit 100 pitches (this can be read as evidence pro or con probably).

3) Bradish and Means are both due back this week so they have seven guys for five spots.
 

LogansDad

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So maybe because we have been binging Line of Duty and I suspect everything, but gun to my head, I would bet there is nothing wrong with him and they are just giving him a few weeks. My evidence:

1) He is 23 and threw 163 innings between AAA and MLB last year, so they probably don't want him over 180-185, including any postseason.

2) He threw 101 pitches on Tuesday, only the 2nd time in MLB he has hit 100 pitches (this can be read as evidence pro or con probably).

3) Bradish and Means are both due back this week so they have seven guys for five spots.
I hope you are right, and I would have absolutely no problem with that.
 

jon abbey

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I’m gonna guess there’s never been a less impressive ten game winning streak in MLB history than Minnesota’s current one, 7 over the 6-25 White Sox and 3 over the 11-20 Angels.
 

simplicio

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I was thinking the same thing today. Must be nice to have a pushover in the division.
 

Wingack

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So maybe because we have been binging Line of Duty and I suspect everything, but gun to my head, I would bet there is nothing wrong with him and they are just giving him a few weeks. My evidence:

1) He is 23 and threw 163 innings between AAA and MLB last year, so they probably don't want him over 180-185, including any postseason.

2) He threw 101 pitches on Tuesday, only the 2nd time in MLB he has hit 100 pitches (this can be read as evidence pro or con probably).

3) Bradish and Means are both due back this week so they have seven guys for five spots.

Could be. That list though, is still depressing.
 

dynomite

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So… is MLB messing with the baseballs again? This probably deserves its own thread, but there’s a compelling across the board lack of offense.

Total batting average so far down to .240, lowest mark since 1968. HRs down to their lowest rate in a decade, SLG and OPS similarly at the lowest mark since 1991.

The article mentions runs go up in the summer as the weather warms but this is despite that.

There have only been three MLB seasons in which hitters batted for a lower average and two of those came before 1920, during the league’s “Dead Ball Era.” You’d have to go all the way back to 1968 to find the last time MLB hitters were stymied at the plate to this degree…
Home runs aren’t the only culprit when it comes to the lack of power at the plate.
Doubles are also reaching historic lows. At just 1.54 per game, two-base hits haven’t been this infrequent since 1991 and you’ll have to go back even further (1989) to find when they’ve dropped below that mark (1.50).
As a result, OPS and slugging percentages have dropped to their lowest marks in over 30 years.
At .699, OPS hasn’t been this dismal on a league-wide basis since the 1989 season. Meanwhile, slugging percentages (.385) also haven’t been this low since 1992.

https://www.sportscasting.com/mlb-trends-2024-batting-average-hits-lowest-mark-since-1968/
 
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E5 Yaz

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Is Xander a backup middle infielder in the second year of an 11 year deal?
Arraez has played first, or he could DH. Or the Padres could be trading Kim and moving X back to SS (not that that makes sense)
 

Max Power

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Arraez has played first, or he could DH. Or the Padres could be trading Kim and moving X back to SS (not that that makes sense)
Cronenworth is signed to a long deal and has an OPS over .800 this year at first. They're actually decent there this year. Maybe they do have a deal for Kim in the works.
 

jon abbey

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I don't get this trade on any level.
I don't know about the return but Arraez is a fading asset, a singles hitter and a mediocre defender who is paid a lot, only under control through next year, and basically a replacement player so far this season (0.1 bWAR).
 

jon abbey

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As for the other side, it is definitely an odd acquisition by SD but they are one of a handful of teams that doesn't care much about trading prospects as they are so good at restocking their pipeline behind them.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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It's a lot of potential chaos midseason, but wouldn't their best alignment be:

1B: Arraez
2B: Cronenworth
SS: Kim
3B: Boegarts

Maybe leave Arraez and Cronenworth where they've played most recently if it's mostly considered a wash defensively, but either way, it seems Preller still believes in the rotisserie approach to team building, where he acquires players first and tries to figure out how or if they can fit together later.
 

jon abbey

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It's a lot of potential chaos midseason, but wouldn't their best alignment be:

1B: Arraez
2B: Cronenworth
SS: Kim
3B: Boegarts

Maybe leave Arraez and Cronenworth where they've played most recently if it's mostly considered a wash defensively, but either way, it seems Preller still believes in the rotisserie approach to team building, where he acquires players first and tries to figure out how or if they can fit together later.
MLBTR says Machado at 3B and Arraez primarily at DH (their guess).
 

McBride11

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chrisfont9

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Another pitcher we were told to feel mad at the Red Sox for not acquiring, Aaron Civale, bumped his ERA up to 6.14 with another poor start last night for Tampa. His K rate is still excellent and his FIP is almost two runs lower, so he might be worth having after all. Weirdly he had 10 starts after Tampa got him last summer and also posted an abysmal ERA that was 1.7 runs higher than his FIP. Maybe it's a fiendishly clever move by Tampa to keep his Arb number low. He's free of their tyranny after the 2025 season.
 

bosox188

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I think Civale will probably be fine, this season got off to such a weird, stupid start in many respects. I've created a rule for myself that I'm not believing anything I see in this season until Ronald Acuna has a higher ISO than Nolan Schanuel and Steven Kwan.
 

jon abbey

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So more info on the Arraez deal:

1) MIA will pay almost his entire salary.

2) Their purpose is to try to restock their farm system some with a bulk deal, they have one of the 2-3 worst systems right now.

3) SD will probably mostly DH him and let him lead off.
 

AlwaysSomewhere

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I don't know about the return but Arraez is a fading asset, a singles hitter and a mediocre defender who is paid a lot, only under control through next year, and basically a replacement player so far this season (0.1 bWAR).
He is indeed a singles hitter and mediocre defender, but he has been a valuable player nonetheless and just turned 27. His bWAR from 2021 to 2023 was 3.4, 4.2, 4.9. He was an All-Star and Silver Slugger he past two seasons, getting substantial down-ballot MVP votes in each. His top ten comps on Baseball Reference through age 26 include a bunch of singles hitters and mediocre defenders like Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, and three other Hall of Famers. I suspect his hitting only .299 in the first month of the season is just a mild slump rather than the beginning of a steep decline.

On the other hand, it's hard to get excited about any decision involving the Padres or Marlins, so I will take a deep breath.
 

jon abbey

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He is indeed a singles hitter and mediocre defender, but he has been a valuable player nonetheless and just turned 27. His bWAR from 2021 to 2023 was 3.4, 4.2, 4.9. He was an All-Star and Silver Slugger he past two seasons, getting substantial down-ballot MVP votes in each. His top ten comps on Baseball Reference through age 26 include a bunch of singles hitters and mediocre defenders like Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, and three other Hall of Famers. I suspect his hitting only .299 in the first month of the season is just a mild slump rather than the beginning of a steep decline.

On the other hand, it's hard to get excited about any decision involving the Padres or Marlins, so I will take a deep breath.
The BR comps are solely about his offense, they don't reflect that he is a somewhat below average defender at 2B. SD plans to use him primarily at DH, but since he doesn't hit for power or walk much, his value is almost entirely in his contact ability, which has been worse so far this season (admittedly only 20 percent of a season).

Anyway I can see how this trade makes sense all around, just saying I don't think two years of Arraez is especially valuable. When NY had Starlin Castro, he was a similar offense-first 2B who had almost 1400 hits through his age 27 season (do the math there, that is a lot!!!) who had two years of control left, but NY was happy to dump him in the Stanton deal as a negative asset. Arraez is a notch better than Castro but I wouldn't want my team giving up much for either.

As for being an All-Star, Joey Gallo and Andrew Benintendi were both All-Stars just a couple of months before being traded to the Yankees, both were horrible from day 1 and have continued to be horrible ever since.
 

jon abbey

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Also Arraez has bad career splits against LHP, .836 career OPS vs RHP and .690 OPS vs LHP.
 

E5 Yaz

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JA's right about his being a declining asset ... but he did get off to a good start in his first game, 4-for-4 so far (three singles and a double)
 

jon abbey

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JA's right about his being a declining asset ... but he did get off to a good start in his first game, 4-for-4 so far (three singles and a double)
Happy to be out of the Miami morass presumably, good for him.

Now that we see they’re on the TB-style “trade guys with 2 years left” plan, curious if they will trade Chisholm too (team control through 2026).
 

dynomite

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Good marketing by the Pirates. Announce and hype the call up a few days in advance. A Saturday game against the Cubs. Ticket prices will probably be crazy by Friday.
 

simplicio

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I'm tremendously curious about whether he'll make it through the season without going down for UCL repair.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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The Guardians have released their City Connect uniforms that will be put to use for the first time on Friday.

cityconnect.jpeg

Considering those of other teams I recall seeing, these seem very tame. They put CLE in an art deco inspired font across the front and brought back the red and blue piping from the '80s. I guess the tri-color hat is different, but it feels like something that could always be found in the team shop. I was expecting, and would have preferred, that they go with "The Land" nickname that the Cavs first introduced a few years ago but has caught on as general usage. No one goes around calling the city "CLE".

The most interesting thing is that they could actually be introducing new permanent branding, but doing so under the radar in the form of the socks. I could see them incorporating the Guardian illustration (or using it to launch a different variation) full-time. The "Winged G", which looks more like something a Van Halen fan doodled on their graphing paper in 1982 than anything art deco, has always been universally panned.

My theory was that they knew whatever they introduced first was going to be hated regardless, so the Winged G was a sacrificial lamb. It makes absolutely zero sense that they use two different letter logos, and the "Diamond C" is unquestionably better than the generic block C the Indians had resorted to their last several seasons. They should absolutely have a cartoon version of one of the Guardians from the Hope Memorial Bridge to represent what the team is named for rather than the G. A faction of the fanbase would cry that it's a Chief Wahoo imposter, but that portion of fans is going to complain about every single branding decision they make... and secretly they'll appreciate the different direction. So I could see this being a low key way to introduce a Guardian character and if it comes across as the saving grace of the City Connect uniforms, they can develop it further.
 

jon abbey

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With only 5 teams in the NL above .500 currently, the Padres are in the 3rd wild card spot right now at 23-24.