Dr. D's fave reads from last week being:
Fangraphs has a detailed interview with Nate Karns. Lots of juicy stuff as to the way Karns looks at the game when he's on a "B" day, when he's in rhythm, and when he's hot as a firecracker. No chance whatsoever that you will read this and fail to gain optimism on Karns.
The Shout Box was a better read as to the 25-man roster than were the beat writers. :- ) Notably Mo' Dawg and Grizzly. Dr. D seriously loves the Shout Box when it gets rolling. You guys is awesome. Last thing I'm gonna say.
As Tacoma Rain pointed out at the D-O-V Mainframe, there is a fine article on Marte/Sardinas at Prospect Insider. I've got to say, Jason has not wasted his last couple of years around scouts. He's getting sharper in my humble opinion ... it's one thing to use all the scout-speak buzzwords, another thing to be on target with them and to predict the future. Dr. D likes Churchill's takes this year.
He points out, accurately we're sure, that Sardinas is regaining some of his glitter status. He is also of the opinion that the Mariners are watching Marte's throws from shortstop with snake eyes, and that Sardinas is lurking if Marte doesn't "clean up his throws." Not 100% on board with that, but there are plenty of interesting opinions in that article.
Also good, their article on the "M's versatility matrix." They see a Dae-Ho Lee roster as a "24.5 man roster" which is a cute way to put it.
Speaking of which, Dr. D has bonus material for you at his second site, the D-O-V Mainframe. As y'know, we live to serve.
Sully's Friday chat had less in it this week --- > that so happened to appeal to me, but is one of my few must-reads each week.
Geoff Baker is relentless in his attempt to educate people that --- > yearly operational cash surplus is NOT profit. The M's profit last year was $117M. That's what their business gained them after their $130M-odd payroll. People wonder why some teams just go to $170 or $200 or $220M. It's because most teams could double their payroll and still be profitable. They choose not to.
Buy a rental duplex sometime. You'll understand why a surplus rent of $50/month is not your profit.
From Hey Bill just today -- still only $3 per month at this link, and the $3 per month is "just to keep out the riffraff" in James' words --
What do you look at in spring training coverage, since the usual criteria of winning and losing don't count for anything?
Asked by: bobfiore
Spring training games are actually very, very interesting; it's just a matter of re-orienting your thinking.
In spring training everybody is struggling to establish their place (except the top-of-the-pecking-order guys.) David Price and Dustin Pedroia. . . we know where they are in their careers, so in their case we look for things like "Has he lost a step? Is he moving normallly? Is he moving the way he did two years ago? Has he made any adjustments? Is he ready to start the season?"
But everybody else is trying to establish a position in the pecking order. Brennan Boesch and David Murphy are both on the Red Sox spring training roster, trying to stay in the major leagues, so every plate appearance for them is an absolutely critical plate appearance. Every ball hit to the them in the outfield is a critical play for them. We NEED a left-handed hitting outfielder, but. . . .it's a battle.
The young player who is going to begin the 2016 season at Salem gets a chance to get an at bat against Dellin Betances or Michael Pineda; show us what you've got. The 18-year-old infielder gets to play three innings of shortstop in front of John Farrell and the major league staff. It matters tremendously to him whether he looks like a major league shortstop or whether he doesn't.
You have to understand: these are not give-away at bats and give-away innings to these players; they are critical, career-shaping at bats and innings. The rest of us. . .we're getting a chance to see players who we otherwise would only know as minor league records. It's tremendously important that we use those opportunities to educate ourselves about those players--our players and those on the other teams.
I forget where it was, the TNT or Times, but Servais frowned about the idea of Paxton/Karns in the bullpen. On the basis that the extra innings they soak up "keep you from keeping your [other] relievers stretched out" (!)
C'mon, man, which is it. Too many relievers or too few.
Anyway, this suggests that DiPoto and Servais are slightly diverging on the Paxton/Karns question. Servais considers it a bit awkward to manage a reliever who is too good. DiPoto wants the best 12 pitchers. It is DiPoto's final call. We'll see whether he is in the mood to give a courtesy deference to a manager who is cooperative on other fronts.
Dr. D was a week or two late on Donn Roach. Scott Servais wasn't, and he seems to be wavering about Roach's scheduled trip to AAA. Since Peralta is favored right now, this would imply a conference-table debate about Roach vs Karns. It says here, Peralta's "reliability" is a luxury (in the #12 pitcher role) that is engulfed by the need to keep your 3-year plan in mind. All things being equal, stay away from the solution that will have to be solved again next year. That means 45-year-old pitchers lose ties.