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AZRon last won the day on October 10 2018

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About AZRon

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  1. Other than better pitching (or weaker batters), the most likely explanation is that many more games are being played at night.
  2. I have been attending a few AFL games each season for several years now. Here's some of the changes that I've noticed: A couple of pitchers from each team used to sit in the stands behind home plate and chart pitches -- no longer true The number of scouts attending has gradually diminished The age of those scouts has trended sharply younger Fewer of those scouts are former professional players Fewer of the scouts manifest speed guns and more tote other forms of technology Speaking of the latter, yesterday, I had a brief conversation with a Giants scout as he was setting up his Edgertronic camera equipment and connecting the USB cord to his laptop. He stated that his system is capable of recording at 750 to 1000 frames per second. I'm aware that Edgertronic produces cameras with the capability of over 2000 frames per second. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/high-speed-cameras-spread-quickly-around-baseball/
  3. https://www.mlb.com/news/major-league-baseball-tests-robot-umpires-arizona-fall-league Yesterday, I was at the game played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Here's what I noticed: Slight delay by home plate umpire calling balls and strikes Seemed that more strikes than usual were called on the following pitches: inside fastballs and breaking balls; high fastballs; low breaking balls The home plate umpire wore a device belted over his left rear hip, in a custom protective pouch (somewhere around the size of large cellphone or very small tablet) A "civilian" attended the umpire between 1/2 innings (6th or 7th) to make an equipment change -- perhaps, a battery replacement I was unable to spot any wires or an earpiece There were no obvious batter/pitcher objections to any of the strike/ball calls I do not know whether or not this is the same system that was tested this year in the Atlantic League. I am strongly in favor of the MLB adopting this type of technology ASAP (as soon as practical/possible).
  4. Yeah, I'm uncertain why so many posters seem so concerned about besting Tampa Bay for the lowest MLB payroll. The Orioles have already lopped off $100M from their 2017 payroll. Does anyone here have access to Mike Elias's 2020 MLB player budget?
  5. Thanks for the corrections -- I'll have to start sitting in the sun and closer to the plate.
  6. Yesterday, I attended the Surprise Saguaros vs. Scottsdale Scorpions game at the Scorpions home base , Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Four Orioles started for the Saguaros -- Rylan Bannon at 3rd, Mason McCoy at 2nd, T.J. Nichting at DH and Alex Wells pitching. Dean Kremer relieved Wells to start the 4th inning. Overall, the game featured strong pitching and some of the worst fielding gaffs that I've witnessed at an AFL game -- including a run scoring from second base while the Scorpions' pitcher, catcher and first baseman surrounded a pop fly and watched it plop safely fair about 20 feet up the first base line. Bannon -- hitless in 4 at-bats; one hard hit ball, liner to medium center field; weak grounder to 3rd for a force out; pop fly to second baseman; struck out missing a low outside fastball strike; my impression remains that he is a patient hitter with good plate awareness and coverage McCoy -- notable batting stance, sort of leans back with knees strongly bent forward; no hard hit balls, a couple of infield grounders, foul tip fastball 3rd strike, and a walk on a 3-2 fastball well outside; started a 4-6-3 double play. Nichting -- switch hitter, batted left 4 times; looked a bit overmatched; a couple of weak grounders to first, late on a 3rd strike fast ball, drew an easy walk. Wells -- impressive; simple windup, rocks from the waist; pitched ahead; 3 pitches for strikes; fastball - 89 and 90, breaking ball 72 - 74, change (excellent) 83-85; a few hard hit balls, line drives for hits; 4 strikeouts no walks; 2 swinging K's 2 looking (completely fooled on fastballs); struck out the side in the 2nd; multiple moves to hold runners at first; step off throw and picked off runner at first who had taken an average lead. Kremer -- looked good; pitched 1 inning; basic windup, rocks from the waist; 3 pitches around the plate - fastball 91-92, breaking pitch 74, change 84; 3 up and down; struck out 2, 1 swinging and a weak fly to center. So that's 2 AFL games that I have attended so far; each breezed along: Time of games -- 8 1/2 innings 2:34; 9 innings 2:21
  7. According to Spotrac -- https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/cash/ -- the Orioles easily ranked 28th out of 30 in MLB "Cash" payroll spent in 2019 and the current projection in the opening post (all else being equal) would place them in the same spot in the rankings.
  8. For those who want to play GM, I am presenting the current projected opening day team payroll (ODP) for the start of the 2020 season. I'm dealing only with the "active" roster, but the O's will have pay obligations for all players on the 40 man roster. I'll try to keep this up to date through opening day (all help appreciated). To qualify for this list, the player must be on the 40 Man Roster. This list represents my guess as to the 2020 Opening Day Active Roster (26 players + IL) as of the date of this post. Salaries are displayed as rounded to the nearest $10k, but the total is accurate to 2 decimal places. Projections for those under contract are from the Cots Baseball Prospectus Compensation website. Projections for those eligible for arbitration are from the MLB Trade Rumors website. The 2019 MLB minimum salary was $555,000. The 2020 minimum is $555,000 plus a cost-of-living adjustment. I've guessed 3% rounded off - $572,000. I'll adjust the number when MLB announces next year's minimum salary. Last year's Orioles ODP was $82.12M, about a 53% reduction from the previous year. I provide this information so that we can make accurate and useful comparisons to the opening day payrolls of the Orioles in previous years, other MLB teams and the totals for Major League Baseball. As with virtually all team opening day payroll tabulations on the web, my total payroll figure does not reflect any deductions for deferred salaries or additions for set-asides for deferrals from previous years (as required by Article XVI of the CBA). So, please, let's dispense with the squabbling over the "accounting" for salary deferrals. I have noted the 2020 contract deferrals in the right-most column of the below chart. Status PLAYER POS 2019 SALARY DEFERRED ($ Million) ($ Million) P Chance Sisco C $0.58 P Pedro Severino C $0.59 C Chris Davis 1B/DH $23.00 $6.00 P Renato Núñez DH/1B/3B $0.59 A Hanser Alberto 2B $1.90 A Jonathan Villar SS $10.40 P Rio Ruiz 3B $0.58 A Trey Mancini OF/DH/1B $5.70 P Austin Hays OF $0.57 P Anthony Santander OF $0.58 P Mason Williams OF $0.57 P DJ Stewart OF $0.57 P Stevie Wilkerson UT $0.58 A Dylan Bundy SP $5.70 C Alex Cobb SP $14.00 $4.50 P John Means SP $0.58 P Asher Wojciechowski SP $0.58 P Aaron Brooks SP $0.58 A Mychal Givens RP $3.20 A Richard Bleier RP $1.10 P Paul Fry RP $0.58 A Miguel Castro RP $1.20 P Hunter Harvey RP $0.57 P Dillon Tate RP $0.57 P Tanner Scott RP $0.57 P Cole Sulser RP $0.57 Total $76.02 $10.50 A = Arbitration Projection C = Contract P = Pre-Arbitration
  9. I neglected to mention that I observed Rylan Bannon's practice swing technique as he was waiting in the on deck area. He takes several swings at a simulated waist-high pitch with the currently popular upward launch angle and releasing his upper hand at the practice contact point (ala Charlie Lau/Walt Hriniak) and completing a full follow through with his left arm.
  10. I attended today's game at the Peoria Sports Complex, the home field for the Surprise Saguaros who easily topped the Mesa Solar Sox 6 to 1. The scouts there confirmed that the AFL is not using the MLB baseball. That is, the baseball is the one that was used at all levels below AAA in 2019. The game was completed in just over 2 1/2 hours. Two (2) different pitchers were penalized once each with a called ball for exceeding the time limit (15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with any runner on base) to start their windup motion or to come set. No batters were penalized with a strike call for exceeding the the various time limits to be in the batter's box (30 second timer between batters, batter must be in the box at the 15 second mark and ready to hit at the 5 second mark; 2 minute 15 second timer between innings, the batter must be in the box by the timer's expiration; once an at-bat commences, the batter may only exit the box after a foul ball or a way-inside pitch). I noted that, after the "ball" penalties were called on the pitchers, the timer was not reset -- I'm assuming that this was an administrative error. As to the Orioles' farmhands: Rylan Bannon played the entire game at 3rd and batted 3rd in the lineup. At 5 feet, 10 inches, he is one of the significant minority of players in the AFL who is listed below 6 feet in height. He had 2 fielding plays -- one was a parallel to the ground dive to his left (ala Brooksie) to spear a line drive on 1 hop with short-hop throw to first to nail the out; and a major league play on hard-hit bouncer to deep 3rd with a long short-hop throw to first to gain the out. At bat, there were no whiffs and he exhibited some patience, but had only 1 hard hit ball -- a low line drive single to the left of 2nd base; he advanced a base on a wild pitch and scored from 2nd on a single to short left-field. David Lebron pitched 1 relief inning. The smallish right-hander (listed at 6 feet, 190 pounds) worked from a windup with the bases empty and throws full overhand. He was consistently around the plate, gave up 1 hard-hit ground ball single, and retired the other 3 batters on 2 softly hit infield liners and a ground ball.
  11. Brad Bergesen is the pitching coach for the Scottsdale Scorpions. https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=berges001bra He just turned 34 years old and joined the Phillies organization as Lakewood's (Sally League) pitching coach last year. He moved up to Clearwater's pitching coach (A+) in 2019.
  12. Here's a recap of the investigation(s) determinations, criminal prosecution and MLB actions regarding the St. Louis Cardinals hacking of the Houston Astros' database. Severe consequences for one (1) hacker. Significant punishment for Cardinals organization for failure to effectively oversee their employee's activities. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/we-now-know-extent-of-cardinals-hack-and-the-unprecedented-penalties-from-mlb/
  13. Apparently, the Cardinals employed (employ?) an amateur spell checker version (or failed to employ one). If so, it's one of the very few shortcomings I've noted with respect to that organization.
  14. All of these personnel changes raised my curiosity about pension plans. From the MLB Pension Plan: http://www.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/bhb/eng/mlb-0f0-pension-print.pdf "You are eligible to participate in the Pension Plan if you were a member of the Pension Plan on March 31, 2012, or if you are a player with one day of credited service with a Major League club during a championship season after that date. If you work as a coach, a trainer, an assistant trainer/physical therapist, or a manager after that date, you are eligible to participate in the Pension Plan if a club designates you to participate in the Pension Plan....." Apparently, non-uniformed personnel (other than trainers and physical therapists) are eligible for a pension plan for/in which less than 500 individuals are eligible and/or participate. So what about scouts, player oversight coordinators and front office employees? https://www.brightscope.com/form-5500/basic-info/230063/St-Louis-Cardinals-Lp/13917507/Major-League-Baseball-Pension-Plan-For-Non-Uniformed-Personnel/2017/ For non-playing personnel, it's an insider's game -- mostly year-to-year job security, skimpy pay, and non-standardized performance measurement. I guess it really is "For Love of the Game"
  15. How many times does an effective pitcher throw the pitch within 1 baseball's distance of his target? Christy Mathewson practiced doing that. When he was successful at doing it in games, he was praised for his "command". Watch the Oriole pitchers during the game and count how many times they are "successful at hitting their target". As to command, if a pitcher is ineffective, it could be blamed: on the "metrics" for bad targeting based on count and batter's strength/weaknesses and/or on the catcher for placing the wrong target and/or the pitcher's inability to "consistently hit his target" I'm betting the latter Few major league hitters are consistently overpowered by velocity or an "unusual" pitch. Athletic pitchers should be able to improve their command by effective practice techniques. So, the Orioles' current conglomeration of pitchers: is insufficiently athletic to benefit from practice regimens or the practice regimens are ineffective at or insufficient to improving their ability to command a pitch I'm betting on the latter. Can any of the Orioles Hangout staff provide their observations on the pitching practice regimens?
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