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Sam Morley

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About Sam Morley

  • Birthday 12/02/1983

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  1. This idea of “there are no starters or relievers, only pitchers” is flawed, and I think the flaw is basically a semantic one. Here’s what I’m thinking: 1. some pitchers are better than others, meaning they are better at getting hitters out than other pitchers. 2. the number of pitchers on a team is finite. 3. those pitchers have to pitch all the innings of the season. 4. the pitchers who are better than the others will have to pitch most of the innings of the season. Further, the larger the portion of “most of the innings” that the better pitchers pitch, the more success the group of pitchers as a whole will have at getting hitters out. 5. whether the better pitchers start or finish games seems statistically unimportant to me so long as they are pitching most of the innings, and the more the better (up to some point of diminishing return). (While it may be statistically unimportant in a vacuum, it might be very important to the humans who are the better pitchers, and to the fans of the game for aesthetic reasons). 6. So I say it’s semantic because we call the better pitchers starters and the others relievers. 7. the idea of using a bunch of failing starters (Velazquez, Tomlin, etc) in the bullpen isn’t creative, innovative, or forward thinking. It’s just every bullpen ever. 8. the only way to have more pitchers each pitch fewer of the same amount of innings is to expand the roster. If the roster size is expanded, the same strategy will be available to all of the teams, the talent will be diluted, and the teams with the most better pitchers will still win the most games.
  2. https://youtu.be/929Wk-EWQ0s so after this, the tigers immediately sent burrows back to triple a, and now they’ve apparently cut him outright.
  3. I can't access the front page from my regular computer. I get an error message. I get the same thing when I click on the TD logo in the upper left.
  4. 99% of major league hitting is about being able to turn on an inner third fastball. Major league pitching is working against that, luring hitters further and further toward and off the outer third. Every once in a while someone squeaks through the system to the show who fits into a 1% that looks for the ball on the outer third and tries to spray it away. There's room for success doing it because pitchers aren't prepared for it or just don't care. If you only have to face a guy like that once in a while, why would you waste time preparing for it? It's the same reason that there can always be one or two knuckle ball pitchers. I think pitchers probably will be able to adjust to Arraez. If they can beat him with fastballs on the inner third, he's done. If can show that he can turn on those from time to time and make them think twice, he'll be okay. His 2019 spray chart shows four home runs all to right field, so that seems like a good sign. Not sure what pitches they were off of though... Ten minutes later: Okay, there are four and I found the videos for all of them on MLB.com. 1 fb 93 center away, 1 curve 84 center, 1 fb 92 center in, 1 curve 83 down in. So there is one fastball edging close to the inner third and he really crushes it. Nice.
  5. The "hit tool" is weird. The other tools are all pretty much natural physical attributes. Hitting mostly is a learned skill that is impacted by a bunch of natural physical attributes that aren't counted as tools: vision, quickness, hand eye coordination, intellect. There are some people who pick up the mechanics pretty quickly from a young age, and I suppose they get some due credit for being natural hitters. Most have to learn it though and reinforce with a lot of repetition and constant refinement. I would say that in either of these cases, the results are a player who can hit a fastball. That's the foundation of the "hit tool"... I think. My question is, how much does a hitter's ability to hit off-speed (or lay off it) influence the qualification of his "hit tool"? If a guy has the other tools, and the 'sub-tools', and has the proper hitting mechanics, looks great in BP, and crushes fastballs when he knows they're coming, then I think he has a good chance of learning/adjusting to off-speed. Hopefully that is the case with Keoni. If it's not, he's going to be a bust, and someone(s) in the FO made a poor selection. Being a great athlete is icing on the cake. Nobody wants a cake without the icing, but the f'ing cake is hitting fastballs. A .171 BA, with his speed, is a bad sign. Since we're doing comparisons... Byron Buxton was a raw, athletic HS 1st round pick. He murdered fastballs and his off-speed game didn't get exposed until he debuted in MLB. The Mike Trout comps don't make sense.
  6. But it kind of reminds me of the days where pitchers like Johnson and Clemens were averaging 97 on their fastballs. eh? eh?
  7. That isn't something that would be included in a medical report, is it? I don't understand the conflation of his medical history with his projection as a starter vs reliever. Is Boston saying that there is something in his medical history that predicts he will be a reliever? If so, what is it? Lots of starters have had TJ. Lots of starters have had shoulder impingement. Is Graterol himself saying he doesn't want to start anymore? This whole starter/reliever projection bit is nonsense. Boston could whine about him not projecting as a starter to devalue him/get another piece in the trade and then use him as a starter anyway.
  8. How do you estimate how many times a healthy person can throw a baseball before they get injured? How can a person's physical condition be such that it is unsafe for them to throw 100 pitches in a game once a week but safe for them to throw 20 pitches in a game every other night? If there is something wrong with their body that prevents them from doing the former, wouldn't the same thing prevent them also from doing the latter? Starting pitchers turn into relief pitchers for one reason: they aren't good enough at pitching to be starters. They are saying Graterol can only handle a work load of 150-170 innings in a season. What does that mean? Does he get too tired to be effective after that? Is he getting too tired at that point in the season because of how hard he throws? That would make sense. That would jive with starters who convert to relievers and add 3-4 mph to their fastball. Presumably, most starting pitchers are not working near the top of their max range. They give up some heat in favor of stamina, and they have to become better at pitching to make up for the lost mph. My interpretation of Graterol being forecast as a reliever is that they don't think he's good enough at pitching to lose the mph. But I don't see what is stopping him from becoming better.
  9. So, what is the scoop on Alex Verdugo? Looks like he hits for some average with low k rates, but also low walk rates and has pretty modest power. His stats remind me a bit of Rosario (with less power). I wonder who in the Twins minor league system is a good comparison. Boston got Verdugo and Graterol. Could we have ended up with Betts and Price if we had packaged a prospect similar to Verdugo with Graterol? Could we have then traded our extra corner OF (Rosario or Kepler) for Maeda and ended up with Betts, Price, and Maeda? Here's this from fangraphs on Verdugo: For all of Verdugo’s talent, concerns about his makeup have followed him since before he was drafted, with Keith Law (then of ESPN) noting questions about his level of motivation circa 2014, and the Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2018 writing, “Verdugo’s skills are undeniable, but criticism of his effort level and maturity have plagued him since his amateur days and were again prevalent in 2017,” referring, at the very least, to a dressing-down the rookie received from Rich Hill upon showing up to the ballpark late after oversleeping. In their 2019 edition, BA wrote, “Verdugo stays dialed in at the plate, but an indifferent attitude affects the rest of his game,” and noted lapses in his focus afield as well as a “slow motor” that “shows up on the bases, frustrating teammates and coaches alike,” while in their write up of the Dodgers system last year, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel noted that “part of the reason teams have been asking for other Dodgers prospects in trades is due to some past off-field stuff.”
  10. Yeah, and to add to this: Quality starting pitching is way harder to accomplish than quality relieving and takes more skill and ability. A quality starter has to successfully navigate their opponents lineup three times in an outing. Any marginally successful major league starting pitcher can be a quality reliever. Relievers are failed starters. Their stuff/stamina is only strong enough to get hitters out once in a game. Hitters don't often get a second chance at a reliever in the same series. If Graterol becomes a rotation ace for Boston, then this trade will sting; but this trade definitely makes the Twins better for 2020. It does not make them a post season competitor. IMO, it makes them the favorite for the division, if they weren't already. It gives them a pretty good chance of getting to the break and deadline in a competitive position where they will have the option of trading for starting pitching that can actually make a difference in the post season.
  11. IMO Familiarity trumps skill in the booth, especially for the play-by-play/anchor. For TV, the job is Dick's as long as he wants it. All of the positive things people in this thread have said about Dick are true. Essentially, we know him, he knows the game, he's a Minnesotan, and he's a professional. Some of the negatives mentioned are probably true as well. Sometimes, his calling is inaccurate; he can be a poor judge of fly balls. The clamoring for perfection and accuracy in sports is obnoxious and bad for sports. The game is played and officiated by people on the field in present, real time; not in slow-motion review on computers by technicians and robots- nor by fans watching on television, playing fantasy, and/or gambling. The mistakes are part of the drama and the fun. Getting mad at Dick and yelling at the TV when he calls a routine fly ball like it's 20 rows deep is part of the fun. Outcomes of sports games are not actually important (with all due 'respect' to fantasy players and gamblers). Jerry Coleman, the Hall of Fame radio guy for the Padres for decades, called this in a game: "Winfield goes back to the wall. He hits his head on the wall and it rolls off! It's rolling all the way back to second base! This is a terrible thing for the Padres!" Inaccurate and one of the most famous quotes from a broadcast booth of all time. Perfection is one form of greatness. Dick is not perfect, but he is great. He's great because he's our guy. I could say I wish he had some fun tag lines like Hawk Harelson; "Put it on the board, yessss!" is a great tag line, but at the same time, Hawk can get pretty annoying, so maybe the grass isn't any greener after all. We won't even know how much we're going to miss Dick until he's gone and the new guy/gal is flubbing around trying to find their voice/identity. I have zero interest in replacing Dick before he wants to retire on his own terms, not with Marney Gelner or anyone. When Dick is ready to go, I think Marney Gelner is as good a candidate as anyone else I can think of. As for Dick's partner, the color commentator, I think there is some room for variety. The team of Dick and Bert is familiar and that goes a long way. But I agree with many who say that Bert has been unwilling/unable to adjust to trends and developments in the game, especially in pitching, which should be his forte. The on-going mantra of 'keep the ball down' in the zone despite the obvious adjustment of hitters' bat paths to 'down in the zone' and the relative success of pitchers up in the zone speaks the loudest to this issue. I think the color guy has two important roles. One is to analyze and inform; recognize details and trends in the game and tell us about them- this should be pretty objective, with little need for moralization. The other is opine about the game. Tell us about what has made the game great; what changes threaten it and what changes might improve it. This is more subjective, and will create disagreement and controversy- but also conversation and interest. Bert gets heavy on opinion and his opinionated style bleeds into the aspects of his performance that should be objective, and that's a problem. I like his opinions on the moral issues of the game, whether I agree with them or not. I do agree with his opinions about the threat of automated strike zones. And I've appreciated his willingness to voice it, because it seems like there are few who share and voice that opinion in broadcasting. It's a moral issue facing the game and opinions about it from multiple perspectives should be encouraged. "Pitchers should keep the ball down in the zone" or "batters should lead with their hands" are not moral subjects and more effort should be made to take evidence into consideration when analyzing gameplay. Of the other color TV guys, I like Hawkins the best- but only because he calls Dick "Richard" instead of Dick. I'm not sure that would carry him through the whole season for me though. He's on rarely enough that I usually forget until it comes out and it's funny all over again. I like Torii Hunter and I'm sure he has good stories, which would seem to be his strength in the booth, but he doesn't really seem comfortable enough to tell them or have a sense yet of what is appropriate. He has shown some really poor judgement about things he said to the media in the past as a player and never really seemed to understand what the problem was. I like Jack Morris. He seems to combine the things that are likeable/good about Bert with a balance and objectivity that Bert lacks. But frankly, he's a Tiger. The thing I like about Roy Smalley is that he seems to be a little more open to the rotational theory of hitting (which is correct) versus the hands first theory of hitting (incorrect) but I feel like I still hear him go on about "extension" so, I don't know. It's nice to have a hitter's point of view anyway, which Bert doesn't even attempt, not that he could. Smalley, as an infielder usually has good insight on defense too. Morneau is good for the same reason as Smalley. He's a hitter and position player. A pitcher in the booth has such a limited amount of content they can talk about with any authority. I think Morneau is still getting comfortable too, and that he will get more interesting as he gets a feel for the boundaries of storytelling. I'd say his downside is that he's so dang boring; the word milk comes to mind... If I got to pick someone who hasn't been in the booth yet, I'd want to try Ron Gardenhire. He's funny, media savy, knows the game, knows the Twins current and past, and he's part of the family. Mostly, I want to hear Dick, at least once a week, ask him "Why, Ron, would you ever let Matt Guerrier face Alex Rodriguez in the ALDS?" Briefly, Radio: I loved John Gordon. It has taken me a while to get used to Provus and I just don't listen as much as I used to. Most of you guys seem to like him. He must be accurate. I like his rapport with Gladden. He's always asking Gladden if they should put a bunt on or a hit and run or a steal, and Gladden always answers him like it was the worst idea of all time- so funny. I hate when he says, "He gone" on strikeouts, which he seems to do for both the opposing team and the Twins (really annoying). It's Hawk Harelson's line. Get your own line. Bellyaching aside, he's fine. I'll like him even more in ten years.
  12. I'm mostly disappointed to see the Nike logo. I didn't realize that MLB had a new uniform contract. I liked Majestic. Nike has been designing terrible uniforms for a few decades now in basketball and football (not quite as bad as the recent adidas NBA uniforms, but almost) and I'm anxious what they might do to baseball unis. I guess what I've seen in college is mostly okay. Still, Majestic was a cool baseball only brand. I can't imagine how the company will survive without MLB. I like the baby blues. I would like them more if they were pull-over with the v-neck, as they were in the 70s and 80s. I can see why people don't like the elastic waist band, but I think it's cool. I also think it's more practical. I've never played in pants like that, but I hate sliding head-first/diving on a belt buckle. I would complain about the hat not being red, but they are obviously not going for a true throwback anyway. I miss both the home and away uniforms of the World Series era, but I don't mind their current replacements- the white homes and the grey aways. I like the current navy alternates with the old school script. The gold is still a bit disorienting, but I don't hate it. There are way too many teams with Blue-Red-White color schemes, and I don't mind that the Twins are trying to differentiate a bit. The red top alternates are easily one of the worst uniforms in the history of sports. Many teams in MLB use a red top alternate and they are all terrible. The Twins' is the worst of them. I agree with the sentiments of those who favor the time honored simplicity of the Yankees and Tigers approach to uniforms: One home, one away- the same forever (though, the Tigers have messed with their aways a lot over the years). This approach cannot apply to the Twins however, as they are not a very old team, and have never established consistency. I like the Twins uniforms and their uniform history, but in the grand scope of the history of MLB, the Twins do not even approach 'classic'. Even if they were to attempt to establish precedent now for 50-100 years in the future, I don't know what they should do. The original uniforms are nice, but they are pretty generic. The script looks good but is indistinct, many teams have pinstripes, and the color scheme is the most common in MLB. The TC logo looks great, and the T is pretty unique but the C is the same C the Reds and Bears use. I guess I favor the uniforms worn for the championships, the same that were worn by the team that saved the franchise from contraction. So in lieu of a true classic look, I'm fine with the Twins mixing it up every once in a while. I definitely prefer throwbacks or variations on throwbacks to attempts at outright new uniforms.
  13. I could be wrong, but I thought Larnach was pretty much a 1B/DH type that gets a pretty generous oh he can play some corner outfield, and it doesn't seem like there are very promising projections for Kiriloff's defense either. If that's about right, and the concern for Rosario is his recent poor defense ratings, which were obviously affected by his injured ankle, how could either of these guys be an adequate replacement for him? They would have to out perform him at the plate (which is very unlikely) because there defense, especially as rookies, is going to be worse.
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