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About rocklandrew

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  1. 2016
  2. Popular Science: Why is an axe-handle bat better than a good ol’ round-handle bat? Chili Davis: Visualize some guy chopping a tree. The last thing he wants is to lose his grip on that handle. This thing allows you to lock grip and never lose it. With a rounded-knob bat, there are times, through the swing, where you make contact and the bat is vibrating and the knob is spinning. You can miss-hit balls because of that. You don’t get the full force of contact as you do with an axe handle. PS: So the upshot is players get more consistent hits? CD: Yes. Look at our right fielder, Mookie Betts. He’s having a tremendous year using it. He’s surpassed his career high in home runs, and he’s hitting over .300. Our second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, was a good hitter, but with this bat, he has more pop. He has been driving the ball to the opposite field nicely. link to the article . . . from the sporting news . . . Pedroia's 2016 batting average was 46 points higher (.335) through 422 plate appearances with the Axe Bat as opposed to 276 trips with the traditional round-handled bat (.289) ..... over the final weeks of the regular season, the list of Axe-bat experimenters expanded to include the likes of Tulowitzki, Harper, Profar, Gomes, Chisenhall, Weiters, Travis, and Kim. they joined regular users Correa, Springer, Lamb, Suzuki, Owings, Souza, Carlos Gomez, Avisail Garcia. (and Betts and Pedroia) ........ Springer says he first tried the bat in uAugust when Betts left one of his bats for Springer in Baltimore. Springer banged out nine hits in the four game series, including two homers, and became an instant convert ...... . . . teammate Correa "I like the feel. It has a good grip. I go back and forth. If I'm getting hits with them, I keep using them. If I have no more hits, I switch back to the regular knob."
  3. thanks for bringing the science Chris O'Leary! James Paxton has been discussed a ton on these boards. I know from reading your work that SP increased velocity is a red flag for you, but then from what I've read above about the decreased arm slot maybe being a positive for timing, wondering what your take is on Paxtons health outlook with his new form? 2016 2015
  4. projected lineup and rotation (rotochamp) 1. Blackmon 1. Gray 2. LeMahieu 2. Bettis 3. Arenado 3. Chatwood 4. Gonzalez 4. Anderson 5. Desmond 5. Hoffman 6. Story 7. Dahl 8. Wolters Desmond is the only addition to this group, on a team that hasn't had a winning record in 7 years. Is there any hope that this could be their year? I say yes. The bats are formidable. And Gray and Bettis may be the best 1-2 the Rox have had. Last season the bullpen set high standards for futility, blowing 28 saves with a league worst 5.13 era. But the FiP, and xFiP brought them up to 22nd and 23rd league wise. Here's something I found on the webs (props to chickenfoof) . .. Estevez had 7 BS he was not ready to be put in that situation but injuries force it. Ottovino had 5 BS coming back from TJ McGee had 4 BS injuries caused a loss in velocity Lyles had 3 BS Yeah whatever Logan had 3 BS couldn’t get the RH batters out and left the game with runners on base often with Mike Dunn coming over from the Marlins, Estevez maturing, Ottovino and McGee healthy, I'm seeing improvement. More of it may come from an unlikely source - new manager Bud Black. Always a pitcher never a hurler in his playing days, Black was instrumental as pitching coach for the 2002 Angels in guiding the rotation of Appier, Ortiz, Lackey, and Washburn thru to the title. They say he's a players manager, a communicator. Here's a shot of him from back in the day. and here's a quote i dug up, attributed to an old chum . .. "“Buddy is just one of those big-hearted people. The stoners, the jocks, the nerds, the kids taking special education, they all loved Buddy Black.” sound familiar? . . .. . . .. .. . .. Well, he's very popular, Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads — They all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude. in summation: LA and SF are the faves of course but Kershaw showed he's human last year and the Giants offense looks beatable. The Pads giving away wins shouldn't hurt either. As I type this a friend and my two hunnids are floating somewhere above the bible belt towards Vegas where the oddsmakers are giving 50-1 or more. I like those odds and will be following this team thru at least June . .. budb
  5. laymans terms . . . . .. You're on an arduous journey to slay the dragon and rescue the princess. Right outside of town you cross paths with an inconsequential old orc, and everyone and their uncle knows this particular orc hasn't held anything of value in twelve moons. But, out of boredom you do your due diligence and slice that mother in two, and guess what, behind an old rock there's a broad sword. Free freakin' broadsword ! Sure, it may have a cracked hilt or be harbouring a nasty charm, but it's free. Now, when you reach that crusty old reptile, you're pretty glad that you toted that free extra weapon along in your satchel. It may even be the thing that swings the dial of fate from elf-kabobs to a slain dragon. Finally, the bitchy princess and the kingdom will squarely be in your hands for all eternity. Broadsword thy name is Smelter.
  6. Things to like about Smelter: 1. At the 2015 NFL Combine, he had 11-inch hands and an arm length of 32 ⅝. He's 6-foot-2, 227, averaged 18.9 yards per catch at Georgia Tech, finishing with 1,060 career receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 22 games. His yards-per-reception average in his final year in 2014 ranked 8th across the entire NCAA field. He was drafted by the current GM in last years 4th round after tearing his ACL in 2015. 2. He soaked up some knowledge from Boldin and Smith while redshirting last season. . . . "It was very beneficial just to see how they worked," Smelter told the local media in May. "I learned how to be a pro out here and how to handle yourself." 3. He's the only big bodied receiver on the roster now that Eric Rogers (6'3") is out with an ACL. Chip Kelly's offense provided Jordan Matthews with 128 targets last year (21st in league) for a 85/997/8 line in his role out of the slot. His competition for wr targets: Torry Smith 6' 205 lbs, Quinton Patton 6' 204lbs, Bruce Ellington 5'9", 197 4. The corresponding, oft-targeted TE spot in Kelly's offense (~150 targets, 1200 yds between Ertz, Celek last year) is manned by underwhelming options Vance McDonald and Garret Celek. Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez threw for over 4300yds in this system last year, almost 275 yds per game. 5. If he earns the slot role over Ellington, Smelter has no chance of underperforming his draft position as the 95th wr taken.
  7. Snippets from Jeff Howe's Boston Herald article today . . . . Hogan made a tough catch in the back of the end zone on Tom Brady’s final throw of yesterday’s Patriots practice outside of Gillette Stadium. Shortly thereafter, when the workout was over, Hogan joined quarterbacks Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo and receiver Julian Edelman for extra route-running work. Earlier in the day, Hogan sold out in run-blocking drills and worked with the starting kickoff coverage unit during special teams periods, both of which signify selfless toughness that will endear him to coach Bill Belichick’s staff. Hogan caught four passes yesterday in team drills, and he hauled in three of Brady’s eight completions. He has a team-high seven connections with Brady through three days, and his three catches from Garoppolo are tied for the fourth most. Hogan put the exclamation point on practice during Brady’s last toss, too. Brady’s strong day (8-of-9 with the incompletion hitting an equipment staffer’s paddle) concluded with a throw from the 5-yard line through a tight window to Hogan, who beat cornerback Malcolm Butler to the post. Butler got a finger on the ball but was disappointed to be on the wrong side of the play. “Good route runner, can catch the ball, good blocker, good player,” Butler said of Hogan.
  8. sleeper: Donald Brown, Alfred Morris breakout: Jaelen Strong, Chris Hogan (once Brady gets up to speed) bust: Jeremy Langford
  9. I saw him play today and witnessed the elite batting eye and swing. He disagreed with a strike call early in his first at bat; shook his head back and forth to let the ump know he was wrong. Throughout the day he confidently let a number of pitches which looked real close (from where I was next to 3b, fwiw) go by to be called balls. He stands near the back of the box and generates a very smooth, decisive, powerful swing through the zone with his impressive leg strength. He plated 2 with a double to left against a lefty, Camareno. He's extremely patient at the plate, a real technician. Moncada looked like a man amongst BabeRuth leaguers out there. Uniforms that were baggy on everyone else ('cept Benintendi's legs) appeared form fitting. He showed his athleticism in the field with a quik spin and release on a grounder. He looked confident out there to the point of boredom at times. At the plate and on the basepaths he was aggressive and powerful. He looked equally menacing from the r and l sides. When I saw Betts and Swihart, the athleticism was apparent, but they looked like regular guys. Benintendi and Moncada (especially) play with more swagger. It will be interesting to see if they can put up the numbers at the MLB level to back it up.
  10. miami herald........ “We just want to make sure we’re cautious with it,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to give him a day and see where he’s at [Sunday], and if it’s still bothering him, maybe get him a couple of days with the off day Monday.” Ozuna sprained his left wrist last season while playing in New Orleans in August during his stint in the minors. “Ozuna’s been feeling it when he’s been swinging at the plate for a couple of days now,” Mattingly said. “It’s a wrist he broke a couple of years back, and it gets sore on him every so often.” Read more here:
  11. he hits lefties better than righties. next ten days: lefty, off monday, lefty, righty, off thursday, lefty, alfredo simon, lefty, righty, lefty. 5 lefthanders, 3 righthanders (Wainwright, Simon, Chacin - he's hit these righties fairly well in the past), 2 off days
  12. this is from the Boston Herald Nov. 25, 2015 . . . After being moved from center field late in the season so that the Red Sox could get a look at him in right field for a few games, Betts is now being pencilled in as the right fielder in 2016, according to manager John Farrell.
  13. is Bryant going to get starts in the OF this year?
  14. from . . . "I will certainly, first and foremost, make sure our players will have a complete understanding of what my plan is going into the season," Hinch said Monday. "I'm not into ... [standing] at the podium and [declaring] something before I really need to, and I'm not sure I really need to. We have a really good bullpen that can mix and match in a lot of different ways. I understand the intrigue. I don't play fantasy baseball, so I don't have to worry about the save." Hinch said naming a closer doesn't necessarily mean that's who he will give the ball to in the ninth inning of a close game every time.