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What's Up With All of The Tommy John Surgeries?

04-09-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
It seems like Tommy John surgery for Major League pitchers has become a rite of passage. What was originally an innovative surgery performed by Dr. Frank Jobe at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles to save the career of an aging pitcher (Tommy John was 31 when the first surgery was performed in 1974 and had won 124 games, he missed almost two complete seasons and won another 164 games before retiring in 1989 a the age of 46). He went from an aging pitcher to an ageless pitcher. At the time Dr. Jobe gave the surgery's chances of success at 1 in 100. Pitchers now see a success rate of 92%.
 

OPENING DAY 2015

04-06-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Sunday night brought us a rocking Wrigley Field in the season opener between the Cardinals and Cubs. Monday brings us everything else -- the 28 other teams basking in the pageantry, bunting and, in some cases, chilly early-April weather to begin the 162-game grind that all teams hope will lead to 11 more victories in October (and November?). Fourteen games to continue a week loaded with action on the diamonds of the American and National Leagues and storylines that will start to echo the standings.
 

After an interminable spring training

04-05-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

After an interminable spring training, Opening Day at last is right around the corner-perhaps the last one quite like it. Next year, Major League Baseball wants to explore the right to flex to a one-game "series" for the Opening Sunday Night game-this year, for instance, it should have been Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers going up against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, not Cubs-Cardinals-and to stage most openers on that same Sunday afternoon, rather than getting lost amid the hype of the NCAA men's basketball championship game on that Monday. (There are three opening games actually scheduled for when the title game is in progress. Why?)

 

Spring Training Stats

04-02-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Everyone should know better than to get overly excited or overly worked up about Spring Training statistics. Come April 6, they'll be largely irrelevant (sorry about that, Kris Bryant and Mookie Betts).

But that doesn't mean the numbers are totally useless. Some of them might be providing us a little bit of a window into what's ahead.

Here are 10 examples of exhibition output that might prove meaningful when the 2015 season gets real.

 

Spring Training Winding Down

03-26-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

The last week of Spring Training is full of decisions and opportunities- who stays, who goes, who gets released, who is going to be on the field when the season opens on Sunday, April 5 in Chicago with the Cubs hosting the Cardinals.

Every Spring Training, general managers have to deal with major dilemmas regarding top prospects: Do you bring them north because you believe they give you the best chance to win now, or do you let them simmer in the Minors to work on some areas of improvement while also keeping their service time in check?

 

Spring Training Home Stretch

03-23-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Some interesting questions for the new season

AL East

Alex Rodriguez returns, the Red Sox debut their new lineup, and the Rays enter the post-Joe Maddon era in a division that is completely up for grabs.

 

Moving through the remainder of Spring Training and looking towards Opening Day

03-20-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
More cuts this week as prospects have been sent down to Minor League camps and Spring Rosters have been slowly whittled down. Players have had their taste of the nectar of the Gods and are now back to the reality of small crowded lockers, tight locker rooms and longer days. Players are not sent down just because they are not ready or because they are not needed or because they are not the best player to put on the field. The reality of baseball's rules on free agency play a big role in who is on he Opening Day roster.
 

Spring Training and the new Income Inequality

03-13-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The daily routines are very different in Major League camp and Minor League camp. There is more instruction and skills evaluation at Minor League camp. Major Leaguers may get instruction but it's typically not taken unless specifically asked for. 
 

Spring Training Games under way

03-08-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Things change dramatically now that games have started for all teams in Florida and Arizona. Players are now trying to accomplish various things- hit the ground running and make an impression on coaches and front office personnel, win a job on the opening day roster, put themselves on the radar as a possible call up after the season starts, make the team as a non-roster invitee and just get in playing shape. Veterans dislike the length of Spring Training and everyone else hopes it's long enough to get enough innings to plead their case.
 

Spring Training 2015

02-23-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Tomorrow is the day when the first full squad workouts begin. Some teams start as late as Friday but most start tomorrow and Wednesday.

There are some major stories in MLB this Spring that will play out over the first half of the season. 

 

Pitchers & Catchers Report to Spring Training

02-19-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Pitchers and catchers are in camp now and the 2015 MLB season is under way. Lots of movement throughout both leagues with many teams looking to improve their staffs over the winter. This the start of a lot of extra catchers catching a lot of bullpens. Teams extend non-roster invitee invitations to most catchers on their systems since there are so many arms that need work. These catchers are going to put those knees, ankles and backs through the paces catching multiple bullpens each day. Not much fun and the pitchers are the ones getting the looks from the coaches not the backstops.
 

Pitchers and Catchers are reporting this week to their respective camps- 15 teams in Florida and 15 teams in Arizona

02-16-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Position players all report next week. However, these are mandatory reporting dates and many players are in camp early to hit the ground running when things start up. There are fewer days to get ready for Spring Training games this year than ever before so players need to be ready to avoid injuries, win a job, keep a job, work on a new position, etc. It's a time of great excitement to the young players and a chore for many of the veterans. We've heard more than one veteran say they wouldn't mind playing longer if the just didn't have to go to Spring Training every year. 
 

X Bats Spring Training

02-12-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
X Bats uses Spring Training to see players, old and new, when they are in camp trying to win a job, keep a job, get acclimated to a new team, etc. before the Spring Training games commence. It is one of the few times each year when bat companies, shoe companies, glove companies, etc. can spend some time with players helping them find the best tools to maximize their performance. 
 

Spring Training Now and Then

02-09-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Spring Training is right around the corner. Everyone is over the Super Bowl and football season, basketball & hockey are in mid-season, people are looking forward to the end of winter, cold and snow and baseball is the harbinger of Spring. Our National Pastime is all about new beginnings. Baseball fans have followed the Hot Stove League all winter and are anxious about how their team improved in the off season and if they'll be contenders this year.

 

BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS

02-05-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

1.Ty Cobb, .36636
2. Rogers Hornsby, .35850
3. Joe Jackson, .35575
4. Lefty O'Doul, .3493
5. Ed Delahanty, .34590
6. Tris Speaker, .34468
7.Ted Williams, .34441
8. Billy Hamilton, .34429
9. Dan Brouthers, .34213
10. Babe Ruth, .34207
11. Dave Orr, .3420
12. Harry Heilmann, .34159
13. Pete Browning, .3415
14. Willie Keeler, .34129
15. Bill Terry, .34116
16. George Sisler, .34015
17. Lou Gehrig, .34008
19. Jesse Burkett, .33844
20. Tony Gwynn, .33818
21. Nap Lajoie, .33810
18.Jake Stenzel, .3378
22. Riggs Stephenson, .33607
23. Al Simmons, .33417
24-Cap Anson .3341
25. John McGraw, .33359

Active Players Closing In 
x-Joe Mauer, .3230
x-Ichiro Suzuki, .3187