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News from a little birdie

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News from a little birdie

Unread postby captain_wahoo » Tue May 08, 2007 1:49 am

I have a friend who works in the Braves organization and whenever he hears anything to do with the Tribe he passes it on. He told me that the Tribe was initially sending out feelers to see what Byrd could fetch, but now have said they want him to stay. I guess the recent injuries and Sowers slow start had something to do with that decision. He also said that the Tribe is looking at potentially trying to upgrade 3rd or 1st, or possibly both. To me this would imply Garko would be gone and Blake to a utility role. I have no clue who they would be looking at for 3rd base. Obviously Miguel Cabrerra and A-Rod aren't available, so no clue who is really a target there.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 08, 2007 8:38 am

That makes a lot of sense: I actually think that trading Byrd would be a needless risk, but it's nice to see the org. do due diligence in checking out the opportunities. Doesn't hurt to ask ...
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue May 08, 2007 8:42 am

Yeah, I think right now they are putting out feelers. If all the starters are healthy come July and pitching to the career norms, I think one of the starters is sent packing. Since it won't be Sabathia, Sowers, Westbrook, Carmona or Miller, it leaves Byrd and Lee really. And, even Lee is a stretch.

I would be very surprised that if Carmona, Sabathia, Sowers, Lee and Westbrook are healthy and at least pitching okay, if Byrd was on this team post-July 31.
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Unread postby swerb » Tue May 08, 2007 9:01 am

Thanks for passing the note along captain ...
"It's like dating a woman who hates you so much she will never break up with you, even if you burn down the house every single autumn." ~ Chuck Klosterman on Browns fans relationship with the Browns

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Unread postby Hoover » Tue May 08, 2007 10:37 am

Swerb wrote:4) The continuing Ballad of Oldberto


BLOWBerto is even more appropriate. :mrgreen:
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Unread postby captain_wahoo » Tue May 08, 2007 10:40 am

I called my friend today cause he said he'd see what he can find out. He said a name he has heard is Garrett Atkins (sp?) in Colorado. Don't know too much about this guy myself, other than he's young.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 08, 2007 10:43 am

captain_wahoo wrote:I called my friend today cause he said he'd see what he can find out. He said a name he has heard is Garrett Atkins (sp?) in Colorado. Don't know too much about this guy myself, other than he's young.

Sure, Atkins is a great guy to pursue, but as a great guy to pursue would cost a heckuva lot more than Paul Byrd. (He hit .329 last season: in Colorado, to be sure, but ... he hit .329 last season.)
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Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 08, 2007 10:48 am

To get Garrett Atkins, they'd have no interest in Paul Byrd. The conversation would probably start at Lofgren + and work its way up.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue May 08, 2007 1:57 pm

I don't know if Byrd will be gone by July 31. He could be, but if he continues to pitch as well as he has pitched then he becomes an asset we might prefer keeping - unless someone blows us out of the water.

I think we likely will activate his option if we keep him and attempt to move him in the offseason. A July 31 deal isn't out of the question, but I wouldn't be surprised if we keep him.
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Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 08, 2007 1:59 pm

Mr. MacPhisto wrote:I think we likely will activate his option if we keep him and attempt to move him in the offseason.


I just don't want to be stuck with him for 8 mil next year.
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Unread postby captain_wahoo » Tue May 08, 2007 2:03 pm

From what I understand, if Byrd continues to pitch as he has, they won't move him. However if Sowers continues to pitch as he has, he will likely go back to Buffalo. If Sowers and Byrd are fine at the deadline, then Lee becomes trade bait. My friend said Cleveland is in love with Miguel Cabrera, bought they fear the asking price will be insane. Now, if Lee is moveable, I would think Cliff Lee, Andy Marte, Chuck Lofgren, and either Choo, Guttierrez, or Francisco, and say Mujica may be enough to get a deal done, but that is alot to give up and still may not be enough.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue May 08, 2007 2:09 pm

captain_wahoo wrote: My friend said Cleveland is in love with Miguel Cabrera, bought they fear the asking price will be insane. Now, if Lee is moveable, I would think Cliff Lee, Andy Marte, Chuck Lofgren, and either Choo, Guttierrez, or Francisco, and say Mujica may be enough to get a deal done, but that is alot to give up and still may not be enough.


FWIW, I would pay that price to get Cabrera.
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Unread postby captain_wahoo » Tue May 08, 2007 2:14 pm

Question is do you think it is enough? Let's say we offer Lee, Lofgren, Choo, Marte, and Mujica for Cabrera, and say they trade Dontrelle for a similar if not bigger package from someone else, that would be one hell of a haul for 2 players. Sometjhing tells me that they may want Sowers instead of Lee, because he is cheaper....would you still do it??
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 08, 2007 2:23 pm

Skating Tripods wrote:
Mr. MacPhisto wrote:I think we likely will activate his option if we keep him and attempt to move him in the offseason.


I just don't want to be stuck with him for 8 mil next year.

But it's a TEAM option, isn't it? We're not stuck with him unless we exercise it.

This having been said, if you're expecting to get a better pitcher than Paul Byrd for less than $8M next season, you may be disappointed. I'm not saying that we need to exercise that option, but it wouldn't be because the money is "outrageous."
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue May 08, 2007 2:49 pm

captain_wahoo wrote:Question is do you think it is enough? Let's say we offer Lee, Lofgren, Choo, Marte, and Mujica for Cabrera, and say they trade Dontrelle for a similar if not bigger package from someone else, that would be one hell of a haul for 2 players. Sometjhing tells me that they may want Sowers instead of Lee, because he is cheaper....would you still do it??


I believe Lee/Sowers, Lofgren, Marte, and another prospect of some kind would be neough.
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Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 08, 2007 3:05 pm

Consigliere wrote:
captain_wahoo wrote: My friend said Cleveland is in love with Miguel Cabrera, bought they fear the asking price will be insane. Now, if Lee is moveable, I would think Cliff Lee, Andy Marte, Chuck Lofgren, and either Choo, Guttierrez, or Francisco, and say Mujica may be enough to get a deal done, but that is alot to give up and still may not be enough.


FWIW, I would pay that price to get Cabrera.


I'd pay anything prospect-wise to get a cornerstone at 3B. I'd even *gasp* give up Adam Miller for him.

Yeah, Buff, it is a team option, but Carmona at whatever he makes is light years better than Byrd at 8 million next year. Miller is a better option too. Nothing against Byrd, but we have cheaper alternatives with equal, or better, results ready for next year.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue May 08, 2007 3:09 pm

Skating Tripods wrote:Yeah, Buff, it is a team option, but Carmona at whatever he makes is light years better than Byrd at 8 million next year. Miller is a better option too. Nothing against Byrd, but we have cheaper alternatives with equal, or better, results ready for next year.

As of May 8, 2007, I completely agree.

However, being charitably cautious and more accurately paranoid, I would wait until the last possible second to make that call to sever the tie. Just in case, y'know?
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Tue May 08, 2007 3:30 pm

Steve Buffum wrote:
Skating Tripods wrote:
Mr. MacPhisto wrote:I think we likely will activate his option if we keep him and attempt to move him in the offseason.


I just don't want to be stuck with him for 8 mil next year.

But it's a TEAM option, isn't it? We're not stuck with him unless we exercise it.

This having been said, if you're expecting to get a better pitcher than Paul Byrd for less than $8M next season, you may be disappointed. I'm not saying that we need to exercise that option, but it wouldn't be because the money is "outrageous."


It's a team option and Buff is right, you won't find anybody better for that price.

If the Tribe keeps him AND he does have a solid season then I fully expect them to activate the option. They may or may not trade him, but I guarantee Paul Byrd coming off a good season at $8M would generate plenty of trade interest.

As to the Lofgren/Lee-Sowers/Marte trade possibility to Florida for Cabrera, I'd be all over it. The biggest issue is that many believe that he will be moved to the OF because he's becoming more of a liability at 3B. I could live with that, though we'd need to find a future 3B then.
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Unread postby sandlot33 » Tue May 08, 2007 4:30 pm

Miguel Cabrera is the best young right handed hitter in baseball, and yes I would jump all over that trade, I believe the guy is ONLY 23...he's sick...trade anyone and everyone for him
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 08, 2007 4:31 pm

I'd pay anything prospect-wise to get a cornerstone at 3B. I'd even *gasp* give up Adam Miller for him.



Please. As good as Miggy is, there is no way you move Adam Miller for him.
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Unread postby dmiles » Tue May 08, 2007 4:57 pm

I use Miguel to model my son's swings. I love his arm action, and how he loads the barrel during shift. The gifs were too big to include in the post, but for those with kids on the way, this is a lot of fun. As you can both of the dmiles boys need a little work. They are starting the swing before the foot gets down. However HR power in SoCal is a good thing...

http://coachdm.hittingillustrated.com/sons/Steven_Cabr_front.gif

http://coachdm.hittingillustrated.com/sons/John_Cabrera_Side.gif
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Unread postby pup » Tue May 08, 2007 5:01 pm

DMiles - That is pretty sweet.

Might want to get Steve to finish a little higher. Backspin is good.
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Unread postby mattvan1 » Wed May 09, 2007 8:44 am

I use Miguel to model my son's swings.

I think your kid has a much more fundamentally sound swing than Cabrera - way too big of a hitch - drops hands, cocks the barrel back at the pitcher when he loads - things a little leaguer will never get away with as they get older. 'Course, all of those technical "flaws" go out the window when you're blessed with freakish hand eye coordination like Cabrera.
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Unread postby dmiles » Wed May 09, 2007 12:51 pm

Sorry for getting off-topic, I just love Cabrera's swing. Matt I completely understand what you are trying to say. However, I have clips of about every big league power hitter and almost all cock the barrel towards the pitcher as they shift, and so many do that I have incorporated it into my teaching. (Check the clip library at HittingIllustrated) That is there seems to be a good hitch exhibited by many power hitters, but of course with children you must be very careful. Manny loads the barrel nearly identically to Cabrera.

If anything Miguel's little hitch gets him into the same handset as arod in this clip
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Chipper
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Manny Clips, he gets the barrel loaded the same way as Miguel with less hand movement.
http://hittingillustrated.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12
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Unread postby pup » Wed May 09, 2007 1:03 pm

"Top hand forward" became very in vogue over the last 10 years. It was one of the first things coaches worked on with hitters once I got into college and has continued to grow since. It is simply a way to get your wrists loaded, enabling your hands to turn over with more force after contact.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed May 09, 2007 2:57 pm

My two cents. The cocking of the bat is primarily a timing mechanism at high levels, a hitch at a low level. The reason hitters little league and pony league age don't do it is because they aren't strong enough. My recommendation at that age is to leave it alone. You have a much better chance of developing something that will retard their timing rather than a benefit at that age. There is something to be said about incorporating the absolutes into their own style. For a little leaguer this is not an absolute.

Dmiles, have you read the Baker or Lau Jr. Books?
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Unread postby mattvan1 » Wed May 09, 2007 3:52 pm

Matt I completely understand what you are trying to say. However, I have clips of about every big league power hitter and almost all cock the barrel towards the pitcher as they shift, and so many do that I have incorporated it into my teaching


dmiles, what age do you instruct?
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Unread postby dmiles » Thu May 10, 2007 12:00 pm

In terms of material I most often refer to, I would say it's Mike Epstein (Williams disciple) and a gentleman by the name of Chris Yeager (baseballscience.com) a human performance PhD who works for the Padres. Yeager has a fantastic set of DVDs you can purchase describing the high level pattern. What is interesting about Yeager is he is that he breaks down the MLB swing correctly as a segmented whip and then uses two Minor Leaguers in the Padres 2004 org as examples of what they were not doing correctly. One was Barfield and the other was Sean Burroughs. He also shows basically why one flamed out, and the other made it to the show although at the time, nobody knew for sure that this would happen. Burroughs was supposed to be da' man, but never materialized (Kouzmanoff?).

I manage LL Majors, (10-12) and just started a travel ball (Cardiff Tsunami) team for younger boys but do not go into as much depth due to time constraints as I do with my own kids (12 and 10 -> league age 9). I do try to get interested dads as much knowledge as I can, so they can start as well. Our team leads the league in runs scored although I am not a genius or perfect coach, some kids are still afraid and jumping out, as 65-70 MPH is fast at 46 feet. Part of our success also plate discipline, as there are a couple of stacked teams with some powerful kids, whereas we have the kids work the count a little and not chase high. Conversely we like to pitch a little high against the free swingers.

Incidentally moving from small-town Warren area to San Diego where they play year around was quite a jump. My older son has settled in and is doing fine now, but that first season last year was tough, prompting me to work a little harder and do more homework. Stud players are all over the US but the difference out here was the guys just under stud status were far greater in number, whereas in the backwoods trumbull/mahoning county league, talent levels dropped off much more dramatically after a couple of hard throwers per team. We are in the La Costa Canyon, (LCC) schools, and one of his little teammates from Ohio moved to Rancho Bernardo (Blalock, Cole Hamels, John Drennan) a rival community that is also strong. After stepping it up a bit our sons seem to be doing fine but they had to practice a little more focused than before. Blalock is actually from our area in Encinitas, but transferred to Rancho Bernardo to play for his uncle.

Major principals I believe but admittedly do not have time to work on all these things with every kid (simplified but random thoughts)
- Starting with barrel up rather than a flat bat (added benefit the bat is lighter)
- Work on separation - hips open while hands stay back, creates what Epstein calls winding the rubberband
- No bug squishing, must get off the back side at contact without lunging up and over the front leg - surprisingly easy to teach as I used to teach the bug squish for fear of kids lunging. Push - Block. Front leg accepts some weight with a bent leg, and as hips get through, knee will straighten.
Good drill is here -> http://www.sewellbaseball.com/videos/hitting/advanced_back_knee_drill_slowmotion.html
- An attempt to show them (not using big words) to hold the hinge angle (relationship of bat to front forearm) until just before contact i.e. don't break the wrists until just before contact
- Slightly downward or diagonal path of the hands which should launch about arm pit high. I don't like to use "Swing Down on it" as a cue though, because ideally if the body sets up right the barrel will have started its upward move just before contact. However I will use Swing Down if I have to for the kid who drops his hands and uppercuts.
- Stay inside the ball by bringing the back elbow down and close the body as you rotate. The cue I use is to get the hands flat quickly.

With my own sons we also try to get the foot down before any forward movement of the hands, but this is fairly new to them so it hasn't burned in just yet. The back elbow would ideally raise through internal rotation of the back arm, not by lifting the elbow (very unnatural feel to sticking up an elbow). They are not ready for this just yet though.

Mostly I keep it fun. Now that my older son is smashing home runs in BP all he wants to do is go hit. I don't want to spoil his fun by saying "next year you hit the big field and .....". As long as he wants to hit all the time and hits mostly line drives, I am happy. Extra swings, is key but losing baseballs is a problem, so we might need to move BP to the big field for financial reasons.

Also for the house we have a cool toy called the Personal Pitcher that fires golf whiffles and the kids love it.
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Unread postby mattvan1 » Thu May 10, 2007 12:56 pm

Thanks for the synopsis. Very informative, and one concept that is new to me. Unless most are as fascinated with this thread as I am, and want to see the continued discussion, I'll just PM you.
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