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Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
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bopol Online
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Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
I guess we never set up a 2020 version, so might as well get ahead of the game.

Okay, today’s news: Travis Shaw was nontendered by the Blue Jays and is a free agent again. My take: Shaw would have been in line for $5M in arbitration and everyone’s assuming that free agents will not be getting great salaries because of the COVID, so Shaw probably is looking at getting half that in free agency. He did play better in 2020 than his terrible 2019 season, but it still wasn’t all that good. I don’t think Shaw should really be anyone’s “Plan A” but if I thought there might be a need at third or first, I think Shaw would be on my list for “Plan B” of guys to bring in. Say, the Blue Jays, who will have questions about Guerrero going to third and I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaw ended up back there on a cheaper 1 or 2 year contract.

So, Travis Shaw and Andrew Chafin will be on the free agent market. And, for now, Eric Lauer and Taylor Williams are on the Brewers and Padres 40-man rosters, respectively in a reverse from last year. More on that later.
12-03-2020 02:51 AM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Andrew Chafin has signed a one-year $2.25M contract with the Cubs, with a mutual option for $5.25M (or a $0.5M buyout). I am a little out of touch with MLB pay, but it seems like a reasonable deal for a good and consistent, but not great left-handed reliever coming off of a bit of an injury prone season, especially given the financial uncertainty that pro sports will face this year.

I think Chafin will do well. There are analysts trying to overanalyze what little 2020 data there is when Chafin wasn't all that good, but he pitched less than 10 innings. The key for Chafin will be keeping the ball in the park (something he has always done well, though he did give up 2 HRs last year) and the walk rates decent (they've never been all that great). This will translate to dominating lefties and being average against righties and that should put Chafin in the setup role with the Cubs.

There's little on Shaw though I have read that the Red Sox are interested in a reunion as a part-time platoon partner at 1B and backing up 1B and 3B.
02-03-2021 03:28 AM
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anti-zip Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
The option on that deal explains where the league is financially right now. Baseball lost a lot of money in 2020 and most teams are trying to pinch pennies. So a cheaper deal this year with a higher option for next year if the revenue stream open back up makes a lot of sense from the Cubs perspective.

Indians could use another bullpen arm so this would've been a nice fit for us. However, it's been reported that they went over budget to sign Rosario so they probably won't be signing anyone else.
02-03-2021 07:51 AM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Yeah, what I have read seems to suggest that many don’t think Chafin is worth it, but, if he returns to 2015-19 form, he will make a lot of Cubs fans happy and will be worth it. Honestly, the economics of baseball are just weird right now because you can tell they have no clue what their revenue will look like this year.

I expect the Indians to win 85 or so, but they don’t seem well positioned to be serious contenders. It’s a shame, but there is another crop of great homegrown (or mostly homegrown) talent that won’t win a World Series, again.
02-07-2021 09:55 PM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Strong Rumors that Travis Shaw is heading back to the Brewers...
02-17-2021 12:47 AM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Shaw did sign a minor league deal with an invitation to the major league camp. If he makes the club, the deal is worth $1.5M with a potential another $1.5M in incentives. It seems like players of his type who normally would have gotten a major league deal in the past are getting minor league deals this year (see Jason Kipnis for example). I also think that Shaw may have been driven by his comfort in Milwaukee (playing for the Brewers for 3 years) as well as having an opportunity at the starting 3B job, which is very wide open for the Brewers after they failed to sign Justin Turner. Other clubs that had expressed interest in Shaw had him slotted as a backup from day one.

Also, just sort of scanning through the news, it seems like Eric Lauer will be in position to compete for a starting pitcher role with the Brewers. Three pitchers are locked into spots and Lauer is one of three (or four, depending on who you read) pitchers for the last two spots. There is also a chance that Lauer could compete for a bullpen role because he is a leftie.
02-17-2021 09:30 PM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Travis Shaw was brought onto the major league roster today, guaranteeing his $1.5 M contract. If he plays a lot, he can get another $1.5 in incentives. At this point, he is thought to be the likely starting 3B against righties at least as the Brewers don't have a lot of good options there and their infielders are already getting hit by the injury bug. With little spring training data, there is encouraging news that Shaw is not striking out much, which has been a problem the last few years.
03-17-2021 01:07 AM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Might as well update as spring training is winding down.

* Travis Shaw is still positioned to get significant time at 3rd for the Brewers. His spring training has been solid with 2 HRs and 7 walks to go with 7 Ks. It was the 2019 spring training performance that set off red flags for me that something was wrong and this is sort of the reverse, where I could see Shaw being an average 3rd baseman instead of in the lower tier.

* The other Kent Brewer, Eric Lauer, has been farmed out to Nashville after a poor spring training. I'm not sure what's wrong, but getting regular work in AAA will give him the opportunity to fix it. Again, I have always heard that he needs to be hitting a minimum velocity on his fastball or things flatten out and he becomes very hitable, so maybe that's it.

* Andrew Chafin has been okay for the Cubs despite two losses. He has 7 Ks and no walks in 7 innings, but gave up one homerun. He will have a significant role in the Cubs bullpen. (oh, and check out the Chafin picture on baseball-reference.com; dude looks like he hasn't gotten a haircut since the pandemic started)

* Taylor Williams is still in the fight for a back of the bullpen job in San Diego. He missed some time when he dived for a baseball covering first and hurt his shoulder, but he pitched fine yesterday. He has too many walks (as usual), but shows that power arm that keeps people interested. If he had better command, I think he'd be a good major league reliever, but he hasn't shown any improvement in command over the last half decade.
03-27-2021 04:05 PM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
According to sources, Taylor Williams has made the Padres opening day roster. That means that 3 Flashes will start the season in the bigs (Williams, Travis Shaw and Andrew Chafin).
03-30-2021 11:02 AM
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Taylor Williams was placed on the DL for SD because they pulled a few other relievers off of the DL and they want to avoid losing Williams in waivers (if they outrighted him to the minors, he would have to go through waivers and probably would be picked up by someone else). He has pitched well so far this year, so here's hoping he is close to sticking in the bigs.
04-18-2021 10:44 PM
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
04-20-2021 10:34 PM
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Albert Flasher Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Lauer versus Bauer. Should be interesting. Eric Lauer is scheduled to start for the Brewers tonight against the Dodgers.
(This post was last modified: 04-29-2021 11:13 AM by Albert Flasher.)
04-29-2021 11:12 AM
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axeme Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Lauer out duels Bauer as the Brewers win 2-1 on a 2 run HR by Travis Shaw. Another great night to be a Golden Flash!
04-29-2021 10:55 PM
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thanksjim Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
(04-29-2021 10:55 PM)axeme Wrote:  Lauer out duels Bauer as the Brewers win 2-1 on a 2 run HR by Travis Shaw. Another great night to be a Golden Flash!

Love that story line! Thanks for sharing!
04-29-2021 11:10 PM
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OLNWFLSH Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
(04-29-2021 11:10 PM)thanksjim Wrote:  
(04-29-2021 10:55 PM)axeme Wrote:  Lauer out duels Bauer as the Brewers win 2-1 on a 2 run HR by Travis Shaw. Another great night to be a Golden Flash!

Love that story line! Thanks for sharing!
+1
04-30-2021 08:51 AM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
(04-29-2021 10:55 PM)axeme Wrote:  Lauer out duels Bauer as the Brewers win 2-1 on a 2 run HR by Travis Shaw. Another great night to be a Golden Flash!

It’s good to see Lauer have a good start after last year’s train wreck of a season. I can’t figure out why he had such a short hook though (74 pitches) when he has a shutout going, but nice to get the W.
04-30-2021 10:27 AM
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Polish Hammer Offline
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
You’re right, I can understand pinch hitting for him, but it was only the 5th inning, he only threw 74 pitches and they had a 2-0 lead..
04-30-2021 03:48 PM
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
It was his first start of the season and the minor league season hasn't started. After pitching only 11 innings last season. I'm sure that played a role in them being cautious with his pitch count. Also, he was two batters into his third time through the lineup (a very dangerous lineup) when he got pulled. Probably the manager thinking this is a great start to build a young guy's confidence. Let's not risk messing that up by letting him go one inning too long.
04-30-2021 06:59 PM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
(04-30-2021 06:59 PM)anti-zip Wrote:  It was his first start of the season and the minor league season hasn't started. After pitching only 11 innings last season. I'm sure that played a role in them being cautious with his pitch count. Also, he was two batters into his third time through the lineup (a very dangerous lineup) when he got pulled. Probably the manager thinking this is a great start to build a young guy's confidence. Let's not risk messing that up by letting him go one inning too long.

I mostly agree, but the Padres always had a very quick hook on him as well. I wonder if Counsell will manage him differently or if there is something about the way he pitches that burns him down faster.
04-30-2021 11:07 PM
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bopol Online
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RE: Kent Baseball Players in the Pros - 2021 Version
Since the minors are playing baseball for the first time since 2021, I thought I’d update who is where:

* Joey Murray will be at the Blue Jay’s AAA team.
* Patrick Dayton is playing for St. Louis’s AA team in Springfield, MO in the AA Central League. That’s the name of the league. AA Central League. Now I know why hockey fans were so pissed off when they renamed the conferences and divisions a long time ago, because the names of these leagues suck. This will be a recurring theme, but Dayton is off to a bad start.
* John Matthews is playing for the Ranger’s Low-A team. The name of the team is the Down East Wood Ducks and they play in the Low-A East League Central Division. I wonder if they MLB hired the person that named the universities in Illinois for their league and team names. Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois at Carbondale, Southern Illinois at Edwardville, Northeastern Illinois Univeristy. I am having trouble describing how lame this is without using expletives.
* Dylan Rosa is playing for the Tiger’s AA team in Erie in the Double-A Northeast League.
* Zach Willeman is playing for the Dodger’s AA team in Tulsa.

These league names suck. And Down East? That sounds like a seedy neighborhood in London. Ack. Hate it.

Anyway, I’ll see if anyone else finds their way to a minor league club.
05-13-2021 11:40 AM
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