Sunday Notes: Torey Lovullo Loves Arizona’s Younger Expertise (So Does Gabe Kapler)

Gabe Kapler was requested about subsequent season’s more-balanced schedule when he met with the media in the course of the Winter Conferences. Extra particularly, he was requested about not having to play as many video games in opposition to powerhouse division rivals just like the Dodgers and Padres. His response started with an surprising nod to the staff that completed in fourth place with a report of 74-88.

“The Diamondbacks have been actually powerful on us this yr,” mentioned the Giants supervisor, whose membership went 9-10 versus Arizona. “They’re a extremely difficult staff. I take into consideration the Diamondbacks loads, as a result of they’re so gifted and athletic, they usually’re all so younger. Torey [Lovullo] does a terrific job, and Mike Hazen… their complete entrance workplace is an effective group.”

Arizona’s younger expertise on the place participant facet consists of Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, and Geraldo Perdomo, with extra reinforcements on the best way. Carroll, who debuted on the finish of August, is No. 4 on our Prime 100 — a listing that features 5 D-Backs — and the farm system that Hazen oversees as Arizona’s GM ranks sixth-best among the many 30 organizations.

How does this group evaluate to the younger expertise Lovullo labored with as Boston’s bench coach from 2013-2016, and earlier than that because the staff’s Triple-A supervisor?

“It positively overlaps,” Lovullo instructed me in San Diego. “one hundred pc. The Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Blake Swihart group of children that finally transitioned into being world champions is one thing that Amiel Sawdaye and Deric Ladnier labored very onerous to create. These gamers now are taking it to the subsequent degree.”

Projecting any of Arizona’s present crop to someday approximate the accomplishments of a Betts or Bogaerts, and to a lesser extent a Bradley (Swihart underachieved his potential) can be daring, and certain unwise. How the gamers evaluate at comparable ages is a fairer query, so I posed it to Lovullo.

“It’s [hard to compare them], however I’m going to be biased and say sure,” Arizona’s supervisor for every of the final six seasons replied. “They’re very related. I need to be respectful of the children that walked into Boston’s World Championships, however I really feel like we now have that degree of expertise.”



Lou Limmer went 4 for 18 in opposition to Bob Lemon.

Chet Lemon went 6 for 17 in opposition to Dave Lemanczyk.

Pepper Martin went 11 for 27 in opposition to Peaches Davis.

Sixto Lezcano went 5 for 8 in opposition to Dan Petry.

Peaches Graham went 6 for 26 in opposition to Johnny Lush.


Xander Bogaerts will get 11 years/$280M from the Padres. Trea Turner will get 11 years/ $300M from the Phillies. Which staff will reap higher worth over the course of these contracts? I requested that query in a Twitter ballot following the signings, and the consequence was a landslide. Of the 501 individuals who forged votes, 76.8% opted for this yr’s Nationwide League champions, whereas simply 23.2% went with the underachieving Pink Sox.

Turner, is 9 months youthful than the 30-year-old Bogaerts and has a 135 wRC+ and 13.1 WAR over the previous two seasons, whereas his up to date has a 132 wRC+ and 10.4 WAR. These numbers recommend the ballot outcomes have been appropriate. Nevertheless, it’s value noting that Turner depends on his legs greater than Bogaerts does. As a veteran participant instructed me not too long ago, pace wanes as you age, however energy doesn’t. That’s to not say that Bogaerts is an influence hitter and Turner isn’t — the latter has really barely outperformed the previous in that regard in latest seasons — however Turner’s edge in pace and athleticism is arguably the most important separator, value-wise. He’ll must retain these qualities to stay an elite participant.

These issues mentioned, good luck to each Philadelphia and San Diego in repeating longterm worth with the respective contracts. Although Boston wanted Bogaerts greater than the Dodgers wanted Turner, I can’t blame Chaim Bloom and Pink Sox possession (the last word decisions-makers) for failing to match the Padres provide. As unhealthy because it seems to be to the pissed off fanbase, 11 years is a very long time.


Mike Elias feels that higher sequencing might be one of many keys to Kyle Gibson’s having a greater 2023 season with the Orioles than he did with the Phillies in 2022. Baltimore’s $10M free-agent acquisition logged a 5.05 ERA over 31 begins with Philadelphia this yr, and he allowed 176 hits — 24 of them of the long-ball selection — over 167-and-two-thirds innings.

When Elias introduced the signing within the membership’s Winter Conferences lodge suite, he instructed reporters that the numbers on the again of Gibson’s baseball card aren’t what issues, however moderately how he initiatives. Together with citing the 35-year-old right-hander’s six-pitch combine, he mentioned that his staff’s pitching division noticed methods during which Gibson might enhance.

I requested the GM if he might elaborate.

“First off, I feel he had loads of unhealthy luck final yr,” Elias replied. “We’ve received a terrific protection and a more-forgiving residence ballpark — I feel that’s going to assist him — however we [also] have some ideas about sequencing that we’re hopeful might be useful to a man with the big range of pitches he has. I’d say that will be the primary space.”

So, sequencing versus lessening or rising the utilization of, and even eliminating, any of the six pitches?

“On this specific case, I assume so,” mentioned Elias. “However that’s all the time one thing that our pitching division is doing: throttling up or throttling down particular person pitch frequencies, or simply serving to keep the standard of the stuff itself, or probably bettering it. In his case, a man together with his pitch-ability, the command he has of those six totally different pitches, there’s loads of alternative to make some enhancements in sequencing.”


A quiz:

Cy Younger grew to become baseball’s all-time chief in profession wins, a distinction he nonetheless holds, in 1903. Which Corridor of Fame pitcher had the report earlier than Younger? (A touch: he has one in every of baseball historical past’s better-known nicknames.)

The reply might be discovered beneath.



The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted Aaron Bates from assistant hitting coach to co-hitting coach, the place he’ll serve alongside Robert Van Scoyoc. Each have been featured in our Talks Hitting collection, Bates right here, and Van Scoyoc right here.

The Portland Sea Canines, who have been honored with the 2022 Bob Freitas Award as baseball’s prime Double-A franchise, have entered into an settlement with Diamond Baseball Holdings, which owns a number of minor-league associates. The Maine-based membership will reportedly retain its workers, in addition to its affiliation with the Boston Pink Sox.

Pat Hughes has been honored with the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award, which is introduced yearly for excellence in broadcasting by the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame and Museum. An enormous-league broadcaster since 1983, Hughes has been the radio play-by-play voice of the Chicago Cubs since 1996.

Kevin Gregg is the recipient of the 2022 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence. Previously with the Boston Pink Sox, the son of former Nationwide League umpire Eric Gregg is the VP of Baseball Communications for the Philadelphia Phillies.

John Lowe has been honored with this yr’s Baseball Writers Affiliation of America Profession Excellence Award. Lowe lined baseball from 1979-2014, the final 29 of these years because the Tigers beat author for the Detroit Free Press.


The reply to the quiz is Pud Galvin (given title James Francis Galvin) who was credited with 365 wins from 1875-1892. In the event you guessed Previous Hoss Radbourn — born on right now’s date in 1854 — he had 310 wins from 1881-1891.


Firing Al Avila and changing him with Scott Harris seems to be a step in the appropriate course for a Tigers staff that largely underachieved with Avila in cost. The 36-year-old Harris is each youthful and extra progressive than his 64-year-old-and-comparably-old-school predecessor. He’s additionally coming to Detroit from a unique group, the San Francisco Giants. I requested A.J. Hinch how going from Avila to Harris will impression him as a supervisor.

“All people is totally different to work for,” mentioned Hinch. “I’ll provide you with an instance: I did all of the medical updates, and now we’re giving out a medical replace sheet. Totally different practices, totally different processes, expectations for the way we’re going to run the day-to-day from one boss to a different… It’s been totally different from Josh Byrnes in Arizona to Jeff Luhnow to Al to Scott, the overall managers I’ve labored for.”

Which of Hinch’s earlier bosses is Harris most akin to?

“You need me to comp my boss?” Hinch replied, drawing laughter from the reporters readily available. “Who’s probably the most elite boss I’ve ever had in my life? I’m not dumb. This isn’t my first time at this podium.

“I do know he has no off-button,” continued Hinch, turning severe. “He can match working hours with me or anyone else that I’ve labored with. I feel his steady studying, his curiosity, decision-making processes… I’d moderately describe him as elite throughout the board, and you may evaluate him with anybody you need.”

My greatest guess is that Byrnes is probably the most comparable, though it might be Luhnow. Avila appears least seemingly, provided that Tigers possession noticed the necessity for a change.



Per The Kyodo Information, Yakult Swallows celebrity Munetaka Murakami might be posted to MLB after the 2025 season. The 22-year-old third baseman gained NPB’s triple crown this yr whereas slashing .318/.458/.710 with 56 residence runs.

Tyler Beede has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $1.17M (US {dollars}) contract with NPB’s Yomiuri Giants. Drafted 14th total in 2014 by San Francisco out of Vanderbilt College, the 29-year-old right-hander has pitched in 58 big-league video games, 33 with the Giants and 25 this previous season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Carter Stewart has a 1.06 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 17 innings with the Puerto Rican Winter League’s Gigantes de Carolina. A primary-round decide by the Atlanta Braves out of a Melbourne, Florida highschool in 2018, the 23-year-old right-hander had a 3.49 ERA this yr with the Western League affiliate of NPB’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

Humberto Mejía has a 2.18 ERA, and has fanned 42 batters whereas issuing simply two walks in 45-and-a-third innings with the Dominican Winter League’s Leones del Escogido. Launched by Arizona in Might, the 25-year-old Panamanian right-hander pitched for the Miami Marlins in 2020, and the Diamondbacks in 2021.

Brannon Jordan is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA, and 19 strikeouts in 13 innings, for the ABL’s Brisbane Bandits. A ninth-round decide by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021 out of the College of the South Carolina, the 24-year-old right-hander had a 4.31 ERA this yr between Low-A Carolina and Excessive-A Wisconsin.

Chan Eui Track leads is slashing .386/404/659 in 47 plate appearances with the ABL’s Geelong-Korea. The 23-year-old infielder/outfielder had a .699 OPS this yr with the KBO’s LG Twins.


A 19-year-old third baseman within the Tampa Bay Rays group is flashing good energy within the ABL. Following a primary full skilled season that noticed him go deep 11 occasions in 271 plate appearances between rookie ball and Low-A Charleston, Junior Caminero has six residence runs and a .526 slugging proportion in 20 video games with the Perth Warmth. Earlier this week, I requested Blake Butera for a snapshot scouting report on Caminero, who’s No. 4 on our Rays Prime Prospects checklist, and No. 60 on our Prime 100.

“The bat is actually thrilling,” mentioned Butera, who managed the Charleston RiverDogs this season.” It’s a loud bat with loads of energy, but additionally with a extremely good really feel for hit. He’s capable of get the barrel on the ball. He additionally acknowledges offspeed early, which is one thing that usually comes in a while with growth and expertise. He is aware of easy methods to make changes at-bat to at-bat.”

Requested if Caminero profiles as an influence hitter, Butera opined that he does. The 30-year-old supervisor added that {the teenager}’s physique is “fairly mature proper now” but nonetheless has room to develop. He sees him as “a nook infielder who’s going to hit for energy within the massive leagues.”

Caminero, whom our lead prospect author, Eric Longenhagen, described earlier this yr as being “a lot larger than his listed peak and weight [6-foot-3, 180 lbs.] is at present a 3rd baseman. Butera likes his glove — “he has the power to assault hops and skim hops” — though he feels that the teenager has room to develop range-wise. General, he considers Caminero a strong defender who will solely get higher… on either side of the ball.”


Fernando Perez was a visitor on Friday’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, and my dialog with the previous big-league outfielder, and present San Francisco Giants coach, included his expectations for a participant who signed with the Chicago Cubs in the course of the Winter Conferences.

“I anticipate Cody Bellinger to be unbelievable this yr,” Perez mentioned on the pod. “He has the inducement of a one-year deal, and maybe this time subsequent yr it finally ends up being a really massive deal. This can be a individual that had shoulder surgical procedure, and the best way that feels… it seems like you have got new {hardware}. Your complete life you play a sport with these levers that you recognize very nicely, after which you have got a surgical procedure and one in every of these levers seems like an inch shorter and a bit tighter. It takes some time to learn to use that lever once more. That’s the easiest way that I’d clarify it.”

Bellinger, whose $17.5M deal features a mutual possibility for a second yr, has scuffled to the tune of a 69 wRC+ in 900 plate appearances since going underneath the knife. My colleague Chris Gilligan wrote concerning the former MVP earlier this week.



The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams wrote about how, on the San Diego airport, Chaim Bloom tried to course of the fact of the Pink Sox with out Xander Bogaerts.

Overlaying the Nook’s Chris D. Davies hopes that signing Josh Bell is the beginning of a terrific offseason for the Cleveland Guardians.

Our Esquina’s José de Jesus Ortiz checked out how Oliver Marmol is settling in because the supervisor of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mariners took former Toronto Blue Jays first-rounder Logan Warmoth within the minor-league portion of Wednesday’s Rule 5 draft. Kate Preusser wrote about Seattle’s choice at Lookout Touchdown.

Amazin’ Avenue’s Allison McCague wrote about how New York Mets right-hander Tylor Megill regarded incredible in 2022… till he received damage.



Trea Turner had 195 hits in 2021, together with 130 singles and 65 extra-base hits. In 2022, he had 194 hits, together with 130 singles and 64 extra-base hits.

Willie Wilson had 184 singles in 1980, probably the most in a single season for a switch-hitter. The Kansas Metropolis Royals outfielder had 230 hits in all, and a .326 batting common.

Mickey Mantle hit 54 residence runs in 1961, probably the most in a single season for a switch-hitter. The New York Yankees outfielder had 43 residence runs and a .291 batting common hitting left-handed. He had 11 residence runs and a .371 batting common hitting right-handed.

Jeff Kent batted .289 in residence video games and .290 in away video games. He batted .290 with a .356 OBP within the first half of the season, and .290 with a .356 OBP within the final half of the season. He had an .855 OPS in opposition to right-handed pitchers and an .855 OPS in opposition to left-handed pitchers.

Dave Winfield had a .475 slugging proportion, a 128 wRC+, and 59.9 WAR
Bobby Abreu had a .475 slugging proportion, a 129 wRC+, and 59.8 WAR.

Tony Gwynn had a .370 wOBA, a 132 wRC+, and 65.0 WAR.
Dwight Evans had a .375 wOBA, a 129 wRC+, and 65.1 WAR.

On right now’s date in 1975, the New York Yankees traded Doc Medich to the Pittsburgh Pirates in trade for Willie Randolph, Ken Brett, and Dock Ellis. Randolph amassed 51.4 WAR — all with the Yankees — from 1976-1988, probably the most of any second baseman over that 13-year stretch.

The Anaheim Angels signed Mo Vaughn as a free agent on right now’s date in 1998. “The Hit Canine” had put up a 144 wRC+ with the Boston Pink Sox over the earlier six seasons. He had a 115 wRC+ in his two years with the Angels.

Gamers born on right now’s date embody Slim Harriss, who went 95-135 whereas pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Pink Sox from 1920-1928. Born William Jennings Bryan Harriss, in Brownswood, Texas, the right-hander had a 20-loss season with each groups.

Additionally born on right now’s have been Eddie and Johnny O’Brien, twin brothers who performed along with the Pittsburgh Pirates, sometimes as double-play companions, from 1953-1958. Each additionally pitched, with every sibling ending with one profession win.