Scouting reports on umpires? Why not?

14 Comments

Every umpire has a reputation, but some teams aren’t content with simply knowing if a guy is a pitchers’ ump or a hitters’ ump. They’re getting detailed with it

Ron Washington flips the pages of his three-ring notebook, filled
with
inside info on the other team’s pitchers and hitters. The Texas manager gets to the back of the black binder, reaches into
the
pocket and pulls out another scouting report–on that night’s home plate
umpire.

It’s a color-coded computer printout showing his strike zone–how he
tends
to call balls and strikes–and whether he usually gives the pitcher a
break if
the ball sails just off the corner of the plate. In this ump’s case, the
calls
on the edges are too inconsistent to be predictable.

“We do have their tendencies in the dugout on the wall. The name of the
umpire and his tendencies, what they call and what part of the zone they
call
strikes,” Washington said.

Any bit of information helps, I suppose, but at some point you have to wonder if hitters are getting too much information. I mean, between knowing what the pitcher’s tendencies are, how the defense is playing you, what sign you have from the third base coach and then actually, you know, watching the pitch as it comes in, whether the ump likes to call outside breaking balls strikes on 3-2 counts approaches overload, doesn’t it?

Either way, I like the fact that Bobby Cox and the Braves don’t compile these things. Not that it wouldn’t help — God knows the Braves could use help with the zone — but because if they did it, they’d probably all read the same: “Has a short fuse; likes to eject the manager.”  “Gets angry easy; prone to ejecting the manager . . .”

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

Getty Images
4 Comments

Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.

Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.

Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.

Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.