Author: Aaron Gleeman

Jeremy Guthrie

World Series, Game 3: Royals vs. Giants lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the World Series, in San Francisco:

Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Alex Gordon
RF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
3B Mike Moustakas
2B Omar Infante
C Salvador Perez
CF Jarrod Dyson
SP Jeremy Guthrie

Playing under NL rules forced Royals manager Ned Yost to alter his lineup for the first time this postseason, placing designated hitter Billy Butler on the bench. Yost has also benched right fielder Norichika Aoki, whose struggles defensively have been on full display of late. In his place Jarrod Dyson starts in center field, center fielder Lorenzo Cain shifts to right field, and Alex Gordon moves from No. 6 to No. 2 in the batting order. Mike Moustakas, who had been batting ninth, now bats fifth.

Giants:
CF Gregor Blanco
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
LF Travis Ishikawa
SS Brandon Crawford
SP Tim Hudson

For the Giants it’s back to the usual lineup, which means Michael Morse returning to the bench. Travis Ishikawa stays in left field.

Andrew Friedman got $35 million to leave the Rays for the Dodgers … and he might be underpaid

Andrew Friedman AP
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Everyone figured the Dodgers must have shelled out a ton of money to lure Andrew Friedman away from the Rays and now Buster Olney has the details: $35 million over five years.

That’s obviously a ton of money, but $7 million per season means almost nothing to a Dodgers team with a $240 million (and climbing) payroll.

Plus, in terms of what $35 million buys you on the field Friedman is getting–for example–$14 million less than Ricky Nolasco and $13 million less than Ubaldo Jimenez got as free agents last winter. He’s getting third-starter money, basically. Jason Vargas (four years, $32 million) or Scott Feldman (three years, $30 million) money.

I think there’s a strong argument to be made that general managers (or perhaps more accurately front offices, overall) can have a larger impact on a team’s long-term success than even elite players, let alone third starters. GMs are much tougher to evaluate than players and Friedman still has plenty to prove, but if you think a GM and/or president of baseball operations is truly great then $35 million in a bargain.

And my guess is we’re going to see GM salaries skyrocket soon as more high-revenue teams realize it’s one of the few remaining places to out-spend your low-revenue opponents now that draft and international spending is mostly regulated.

Royals may bench Norichika Aoki for Game 3

Division Series - Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Game One
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Moving the series to San Francisco means the Royals’ starting lineup will be without designated hitter Billy Butler and manager Ned Yost indicated that he’s considering another move.

Benching right fielder Norichika Aoki.

Aoki’s defense has been an issue throughout the postseason, with Yost frequently taking him out late in games in favor of Jarrod Dyson while shifting Lorenzo Cain from center field to right field.

So instead of doing that again Yost may just decide to start Dyson and use Aoki off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Aoki is a better hitter than Dyson, but he’s hardly an impact bat and an extra five or six innings of better defense and baserunning could be worth the change.

John Hart wants the Braves to be [insert cliche here]

John Hart
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John Hart met with the media for the first time since taking over as the Braves’ new president of baseball operations and in doing so the 66-year-old former Indians and Rangers general manager laid out his plans for rebuilding the team:

That’s all the type of stuff frustrated fans will probably eat up–he wants tough guys instead of these losers we’ve had lately!–but really Hart is basically saying nothing.

He wants to bring in players who’re like the players on the two teams currently matched up in the World Series. He wants “tough” players rather than, presumably, “weak” players. He wants “winning” players rather than, presumably, “losing” players. And he wants “players who overachieve rather than underachieve.”

Got it.

Mets hire former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long

Kevin long Getty
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Fired two weeks ago after eight seasons as the Yankees’ hitting coach, Kevin Long has signed on with the Mets to fill the same role.

For the majority of Long’s tenure the Yankees had one of the elite offenses in baseball and overall from 2007-2014 they scored MLB’s second-most runs, but the lineup fell apart during the past two seasons due to aging and injuries.

Dave Hudgens was fired as the Mets’ hitting coach at midseason and his replacement, Lamar Johnson, was let go after the season ended. Hudgens has since joined the Astros as their hitting coach.

Long previously worked with Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson on the Yankees from 2010-2013, but in general will have a much different task ahead him than the veteran, star-filled lineups he’s used to. And the expectations will probably be just a tad lower, too.