Craig Calcaterra

Minnesota Twins v Tampa Bay Rays

Twins promote Alex Meyer, send Byron Buxton down

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Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the Twins are promoting Alex Meyer.

Meyer used to be a starter than got switched to a relief role and now is starting again. Control has always been an issue for him but he throws hard. He pitched in two big league games last year and got clobbered. This year in Triple-A so far he’s pitched in three games, starting two, and has struck out 19 guys and only walked four in seventeen and a third innings. Perhaps he’s finally put it all together.

UPDATE: It wasn’t just a big name coming up. It was a big name going down: the Twins optioned Byron Buxton and Max Kepler to Triple-A Rochester as part of the Meyer recall. Buxton, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, has struggled mightily in the early going, with only seven hits in 45 at bats in 49 plate appearances this year. With his time up last year he’s hitting .195/.239/.316 in 187 major league plate appearances. That won’t cut it. He needs more time.

Wanna buy Chase Utley’s house?

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You may be aware that Chase Utley used to play for the Phillies. And that he doesn’t anymore. And that, because he doesn’t anymore, he doesn’t need a house in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Well, to be honest, no one needs a house in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, but when you’re a rich athlete you’re likely to have one there.

Now Utley wants to sell his and, if you happen to need a house in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, you can have Utley’s. At least if you have $3.495 million. Plus closing costs, I’m guessing. If Utley will break a dude’s leg to break up a double play, he sure as hell isn’t gonna meet you halfway on closing costs. I wouldn’t even ask, really.

The house itself looks pretty good. A story about it and a slideshow for it is here. The outside looks like a stockbroker might own it and that’s kind of boring, but inside it has a lot of clean lines and skews modern as opposed to all of that ornate and gross Mediterranean crap you often see in ballplayers’ houses. God, I hate that.

Bonus: Allen Iverson used to own it before Utley did. It’d be cool if, say, Ron Jaworski, Wilt Chamberlain and, I dunno, Ed Delahanty used to own it too, but it doesn’t look that old.

(h/t to Bernie for the heads up)

When stat nerds are allowed to run a baseball team

In this image taken Thursday, June 25, 2015, and provided by the Sonoma Stompers, Sonoma Stompers pitcher Sean Conroy, the openly gay professional baseball player, throws during a minor league baseball game against Vallejo Admirals on Pride Night in Sonoma, Calif. Conroy tossed a complete game three-hit shutout in their 7-0 victory. (James Toy III/Sonoma Stompers via AP)
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Sam Miller, the editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus, and Ben Lindbergh of FiveThirtyEight have a book coming out about something weird they did last summer: they ran a baseball team.

Yep: the independent Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association handed the baseball operations keys over to these two knuckleheads with zero actual baseball experience in order to see how it’d all work. Over the weekend Sam wrote a column about it at the New York Times talking about what worked and what didn’t.

The key takeaway: the data may have worked but it wasn’t well-received from players because of who was delivering it and how they presented themselves. The story mattered as much as the information and when you give people who are creatures of habit and routine an unconventional story — and when you do it in a way that makes you come off as if you have a superiority complex — it’s sometimes hard to make it stick. Sam notes that this was his and Ben’s failure, however, not the players’. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but if you’re constantly misunderstood, it’s not the problem of the people misunderstanding you. If you’re the one who wants to accomplish and explain something, the burden is on you to know your audience and find the best way to communicate.

If the column about it is this self-aware, I imagine the book will be fantastic.