Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

Leave a comment

This is fun reading, but I can’t wait for the “this is a sabermetrician’s wet dream” cracks from old media:

Look out Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka. A pair of
baseball-playing robots that can pitch and hit with incredible results
have been developed in Japan.

The pitching robot, with its three-fingered hand, can throw 90
percent of its pitches in the strike zone, won’t need any relief from
the bullpen and never asks for a pay raise. The batting robot, which
has a sensor to determine if pitches are strikes or balls, hits balls
in the strike zone almost 100 percent of the time, doesn’t swing at
pitches outside the strike zone, and is guaranteed to pass all drug
tests.

But here’s the best part:

The pitching robot throws a plastic foam ball at 25 miles per hour,
but Ishikawa is hoping to increase the speed to 93 mph and make it able
to throw off-speed pitches like curves and sliders.

Hopefully he’ll have better luck with the robots than Leo Mazzone did with Daniel Cabrera.

Report: Six teams are in on Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki
Getty Images
2 Comments

At least six teams are interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, according to a recent report from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Known suitors include the Cubs, who will reportedly be in attendance during one of the shortstop’s offseason workouts as they decide whether or not to press forward with a deal.

The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki on Tuesday as general manager Ross Atkins admitted he couldn’t rely on the 34-year-old to bounce back from season-ending bone spur removal surgery and be the kind of consistent presence the club needed going forward. Toronto is expected to absorb the remaining $38 million on Tulowitzki’s contract, which includes the $20 million he’s due in 2019, another $14 million in 2020 and a $4 million buyout in 2021.

The veteran slugger will be available to any interested team at a minimum $600,000, an undeniably attractive bargain if he recovers in advance of the 2019 season. He last appeared in the majors in 2017 and slashed .249/.300/.378 with 17 extra-base hits and a .678 OPS through 260 PA. Per Slusser, Tulowitzki appears to be angling for a job with the Athletics — even going so far as to say he’d be willing to switch positions in order to play for a winning team — though they have yet to reach out about a potential deal this winter.