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.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

Harry How/Getty Images
1 Comment

MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.