If the Rockies want Scott Kazmir, they can probably have him

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Buried in the middle of Troy Renck’s latest Rockies notebook in the Denver Post is this sentence, accompanied by no other details: “Colorado also has interest in Angels starter Scott Kazmir, who had a disappointing season.”

First, calling what Kazmir did this year “a disappointing season” would be like calling me chubby. He had a 5.94 ERA in 28 starts and the one-time flamethrower walked nearly as many batters (79) as he struck out (93).

Second, if the Rockies truly have any kind of “interest” in Kazmir they can almost surely get him from the Angels.

Kazmir is owed $12 million next season and his contract also includes a $13.5 million option or $2.5 million buyout for 2012. Obviously if the Rockies called and offered to simply assume the remainder of Kazmir’s contract Angels general manager Tony Reagins would scream “yes!” before they even had a chance to finish the sentence.

The real question is how much of that $14.5 million Kazmir is still owed are the Rockies willing to assume? And if the answer is “not much” and they’d want the Angels to eat, say, $12.5 million of it, then are they willing to part with something resembling a useful prospect?

Colorado also has interest in Angels starter Scott Kazmir, who had a disappointing season. 

Read more: Rockies inquiring about Justin Upton – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_16641060?source=rss#ixzz15feYfkEG
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MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.