The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason

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This, from the Miami Herald, is not terribly surprising:

The Marlins, under orders from owner Jeffrey Loria, are making sweeping changes to the team’s baseball operations, from player development and scouting, all the way up to the front office.

Whether any of those changes involve [Manager Dan] Jennings, who stepped aside as general manager to assume the manager’s job in May after Mike Redmond was fired, remains to be seen.

Jennings will no doubt be gone. He has been no better than Mike Redmond and, I presume anyway, even he would tell you he’s not the best long-term guy to run the team on the field.

The rest of it just makes me roll my eyes. The Marlins have had a lot of problems over the years, but they’ve actually done a good job developing talent. At least top-end talent like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez. Christian Yellich is a nice player any number of teams would like to have come up with. Injuries hurt them a lot this year and last and they haven’t built the sort of depth a team with top star power needs to complement it, but despite payroll limitations and the lack of a desire for a lot of guys to go to Miami, they’ve built an at least credible core.

Loria is a clear problem, dictating roster moves and coaching shakeups from his owner’s box. And perhaps Jennings, who was the GM tasked with putting complementary pieces around Stanton and didn’t do the greatest job around. Jennings will maybe go, but maybe not. Loria is going nowhere of course.

But based on this story, it sounds like they’re going to can a bunch of scouts and cross checkers who, for the most part, have done a fine job for the Marlins over the past few years. Which would be a shame.

Astros fan logs trash can bangs from 2017

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A fascinating and no doubt time consuming research project was released this morning. An Astros fan by the name of Tony Adams went through every Astros home game in the 2017 season and logged trash can bangs. Which, as you know, was the mechanism via which Astros players in the clubhouse signaled to hitters which pitch was coming.

Adams listened to every pitch from the Astros’ 2017 home games and made a note of any banging noise he could detect. There were 20 home games for which he did not have access to video. There were three “home” games which took place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida due to the team being displaced by hurricane Harvey and for which, obviously, the Astros’ camera setup from Minute Maid Park would not have been applicable.

Adams logged over 8,200 pitches and found banging before over 1,100 of those pitches. He graphed which players got the most bangs during their at batsMarwin Gonzalez got the most, with bangs coming before 147 of 776 pitches seen, followed by George Springer, who got bangs on 139 of 933. José Altuve had the least among regulars, with only 24 bangs in 866 pitches. One gets the sense that, perhaps, he felt that the banging would interfere with his normal pitch recognition process or something. Either way it’s worth noting that a lack of banging was also signal. Specifically, for a fastball. As such, Astros hitters were helped on a much higher percentage of pitches than what is depicted in the graphs themselves.

Adams reminds us that Commissioner Manfred’s report stated that the Astros also used hand-clapping, whistling, and yelling early in the season before settling on trash can banging. Those things were impossible to detect simply by watching video. As it is, Adams’ graphs of bangs-per-game shows that the can-banging plan dramatically ramped-up on May 28.

It’s hard to say anything definitive about the scope and effectiveness of the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme based on this study alone. Adams may or may not have been hearing everything and, as he notes, there may have been a lot more pitches relayed thought means other than trash can banging than we know. Alternatively it’s possible that Adams was marking some sounds as bangs that were not, in fact, Astros players sending signals to the batter. It’s probably an inexact science.

Still, this is an impressive undertaking that no doubt took a ton of time. And it at least begins to provide a glimpse into the Astros’ sign-stealing operation.