I Have News

I have two passionate interests – baseball and education. I am a firm believer in public education as it served me well as a kid in a broken home who bounced around from dwelling to dwelling through the first four years of my schooling and my teachers were my role models growing up. It is the reason why I became a teacher and spent 10 years in the public school system as a teacher, a technology coordinator, and a technology trainer before moving to the private sector.

In the private sector, I was able to have a broader impact on technology’s impact in the classroom in my job role as I traveled around the country to help train, implement, and troubleshoot technology systems. While visiting all 48 contiguous states was fun, the rate of travel became too much for me to maintain a harmonious home life and after learning that my rate would not get better, I resigned. I took a lesser paying position within the same industry that allowed me to be home more frequently and controlled my travel. Unfortunately, that position ended in November when I was laid off due to budget cutbacks.

The timing of that move was one of the best things that could have happened for me as it was right in time for me to pick up quite a bit of freelance work with offseason baseball writing for real baseball and fantasy baseball and to expand my radio appearances around the country. For the last seven months, I’ve enjoyed the increased writing time at Rotowire and for ESPN as well as the new opportunities at BaseballHQ and Fangraphs while I continued to search for a new full-time opportunity in either field.

That opportunity is now here, back in education.

Beginning next week, I will resume a career in educational technology with much greater control of my travel schedule in a regional territory (east of the Mississippi) rather than a national territory and be able to better provide for my family. That means I will be downshifting my work at Rotowire, Fangraphs, BaseballHQ and ESPN back to the level I was at the previous 14 years. The Towers of Power Baseball Hour podcast will still be on my schedule as will the Sunday version of The Sleeper and The Bust podcast. The Friday chats at Fangraphs will cease for me after this week as will my daytime interaction on Twitter, unless I’m stuck in an airport somewhere. I will continue to update this site with links to work that I produce as well as musings on topics that come up.

Your support and patronage over these past seven months meant more to me than I could possibly explain. So, thank you for that and I look forward to continuing our baseball interactions as the new schedule permits or even meet up at a stadium during the season.

-JC

Latest Episode of The Towers of Power Baseball Hour Is Live

Paul Sporer is off serving a one-show suspension for trying to strangle Bud Norris the other night, so Jason Collette and Jensen Lewis charge on without him. Jason and Jensen discuss Jose Fernandez, pitchers being asked to change roles, injuries and trade rumors affect teams, the Norris/Hunter dust up from the other day, why managers do crazy things with baserunners, and Jensen’s story about the first time he was called up to the show.

The full archive of the podcast can be found here

What It Takes To Acquire Tulo

One of the features of the CBS player pages is that you can view different trades made by fantasy team owners. Some are wildly entertaining, while others are head scratchers. I figured it would be entertaining to see what people have to do to get Troy Tulowitzki these days as he crushes everything thrown to him. The results are rather amusing.

Continue reading

Odorizzi’s Struggles

The Yankees went into yesterday’s game against Jake Odorizzi with eight left-handed batters in their lineup for good reason. Heading into yesterday, left-handed batters had a career slash line of .306/.367/.517 against Odorizzi. Opponents also strikeout fewer times when batting left-handed (15.7%) than they do batting right-handed (21.9%).

Those splits were the primary reason why Odorizzi sought Alex Cobb’s advice on how to develop the split-changeup as he wanted something else as he tried to reduce the splits in his outcomes. While he has the new pitch, and is getting more strikeouts against left-handed batters, the overall results are even worse than they were last season.

The primary reason for Odorizzi’s struggles this season is each outing is truly two separate events – the first time through the lineup and the rest of the game.

Read the full write-up over at TheProcessReport

Pitching Leaders

Your statistical leaders from the mound as we enter the month of May:

  • ERA: Johnny Cueto – 1.15
  • WHIP: Jason Hammel – 0.69
  • Opponents Batting Average: Johnny Cueto – .136
  • Opponents On Base Percentage: Jason Hammel – .190
  • Opponents Slugging Percentage: Garrett Richards – .211
  • K/BB: Tim Hudson – 15.5
  • Lowest HR/9: Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez – 0.00
  • Lowest BABIP: Jason Hammel – .138
  • Wins: Zack Greinke & Adam Wainwright – 5
  • Saves: Francisco Rodriguez – 13
  • Strikeouts: Jose Fernandez – 55
  • Walks: Tim Hudson – 2
  • Strikeout Rate: Jose Fernandez – 36.2%
  • Walk Rate: Tim Hudson – 1.2%
  • Swinging Strike Rate: Ervin Santana – 16.9%
  • Strike percentage: Phil Hughes – 71.8%

Latest Episode of Towers of Power Baseball Hour is Live

Jensen Lewis returns to the podcast as we discuss a variety of topics with him:

  • Challenges of pitching with a speedster on base
  • Approaching a lineup
  • Challenges of working out of the bullpen
  • How starters and relievers deal with weather delays and postponements
  • Learning a new pitch in-season
  • Carlos Carrasco and his struggles
  • Trevor Bauer’s improvements
  • Struggles with the middle of the order in the Cleveland offense

If you’d like to hear more of the Joey Votto/Lance McAllister podcasts mentioned in this episode, visit the archive here.