New York Giants: Top Offensive Line Gems In The Late Rounds

The New York Giants‘ GM Dave Gettleman is a master at finding late round gems on the offensive line.

See Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell

This article will take a look at several potential late round gems that Gettleman might be eyeing in the upcoming NFL Draft.

1.) Appalachian State: Colby Gossett

Recently, the Giants sent offensive line coach Hal Hunter to evaluate the big men coming out of the Appalachian State football program. One of those players is Colby Gosset, which is surely on the list of late round picks for Gettleman.

Strengths:

Gosset’s greatest strength is his durability, as he played 46 straight games for Appalachian State. He possesses an NFL caliber frame and has great quickness for a big-man. His strength and power allows him to hold defensive lineman in place and his quick feet allow him to re-establish position. He is solid against defensive tackles and can hold his own on the interior.

At 6-foot-5, 315-pounds, he’s exactly what Gettleman might be looking for in the draft.

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Projection:  4-5th round

2.) LSU: Will Clapp

Clapp was expected to stay at LSU in 2018 but has decided to declare for the NFL Draft. He has solid run blocking abilities and is serviceable in pass protection.

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He will need a year of development, but with help from professional coaches and players, he should be able to develop into a solid interior lineman.  Most teams gave Clapp a third-day grade, which means if he stayed in college one more season, he could have been a potential first-rounder in 2019.

Projection: 3-6 rounds

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3.) Army, Brett Toth

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 303-pounds is the Army left tackle, Brett Toth. Toth has great size for the NFL. After a great performance at the East-West Shrine, a lot of teams were interested in giving him an interview. He has superior athleticism but is still quite raw when it comes to his technical abilities.

With a bit of training at the professional level, Toth could develop into a quality tackle on either side of the ball. For the Giants, he could be a serviceable right tackle within one-two years.

Projection: 4-6th round

 

New York Mets Series Preview: Philadelphia Phillies (4/2-4/4)

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets welcome the young upstart Philadelphia Phillies into Citi Field for their first National League East series of the season. The Phillies lost two out of three games against the Atlanta Braves in their opening series. The Mets won the season series last year 12-7, this will be the first time new managers, Mickey Callaway and Gabe Kapler faceoff.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(4/2, 7:10 PM) Ben Lively (0-0, -.–) vs. Matt Harvey (0-0, -.–)
(4/3, 7:10 PM) Aaron Nola (0-0, 1.69) vs. Seth Lugo (0-0, -.–)
(4/4, 1:10 PM) Nick Pivetta (0-0, 6.75) vs. Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 6.00)

The Mets started the season off strong by taking two out of three from the St. Louis Cardinals. The Phillies bring in a very young team lead by their big bats of Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins. Young pitchers Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez with the new addition of Jake Arrieta gives the Phils a rotation that has high potential.

Kapler has already been second guessed for his managerial style. He wants everybody to play and will yank his pitchers’ way before they hit 100 pitches. Even if a pitcher is cruising, he will pull them out early so they do not have to face the lineup a third time. Losing a game 15-2 and blowing a five run lead on opening day has blown open the floodgates for second guessing.

The Mets have beat up on the Phillies the last few seasons but pitchers will certainly have their work cut out with Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Santana, and Maikel Franco in the middle of their lineup. With Pat Neshek on the disabled list, their bullpen is lackluster at best but Hector Neris is their lone bright spot.

Matt Harvey will try to work through the conditions on Monday in his highly anticipated first start of 2018. Last year was one to forget but the Mets feel he has regained his confidence and most importantly his Cy Young caliber stuff. Over the years no Mets pitcher has drawn more attention from the media and admiration from the Mets fans. When Matt Harvey is on top of his game it is certainly fun to watch.

Matchups to Lookout For

Maikel Franco has terrorized the Mets over his career. His nine home runs against the Mets are the most he has against any other team. Noah Syndergaard has been dominant against the Phillies, he has a 1.78 ERA in 35.1 innings against them.

Aaron Nola has struggled in his career against the Mets. He has a 6.19 ERA and has allowed 18 hits in 16 innings against the Mets. The Phillies have put up good numbers against A.J. Ramos in the past. He has a 4.62 ERA and has walked 27 batters in 37 innings against the Phillies.

Interesting Stats

To support Kapler’s idea of taking pitchers out early, Adrian Gonzalez has hit .312 in his career when a pitcher is pitching through the order for the third time. Nick Pivetta has a 3.65 ERA during day games, compared to his inflated 7.73 ERA at night.

Game 4: New York Yankees at Blue Jays

New York Yankees, Aaron boone

The New York Yankees had a rough Easter Sunday in Toronto. The day started out pretty good for the Yankees as they piled on runs against the Blue Jays in the top of the third. Sonny Gray had a nice start, but was not efficient enough today and forced Aaron Boone to go to the bullpen in the fifth inning.

The person who is mostly responsible for the disaster is manager Aaron Boone. His decision to intentionally walk Josh Donaldson and pitch to Justin Smoak was clearly one he will learn from.

W- Clippard 1-0 (3.00 ERA)

L- Robertson 0-1 (18.00 ERA)

S- Oh (1)

Offensive Recap

The Yankees had a big third inning today where they plated all four of their runs with two outs. After back to back to strikeouts to Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton worked a walk. Didi Gregorius then smacked a line drive double to center that scored Stanton.

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Neil Walker then followed up Didi’s RBI double with an RBI single of his own.

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The biggest blow of the inning was Brandon Drury’s two run homer he hit that gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

Pitching Recap

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Sonny Gray pitched in his first start of the 2018 season and looked good. He did not have a great day and threw many pitches. Gray faced a jam in the first with runners on first and third with no outs. Gray worked some magic with his nasty breaking ball to strike out the next three batters.

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Gray faced some trouble in the second and was bailed out by Aaron Judge when he fired a laser to Austin Romine to nab Russell Martin at the plate.

Devon Travis lined a single in the next at bat that scored Kevin Pillar. This was the only run that Sonny Gray allowed in four innings pitched. Chad Green relieved Gray in the fifth after he walked the first batter of the inning. Green was dominate in the two innings he pitched striking out four and only allowing one hit.

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Tommy Kahnle relieved Green in the seventh and did not have a great outing today. He walked the first batter he faced, Josh Donaldson, and then served up a two run homer to Justin Smoak to cut the lead to 4-3.

David Robertson then came into the game in the seventh to retire the last out of the inning. Robertson came back out for the eighth and this is where things went downhill.

Martin singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, Pillar lined out, Aledmys Diaz hit a double and Devin Travis grounded out to Robertson.

Then Josh Donaldson was due up and he was intentionally walked. Many questioned this decision; even YES analyst David Cone who said this decision was wrong.

Smoak stepped into the box and after an eight pitch battle with Robertson smoked (no pun intended) a grand slam into dead center on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. The Blue Jays took a 7-4 lead and Oh closed out the game for the Jays.

Player of the Game

For the second day in a row Justin Smoak had a big game against the Yankees. He blasted two homers in today’s game and single-handedly beat the Yankees with his bat.

Smoak: 3-4, 2 HR, 1 BB, 6 RBI

Tomorrows Game

Rays at Yankees (Home Opener)

1:05 ET Yankees Stadium

Pruitt 1-0(0.00 ERA) vs Montgomery 0-0 (0.00 ERA)

 

How Much Would Marquette King Improve The Giants’ Punting Unit?

The New York Giants are down a punter after releasing Brad Wing in the wake of a porous season filled with poor punts.

Let’s compare Wing to King to give us a look at what he could potentially bring to New York:

Wing’s 2017 stats:

-95 punts

-Long=69 yards

-Average=44.1

-2 blocked punts

-7 out of bounds

-19 inside the 20-yard line

-9 touchbacks

-1 returned for a touchdown

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King’s 2017 stats:

-69 punts

-Long of 65-yards

-47.4 average

-0 blocked punts

-6 out of bounds

-28 punts inside of the 20-yard line

-6 touchbacks

-0 returned for touchdowns

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The comparison:

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The most obvious comparison to make is that Wing only placed 19 punts inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line (he had 95 punts). King only had 65 punts and put 28 of them within the 20-yard line. Now, we could make the argument that the Giants often went three-and-out forcing Wing to punt from his own half of the field, but the Raiders also weren’t very proficient on offense.

There’s no doubt that King outperformed Wing in almost every category, which is what makes him so appealing to the Giants brass. Bringing on the charismatic punter would be another big step in aiding the struggling special teams unit, and continuing to bolster the team in all facets of the game.

Odell Beckham Jr. Already Creating Relationship With Stud Penn State Runningback

The New York Giants could easily decide to spend their No. 2 overall pick in the first-round on Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley is a potential generational talent at the next level, which would give the Giants two unparalleled talents on offense for Eli Manning to work with. Head coach Pat Shurmur would have a plethora of weapons at his disposal with Engram, Beckham Jr., Barkley and Shepard.

Maybe the Giants brass has sent OBJ on a mission:

Maybe, just maybe, the Giants’ regime has sent Beckham Jr. on a mission to create a rapport with Barkley, as they want the offense to have chemistry when the Giants select him at No. 2 overall. Very optimistic but hell, who knows?

Barkley had great things to say about OBJ when asked about potentially playing alongside him with the Giants.

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“That would be special,” Barkley told the New York Post. “I admire Odell’s game. He’s a walking highlight. Everyone knows the one-handed plays, but he can catch a slant and take it 80 yards. Not only Odell, [Sterling] Shepard, the tight end [Evan Engram], they’re all special, they’re all talented.

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“If I was fortunate enough to get drafted to a team like the Giants, I feel like if I was able to have the success that I had in college, I feel like that would be a good fit. But there, you add a running game, it’s like, what can you do on the defensive side of the ball? You have a veteran, established quarterback, Eli Manning, who’s proven himself, won two Super Bowls, that you know the guy’s gonna get the job done. It would be special to learn from guys like him and Odell. Obviously, any team that drafts me, I feel like that’s a good fit.”

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Barkley is a class act and knows his contribution to Big Blue would be exactly what they need to reach another level of success. Creating a relationship with Beckham Jr. only gets the ball rolling for a potential future of star-power.

Opening Weekend New York Yankees Injury and Transaction Updates

Injury updates:

Jacoby Ellsbury: He was placed on the 10-day DL to begin the season with a strained oblique. Ellsbury was hurt in the first week of Spring Training games. He has been taking at-bats in minor league games in Tampa and if all goes well can be possibly reinstated back from the DL on Thursday against the Orioles. As of now the Yankees do not have a real center fielder on their active roster and will welcome Ellsbury back with open arms so, that Judge can go back to playing right field.

Clint Frazier: Frazier sustained a concussion against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a Spring Training game on February 24. He started the season on the 7-day concussion DL and has only recently started to get back into baseball activities. Frazier is still a ways away as he not played in any games in Tampa. When he finally is fully healthy again he will be sent to Scranton, unless the Yankees need him, to get in regular at-bats as a starter.

Greg Bird: Bird had successful surgery on Tuesday morning to remove a bone spur in his right ankle. Bird will not be participating in any baseball activities for at least six to eight weeks. The earliest that Bird will be back in the Bronx is early June.

Aaron Hicks: Hicks was injured in the Yankees Opening Day game. He had felt some soreness between his third and fourth at-bat and it was discovered that he had a strained right intercostal muscle. Hicks pleaded with Aaron Boone not to be placed on the DL ,but Boone felt it was necessary as to avoid any further injury. Hicks is available to be activated next Sunday against the Orioles in the series finale in the Bronx.

Billy McKinney: After being recalled and making his debut on Friday, McKinney was injured in the bottom of the first in last nights game. While tracking a ball in left field hit by Josh Donaldson, McKinney slammed into the left field video board. He looked shaken up and pleaded to stay in. Boone allowed him to continue playing until McKinney threw a ball in and he clearly seemed hurt. He was then replaced by Brett Gardner who finished the game in left. McKinney was diagnosed with a left shoulder sprain after X-rays came back negative. He will be placed on the 10-day DL and third base prospect Miguel Andujar will take his spot on the roster.

Adam Warren: Warren was struck with a comeback in his right ankle during last nights game. There is no update if he will be placed on the DL. He did go for X-Rays which were negative and was diagnosed with a right ankle contusion.

Transactions

The Yankees signed veteran reliever lefty reliever Oliver Perez to a minor league deal on Saturday.

The Yankees have placed OF Billy McKinney on the 10-day DL and have recalled 3rd baseman Miguel Andujar.

What Do The New York Mets Do When Michael Conforto Returns?

Michael Conforto is set to return to the New York Mets before his original May 1 date. The Mets have to figure out how to make room for Conforto in their crowded outfield.

There will be no changes when it comes to Yoenis Cespedes or Jay Bruce in the outfield. The decision to demote either Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares is a difficult one for the organization to make. The Mets could also demote Phillip Evans, if they choose to have five outfielders.

Brandon Nimmo vs. Juan Lagares

Nimmo has shown his prowess for working deep counts and ability to be the Mets leadoff hitter. He can also play all three outfield positions and is a solid bat to have off the bench. Nimmo has shown he is a quality outfielder and has solidified his spot on the Mets roster. The Mets have been high on Nimmo since they drafted him and they likely will not want to remove the hustle and patience he brings to the Mets.

Lagares is a gold glove center fielder but has always struggled with being a consistent hitter. It is unlikely the Mets move Lagares because he is undoubtedly the best defensive outfielder they have. His glove has been a game changer in the years past which keeps him on the Mets roster year after year. If the Mets were to choose between Nimmo and Lagares, they would likely go with Nimmo. Nimmo is younger, a better hitter and can play all three outfield positions.

How the Mets Will Handle Conforto When He Returns

Conforto’s will likely be worked into everyday action slowly and with caution. Manager Mickey Callaway has said he does not want to overwork guys in the regular season and make sure his bench players do not spend too many consecutive games on the bench. The days of 150-plus games being played is most likely over.

Conforto will likely reclaim his spot as the Mets leadoff hitter and center fielder when he returns. In order to give Adrian Gonzalez some rest, Bruce could play first base which would move Conforto to right and Nimmo/Lagares to center. The Mets can do a lot many different things with their lineup and they do not have a player Callaway is afraid to play.

Getting Conforto back healthy makes the Mets lineup even more dangerous. It gives the Mets and outfield that is one of the very best in baseball and can all be All-Stars. Conforto was one the few bright spots of a dark 2017 and will be one of the key pieces the Mets need to make another World Series run in 2018.