Why New York Jets’ Trumaine Johnson Was A Massive Addition For The Secondary

Trumaine Johnson is a much needed asset for the New York Jets‘ secondary. With Morris Claiborne on one side, Buster Skrine locking up the middle, and now Johnson providing additional support, the secondary finally seems to be serviceable.

Finally! A secondary that Todd Bowles can work with, not to mention the outstanding and dveloping safety help of Marcus Maye and Jamaal Adams. Johnson is coming into gang green with 18 interceptions and 67 pass deflections since he entered the league in 2012. The jets were 24th in the league defensively allowing an average of 23.88 points per game last season. This further justifies the addition of Trumaine Johnson and why it was a necessity for the Jets. Nothing you can love more than acquiring the best press coverage corner in the NFL allowing only 43 yards receiving off the press last year.  

How Does New York Jets’ corner Trumaine Johnson stack up against other top CB’s?

How does Trumaine Johnson stack up to some of the top corners in the league this past season. How about Xavier Rhodes, with two interceptions and 10 pass deflections compared to Johnson’s two interceptions and 14 pass deflections.

Let’s compare Jalen Ramsey – Ramsey last season posted four interceptions and 17 pass deflections. He barely beats Johnson there, but Jalen was considered to be the best corner-back in the league last season.

Taking a look at seven-year veteran, Patrick Peterson, who had one interception and eight pass deflections also lost out in performance to Johnson. That should definitely paint the picture of just how elite Johnson actually is.

Due to the fact that the New York Jets finished last season with only 11 interceptions ranking 23rd and well behind the Baltimore Ravens who finished with 22 interceptions. Secondary help was a priority going into the offseason and it seems as if they’ve bolstered it significantly through this acquisition.

 

 

           

New York Giants New Safety Blowing Past Thompson And Adams

At the beginning of the 2017 season, it was thought that free safety Darian Thompson would earn the starting job for the New York Giants. Thompson proceeded to start every game, but he struggled consistently throughout the season, blowing coverages and missing tackles leading to big gains.

Backup safety, Andrew Adams, played well, sparingly, and was assumed to be the front-runner for the starting safety job in 2018. That idea is now seriously in question, as new acquisition Curtis Riley, has displayed impressive ability on the practice field, potential earning him a leg-up over Thompson and Adams.

According to Big Blue View:

“We’re gonna give those guys an opportunity to go out there with the first group and see how they do, and really it’s a rotation,” defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo said on Monday. “As we get deeper into camp, it’ll be more merit-based on, hey, we’re playing in some games and we’re actually tackling people and we’ll see how it goes, but we won’t find out who the best ones are unless we give them a chance, so that’s how we’re doing it.”

Riley is a third-year pro that spent his first two seasons with the Tennessee Titans, amassing seven total tackles and one interception over the course of his career. His production has been limited due to a lack of playing time and injury, but he’s getting his fair share of opportunities with the Giants.

Can Curtis Riley be the guy for the New York Giants?

The former Titan converted to safety after struggling to make a name for himself at cornerback. This move might have been career-saving, as he’s shown good vision and tackling ability thus far in camp.

“Riley’s done a really good job,” Shurmur said. “He’s back there, he’s moving around, he understands the calls he’s gotta make. He’s done a nice job.”

Shurmur wants his free safety to be a leader and a communicator. Being able to read the offense and rely on his instincts will be something the new head coach looks for in his secondary.

Now, the safety position battle will require the remainder of the pre-season to shake out, but so far, there’s more competition that previously anticipated.

New York Mets Series Preview: Washington Nationals (7/30-7/31)

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

After splitting a four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a day off, the New York Mets play a short two game series against the Washington Nationals. The Mets have been better in the second half as they have gone 5-4 since the All-Star break. The Nationals have struggled to get out of their own way and they currently sit at 52-53. The Mets have won six of the ten games against the Nats this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(7/30, 7:05 PM) Steven Matz (5-8, 3.79 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (4-12, 4.55 ERA)

(7/31, 12:05 PM) TBD vs. Tommy Milone (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

Wheeler On The Move?

After news of the Mets holding on to Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler remains as the final big trade piece the team holds. Wheeler has molded into the great pitcher he was projected to be and will likely draw a lot in return. The Yankees, Phillies, Braves and Brewers have emerged as the top four landing spots for Wheeler. Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco are also possible players on the move, but trade talks have been quiet for them.

After Asdrubal Cabrera was shipped to the Phillies, Jeff McNeil has been handed a chance to show what he can do at the major league level. McNeil has gone 3-12 in his short big league stint so far but has a .500 on-base percentage. The second base position will be a revolving door for the rest of the season until someone starts to show they can hit at a consistent pace. Phil Evans and Jose Reyes will certainly get a fair shot to hold down the spot as well.

Capital Disaster

If the Mets and Baltimore Orioles hold the top two spots for the biggest mess of 2018, the Nationals are secure in the third spot. The superstars on the team do not hustle, there is fighting in the dugout and all the fingers are being pointed at rookie manager Dave Martinez. The clubhouse is controlled by the selfish and polarizing personalities of Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. Both players have incredible talent but it is clear Harper is looking past 2018 and both players put themselves ahead of their teammates.

The Nationals were predicted to be World Series champions at the beginning of the season but they have looked far from that all season. In a year full of disappointment, they have received a wonderful season from 19-year old rookie Juan Soto. Soto has bursted on to the seen putting up a slash line of .310/.418/.567 and will likely be the NL Rookie of the Year. He also gives the Nationals insurance if Harper decided to leave in the off season.

Matchups to Lookout For

Michael Conforto vs. Tanner Roark: 4-17 (.235) 2 Double, Home Run, 4 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Michael Taylor vs. Steven Matz: 4-17 (.235) Home Run, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Trea Turner vs. Steven Matz: 2-16 (.125) Double, Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Tanner Roark: 3-15 (.200) Doubles, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Jose Bautista w/RISP in 2018: 13-40 (.325) 5 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 13 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

Trea Turner vs. SP in his first time through the order in 2018: 18-93 (.194) 3 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 27 Strikeouts

New York Giants: B.J. Goodson Impressing In Training Camp

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

There’s one thing for certain in regard to the New York Giants‘ defense, it’s a hell of a lot better than it was in 2017. With depth on the defensive line and the linebacker corps being bolstered by new acquisition, Alec Ogletree, things seem to be heading in the right direction for a unit that ranked 28th in points allowed per game last season.

But despite Ogletree making an entrance filled with expectation and excitement, third-year man B.J. Goodson has been quietly making a name for himself in training camp. After a stellar week one performance against the Dallas Cowboys in which Goodson racked up 17 total tackles in 2017, his season was hit by the injury bug. The Clemson product displayed a keen ability to locate running backs in traffic and hunt down crossing tight ends. His presence was missed, but he will have a chance at redemption in the campaign ahead.

How has B.J. Goodson impressed in New York Giants training camp thus far?

https://twitter.com/JordanRaanan/status/1024044513625616387

His underrate speed and athleticism has provided a spark to the defense this offseason, and standing alongside MIC linebacker Ogletree, Goodsoon seems to finally be comfortable in his natural role. Making the move to the 3-4 defense allows the run stopper to play closer to the line of scrimmage and confuse offenses with his movement off the ball.

Defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, will use his two middle linebackers to disguise the defense and bait the quarterback into making a mistake. We should expect to see a lot of darting north and south in an attempt to convince the opposing signal caller of who’s blitzing, or not.

Two fellow beat writers are saying something similar – if he’s healthy, the Giants will have a productive linebacker in the run-stopping and pass-rush game. He’s a workhorse that knows his play dictates the flow of the game and the overall success of the defense.

In regard to the new scheme, Goodson stated:

“Honestly, for me, it doesn’t matter what type of defense it is. Scheme doesn’t really matter to me,” Goodson said on Sunday. “Line up, and I have an offensive lineman in front of me, the ball behind the offensive lineman, win against the man I’m against, and make the tackle.”

Although Goodson only played in seven games last year, there was a fair bit of optimism and talent left on the field. We should see his potential finally begin to blossom once September hits.

New York Giants: Eli Manning Makes Throws, Training Camp Has First Scuffle

After the most recent day of training camp, it’s safe to say that the offense is looking good so far. The passing game was tested by the defense yesterday, with blitz situations being included in the scrimmages.

Eli Manning looked good in the red zone despite being a big question mark for the team going into this season, throwing touchdowns to Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard, and others. In two of the videos that can be found on Twitter, it also looks like Manning is doing a good job at getting the ball out quickly.

Manning only held the ball for a few seconds in the play that’s linked below, getting a throw off to Shepard, who dove into the end zone for the score.

Everything wasn’t fun and smooth sailing, though. There was a scuffle when Wayne Gallman received a pass before being taken down a bit too hard by Olivier Vernon, causing a bit of a disruption. It was the first of these kinds of incidents to happen at camp this year, and Eli Apple was apparently in the middle of it.

Things went back to normal, however, and Odell Beckham Jr. was back with his usual moves, shaking defenders to pick up yards after the catch as well as the score. Not only that, but he beat Eli Apple to make the catch in the first place before taking it to the house. If the star receiver has any lingering injury, he hasn’t shown it at this point in training camp.

Everything might not have gone perfect, with some tempers noticeably flaring during this day of camp, but the passing game should be trending upwards. After all, both of the team’s top receivers managed to come up big when the ball went their way.

New York Knicks: What Mitchell Robinson Brings To The Big Apple

With New York Knicks star forward Kristaps Porzingis towering at 7-foot-3, rookie big-man Mitchell Robinson seems obviously smaller at 7-foot-1. It’s amusing using the word “small” when describing a man that makes most look like ants.

What does Mitchell Robinson bring to the New York Knicks?

Despite the height differential, Robinson enters the league with immense talent and potential as a professional. The rookie barely played in college and was the result of a traded draft pick when the Knicks sent Carmelo Anthony and his burden of a contract over to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It seems as if that trade has paid off ten-fold, given they received the second round pick spent on Robinson and Enes Kanter in the deal.

Ahead of the 2018 NBA draft, Robinson was ranked as one of colleges most highly touted prospects, landing at No. 9 overall. He sat behind the likes of Collin Sexton and Wendell Carter, and just one spot ahead of Kevin Knox. Recently, the big-man signed a four-year contract, keeping him in New York until at lease 2022,

During the Summer League, Robinson averaged 11.3 points per game, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. He shot an astounding 68.2% from the floor in his first three games. These numbers are impressive and attest to his second-round draft placement. In fact, he seems to be showing more potential than his stock had to say about him, which only benefits the Knicks in the long run.

Ultimately, Robinsons will feature alongside Knox in the 2018-19 season, adding youth and a fresh start to an organization that has failed to put the necessary building blocks in place to achieve optimism.

Through the Knicks first three summer league contests in Las Vegas, Robinson is averaging 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, while shooting a scorching 68.2% from the floor. That’s quite remarkable considering the kid hadn’t played in an organized basketball game in over 14 months. The last time he suited up for a team was during his senior year of high school. After enrolling at Western Kentucky University last summer, he dropped out and opted to train individually for the 2018 NBA draft instead.

New York Yankees: Why Is Luis Severino Struggling – Can He Fix It?

New York Yankees’ 24-year-old ace Luis Severino has shown a mid-season struggle as of late. In his last four starts through 19.1 innings pitched, Sevy has allowed 33 hits, 19 earned runs and 7 home runs – recording an 8.84 ERA. In those innings pitched, batters are hitting .384/.418/.698/1.115 against him.

He has allowed just 32 hits in his previous 47.1 innings pitched before things started to go south for him on July 7th against the Toronto Blue Jays. In his 18 starts before those last four, he posted a 1.98 ERA through 118.1 innings pitched, with allowing just six home runs and batters only hitting .195/.251/.282/.533 against him.

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly the issue is here. In his last four starts, he is throwing 70% strikes compared to 68% strikes in the previous 18 starts. His BB% has actually gone down to 2.1% in the second half of the season from a 6.4 BB% in the first half.

The most alarming stats I have seen that should warrant concern for the front-end starter are his line-drive percentage, home-run per fly-ball percentage, and his hard-contact percentage. In his first 18 starts, Sevy has induced a 25 LD% – that number soars up to a 36 LD% in his last 4 starts. Just in July alone, Severino’s HR/FB% rocketed to a 25.9% from a 6.6% in the previous months. Same with his HC%, he is allowing a 39.8 HC% in July from a 32.0 HC% prior to July.

Put simply, he is throwing just as many strikes but is allowing batters to make way more hard contact, which in turn is producing more line-drives and more home runs. Prior to those struggling 4 starts, batters against him only averaged a .273 BAbip – in those 4 starts, a .433 BAbip. He has become extremely hittable since that July 7th start, and there could be a few reasons why.

Could Luis Severino be injured?

When comparing his best outing of the season to his worst, it seems he has lost some velocity on his pitches. On May 2nd in Houston, Sevy tossed a complete game shut out. In that game, he threw his fastball 55% of the time, his changeup 15% of the time, and his slider 31% of the time. The average velocity for each pitch in that outing was: FB – 99.0mph, CH – 89.4mph, SL – 89.4mph. His most recent start, arguably his worst, was July 28th at home against Kansas City where he threw for 4.1 innings and allowed 6 earned runs. In that game, he used his fastball 53% of the time, his changeup 6% of the time, and his slider 41% of the time. A similar approach, but the average velocity of each pitch was: FB – 97.5mph, CH – 87.4mph, SL – 88.2mph.

Is he tipping pitches?

This seems unlikely considering Severino’s caliber as a pitcher, but if that IS the case, that would explain why batters have been squaring up on his pitches more easily. A few ways that batters can anticipate the pitch before it leaves the mound is with different arm angles, motion speeds, glove positioning, and pitch grip visibility. This is a relatively easy fix – some video tape work and assessing body language and motion can help Severino take note of any hints he may be giving batters and can adjust accordingly.

Maybe Sevvy is just going through a mental slump?

When he has been lights-out all season, people sometimes forget that he’s still a human who is going to have blips throughout the year. In a post-game interview with catcher Austin Romine after the 7/28 outing, he stated that, “[Severino] was kind of scattered all over the place. I was trying to reiterate to him to stay down the zone and throw through me. He was kind of inconsistent with his fastball today,” according to the New York Times.

Severino is slated to open up the series against the Red Sox in Boston this week. Whatever the case may be, hopefully he can reset and put those last 4 starts behind him. With Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez out of the lineup, we will need our #1 starter on his A-game to hold down the Red Sox’s offense.

Are The New York Yankees Finished Making Deals Ahead Of The Deadline?

New York Yankees, Zach Britton

The New York Yankees are sitting at 67-37, six games behind in the AL East leading the Boston Red Sox going into the last weekend before the trade deadline. The team has already made power moves out of the All-Star break to bolster their roster with the additions of RP Zach Britton from the Orioles and SP J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays.

What did the New York Yankees get with Britton?

Zach Britton is a 2-Time All Star with the Orioles in 2015 & 2016, along with finishing 4th in Cy Young voting in 2016. Britton has struggled this season but has picked it up as of late. Since June 23rd he has been dominant, compiling a 1.50 ERA, .135 BAA, and opponents are averaging an OPS of less than .500 in this span. Britton offers another terrific lefty arm to add to an already dominant bullpen featuring the likes of Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, & Jonathan Holder who all own below 3.00 ERA’s in 40+ innings of work respectively.

Two days after the acquisition, the Yankees made a move to address their most glaring weakness in the starting pitching rotation. The Yankees made a deal to bring in J.A. Happ. Happ is a veteran pitcher with a lot of experience pitching in the MLB, and even more specifically the AL East.

From the start of the season through June 13, Happ posted commanding numbers of an 8-3 record, 3.48 ERA, and a .207 BAA. He has struggled a lot of as of late however, giving up 4+ ER in 3 of his last 6 starts including 7 ER against the Tigers and 6 ER against the Yankees in back to back starts to start July. Happ’s value to the Yankees can be seen in his dominance against the division and specifically against the Boston Red Sox. The “heart” of the Red Sox lineup featuring Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, and Xander Bogaerts all struggle vs. Happ possessing .188 BA, .267 BA, .000 BA, and .154 BA respectively.

Brian Cashman has made it clear the Yanks are serious buyers in the trade market and I do not believe they are done improving their roster. With the injuries of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the team has an opening for a DH/OF to fill the void in the coming weeks of the playoff race.

Names to be considered include Curtis Granderson & Jose Martinez. Granderson, a former Yankee suits the bill perfectly to fill in for Judge during his DL stint. He has 10 HR & 31 RBI’s on the year. A solid veteran lefty with some power in his bat, can help the clubhouse going forward as well as play games in the OF and DH. Jose Martinez of the Cardinals is another name that has surfaced and trade talks. The Cardinals are willing to part with him and he could fit well as a DH with the Yanks. Martinez posses a .295 BA, 13 HR, 57 RBI on the season. He will be a much tougher deal to make with years of control left on his contract following the end of this season.

If one thing is for sure however, it is that the Yankees are active and if there is one person to not rule out of anything its Brian Cashman. Expect the Yanks to be actively pursuing deals up until the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline.

New York Mets Injury Report: July 30, 2018

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

With the New York Mets virtually out of the playoff hunt, the injuries have slowed down a little and the Mets have put some key players on the shelf. There is no real need for anyone to return now and they are being extremely cautious with all of their players.

Michael Conforto (thumb) did not start in Sunday’s win against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a sore thumb. He first aggravated the thumb when he was jammed on a swing about two weeks ago and felt the pain again after being jammed a couple times on Saturday. He was well enough to pinch hit and with a day off Monday he should be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

Cespedes Out For the Season

Yoenis Cespedes (heels) announced he would be undergoing season-ending surgery on his heels on Wednesday. Cespedes only played in one game before he shut it down again because of the pain in his legs. The procedure will take 8-10 months to recover from and will likely take away from him playing in the beginning of 2019. Cespedes is set to make over $65 million over the next two years of his contract.

Noah Syndergaard (illness) is set to pitch again on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. He suffered a hand, foot and mouth virus from working a youth camp over the All-Star break. The illness was not life threatening, but it was something only a Met would get. His name has been brought up in trade talks throughout the year, but it is apparent he will stay in New York.

Frazier Close, Bruce Not So Much

Todd Frazier (ribs) began a rehab assignment in Port St. Lucie on Saturday. After going his entire career without a DL stint, he has had two in his first season with the Mets. He is set to return at some point during the upcoming week. He has only hit .217/.300/.385 with 10 homers in 61 games this season.

Jay Bruce (hip) hopes to begin swinging a bat within the next few days. Bruce has had an extremely disappointing year with the bat and his health. He only has three home runs and 17 RBIs and his failures can be contributed to his poor health. The Mets hope to have him at 100% before they even think about putting him back on the roster.

New York Giants: Lorenzo Carter Reveals Role For This Season

There’s some big expectations on Lorenzo Carter, for a third round draft pick. The former Georgia Bulldog was selected with the intention of boosting the pass rush, both this year and going forward. Judging by his athleticism, it seems like he’s a good fit for that role.

But how are the Giants planning on using Carter in his rookie season? Carter himself told the official Giants website some things about that.

“I’m playing straight outside linebacker, strong side. My job is simple: set the edge, affect the passer and lastly I have to drop (into pass coverage). That’s an afterthought. In the front of my head is pass rushing and being aggressive going forward. I love it,” he said, confirming that the team intends to use him to attack the passer.

That aggressive playing style is something that the Giants need after the departure of Jason Pierre-Paul, who contributed 8.5 sacks last season before switching to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Pierre-Paul played as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker, but replacing his production is one of the reasons the Giants spent a third round pick on Carter.

Carter also spoke about his experiences in the first practices of training camp. “You can tell when your eyes are in the right place and your movements are doing the right things. I just try to keep doing what I’m doing. Try to keep getting that feeling… You definitely know when it’s going wrong, that’s when you just turn around and put the jets on, try to keep running.”

He hasn’t been a perfect player at this point, but that’s expected, as Carter said himself.  The important thing, however, is that the rookie pass rusher is learning and improving. “Everybody’s going to make mistakes, especially as a rookie, but you just have to make mistakes and you don’t lose, you just learn lessons.”