New York Mets Injury Report: August 19, 2018

Some big names for the New York Mets are finally rehabbing and trying to return to the big leagues this season. The Mets relievers continue to take another hit as two of their pitchers are trying to return from injury.

Phillip Evans (fractured tibia) was officially moved to the 60-day DL on August 17 and will be out for the rest of the season. This opened up space on the 40-man roster for relief pitcher Daniel Zamora. Evans only had three hits in 21 at-bats and one stolen base with the Mets this season.

Bobby Wahl (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day DL on August 17 with a grade 1 strain. He suffered the injury in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. Wahl could return once his time on the DL ends. The Mets acquired Wahl from the Oakland Athletics for Jeurys Familia. Wahl has struggled with the Mets, allowing six runs in 5.1 innings pitched.

Will Nimmo Play Tonight?

Brandon Nimmo (finger) had his X-Rays and MRI came back negative after he took a fastball of his left index finger during the series against the Baltimore Orioles. He has not played in any of the four games against the Phillies, but can return to the lineup at any moment. Nimmo was on fire before the injury, going 15-35 with a .500 on-base percentage.

Anthony Swarzak (shoulder) still has not resumed throwing yet. He has been on the DL since August 4 with the discomfort in his shoulder. Swarzak is expected to be back by early September, but the Mets will not rush him back. Swarzak has been a disappointment in his first year with the Mets. He has a 6.00 ERA in 21 innings pitched.

Jay Bruce (hip) played nine innings at first base for the St. Lucie Mets on Saturday. Bruce will continue to see a lot more first base because of his sub-par outfield defense and Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Austin Jackson becoming the everyday trio of outfielders. His rehab assignment will last about a week and he can return before the end of the month.

Return of the Captain?

David Wright (shoulder) played seven innings in another St. Lucie Mets game. The captain has been on his rehab assignment for about a week and is starting to stretch out his playing time more. Wright has been hitless in 14 at bats, but it is understandable because he has not played in any games in over a year. He has to play a full nine inning game and figure out his swing before he even thinks about making a return this season. He is running out of minor league games to get ready, but if he is making the right strides forward his return can happen this season.

New York Knicks’ Trey Burke Finally Living Up To Offensive Expectations

Despite being a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft in 2013, New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke has struggled to find his rhythm as a professional.

With the Washington Wizards, Burke only managed to complete 53% of his shots near the rim; for a point guard, that’s abysmal. With the Knicks in 2017, that percentage skyrocketed to 71%. Being an efficient scorer near the basket will allow head coach David Fizdale to operate his offense in a more open style, enabling Kevin Knox to work off of Burke’s speed.

Burke’s two point shot percentage increase by over 10% from 2016 to 2017. This could be a result of the Knick’s offensive scheme or the expectations lifted off of the six-year veteran’s shoulders.

How did Trey Burke improve as a player for the New York Knicks last season?

One of the more interesting aspects of Burke’s improvement is exactly how it happened and what he changed to increase his overall efficiency. One of his major struggles was the method he actually used to initiate contact and approach the rim. The difference from last season was that Burke would lean into his defender, allowing him to protect the ball and maneuver from an advantageous position. If he chose to rise to the hoop for a layup, it increased the probability that a foul would occur.

Increasing his offensive prowess will force the opposing defenders to stay honest, playing with the intention of keeping him contained. Having Knox and Kristaps Prozingis to open up the court will allow him to utilize his superb passing abilities. Burke finished last season with a 36.4% assist percentage – the highest of his career.

Additionally, he increased his free throw attempts per 36 minutes from 1.9 to 2.6 in 2017. His overall game saw a major improvement, and being that Frank Ntilikina is still yet to prove he can be an offensive threat, we should expect to see Burke get a solid amount of playing time this season.

 

Giants’ Alec Ogletree’s Biggest Weakness On Full Display This Preseason

Making the transition from the 4-3 to 3-4 defensive scheme might end up to be a great move for the New York Giants, but finding the right players for the system will require time. General manager Dave Gettleman traded for former Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree earlier this offseason, allocating roughly $10 million per-year to the six-year veteran.

Ogletree has had tremendous success in the past, primarily as a run-stopping linebacker who manages the defense from the MIC position. He’s a physical and powerful linebacker with the ability to hunt down runners and stop them in their tracks. He’s a perfect fit for the linebacker heavy 3-4 scheme, but he has one glaring weakness. He is terrible in coverage.

In 2017, the Giants were one of the worst teams in the NFL when covering opposing tight ends, and this might be an issue in ’18 as well. Ogletree has already been toyed with by Browns’ David Njoku and Detroit running back Theo Riddick.

The play above is incredibly concerning, as it shows how slow and unable Ogletree is in coverage. The worst part is that he begins the play lined up infront of him, knowing his assignment, where alternatively he would be keeping an eye on the opposing tight end to break into a route.

How can the New York Giants reinforce Alec Ogletree in coverage?

The issue with the 3-4 defense is that it requires consistent blitzes and leaves the secondary to fend for itself. This means that Ogletree will not receive any reinforcements from fellow linebackers, and the safeties will be playing the deep ball and helping out in coverage. Ideally, you want to have at least one LB that can cover, but the Giants have fortified the middle of the field with two run stopping, physical players.

Luckily, it’s only the preseason, and he still has two more weeks to refine his abilities and adapt to James Bettcher’s heavy blitz defense. A lot of developement might be in the cards for Ogletree; if he can’t manage to be a serviceable LB in coverage, the Giants will have to find a way to manage tight ends and running backs through different means.

 

New York Yankees Flashback: Hip, Hip, Jorge

Happy Birthday to beloved retired catcher Jorge Posada (1971), who passed the 250 home run and 1,000 rbi marks in 2010. Jorge was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 amateur draft, and he was seriously mentioned in the 2003 MVP voting.

Having one of his best years in 2007, Jorge signed a four-year extension, but he was lost for the 2008 season due to shoulder surgery. Back in the fold since 2009, he continued as a solid member of the Yankee offense as a DH in 2011, and rather than sign on with another club, he resigned afterward, much to the relief of all Yankee fans.

Yankee players achieved some nice career numbers in a 10-inning, 8-7 home win over Minnesota on August 17, 2015, but it was a very costly victory. Young Brian Mitchell and Caleb Cotham gave up five runs into the fourth, but Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran homers helped tie it at 7-7 through six.

Brett Gardner scored his 500th career run after walking in the second, and an intentional free pass to Beltran in the 10th was the 1,000th walk of his career. This followed back-to-back doubles by Greg Bird and McCann that produced the winning score. Heady stuff for Bird, who would play well down the stretch, but he was only in this game because Mark Teixeira was hurt by a foul ball off his shin while batting in the sixth. It took weeks to ascertain that the shin bone was broken, and that Tex’s superb comeback season had come to a close.

The three first-inning runs KC jumped Mike Mussina for in Yankee Stadium on August 17, 2008, were quickly forgotten as Alex Rodriguez and Xavier Nady first-inning home runs and a second-inning grand slam by Jason Giambi led the Bombers in a 15-6 rout. Giambi scored his 500th run as a Yankee in this game, Derek Jeter went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, and comic actors and father and son Jerry and Ben Stiller moved the games-counter indicating games left in the old Stadium down from 17 to 16 in the fifth inning, one day after Darryl Strawberry had carried out that honor.

The Yankee highlight was on the offense in 2002 on August 17 as Alfonso Soriano became the first ever second baseman to join the 30/30 club when he blasted his 30th home run in an 8-3 win over Seattle. And in his first at bat of the day, Bernie Williams came within one of the major league record when he stroked a single for his 11th consecutive hit. He would not reach safely his next time up.

Lefty-hitting, righty-throwing hurler Ray Caldwell, a stalwart on Highlanders/Yankees pitching staffs from 1910-1918 at the beginning of his career died on August 17, 1967. He won 95, lost 99, and saved five games in New York,